Ashtanga Yoga was transmitted to the modern world through Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. With his teacher, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, they developed a physical form of yoga based on ancient yoga practices found in The Yoga Korunta. The physical practice is often considered an entry point for students to begin their journey into the subtler philosophical and spiritual aspects of yoga. Ashtanga yoga is deeply rooted in the teachings found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Yoga Yajnavalkya.
Ashtanga Yoga classes are dynamic, precise and rigorous, using specific postures, breathing techniques and meditation to develop the mind and body. The sequence of postures in each series is set, allowing for a progressive and balanced releasing in the body. Each series has specific focal points. The Primary Series focuses on forward bends, releasing the back and legs. The postures are therapeutic and help us to release the past. The Secondary Series focuses on back-bending and spinal twisting. These postures energize the nervous system and open us to the future.
- Ashtanga Basics (level 1)
The Ashtanga Basics classes focus on the fundamental postures of Ashtanga Yoga-- sun salutations, basic standing and seated poses and elements of the finishing sequence. Students learn to move safely and mindfully through the postures, using their breath to focus and guide their practice. These classes are appropriate for complete beginners as well as for more experienced students. (1 hour)
- Lunch Hour Ashtanga (level 2)
These classes focus on teaching students the key elements of Ashtanga Yoga, including the Tristhana method, which is the heart of Ashtanga Yoga. Tristhana is the Sanskrit term to describe the 3 main elements of the physical practice of Ashtanga yoga. These are Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques and bandhas) and Dristhi (focus). Together, these techniques create a meditative practice where self-discovery can occur.
These classes include chanting, pranayama, the full series of sun salutations and select standing, seated and finishing postures. (1 hour)
Mysore classes are a type of Ashtanga yoga class. This style of class is modeled after the Ashtanga yoga classes in Mysore, India as taught by the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The classes are not led. Students work independently (with guidance from the teacher) on the particular series of postures that is most appropriate for them.
The teacher works closely with new students to help them learn the postures and sequencing. The Mysore class setting allows each student to work at his or her own pace. It also helps students to develop a self-practice, which is an integral part of the Ashtanga system.
Classes are open for 2 hours, but students may come and go anytime during that time frame, depending on what fits their personal practice and their schedule. Mysore classes are open to students of all levels.