Brief Ashtanga History
The word ‘Ashtanga’ literally means “eight limbs” reminding us that our yoga path is multi dimensional. The eight limbed system is designed to give us tools for effective, healthy living and create a nourishing physical practice that we can utilize to sustain a harmonious life. The eightfold path was first described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (ancient text on yoga theory and practice) dating back to 4th century CE. Patanjali is the father of all classical yoga. More recently in the 20th century Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) popularized the practice of Ashtanga yoga by establishing the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in 1948 (Mysore, India).
All eight limbs of the Ashtanga system are equally important on the yoga path. In the West however we tend to associate the 3rd limb, asana (the physical practice) as modern day yoga. During the physical practice we do aim to work all the limbs together. Our bodies, our breath, our minds, and our choices are being explored and refined in the lab that is our yoga mat. Through a disciplined practice we begin to connect and understand ourselves even more allowing for new bonds to be established. By building a better relationship with ourselves on our mat we bring positive change into our lives; first with ourselves, then others and the world around us.
About the Class
Ashtanga Prep is designed to examine the physical practice of Ashtanga yoga by deconstructing the postures and principles of the Primary Series. Ashtanga Prep is not a vinyasa flow class. Expect a semi-private group of experienced yoga practitioners in a workshop-style format. Space is limited to 5 students and pre-registration is mandatory. Each Friday of the month we will focus on a specific portion of Primary Series. Class will start promptly at 8:00 am and will be approximately 2 hours. All students must fill out a health history form (below) that will inform me about any injuries or special concerns.
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara A & B) and transitions: Here we establish the basis of the practice; breath (ujjayi), energy control (bandha) and concentration (drsti). Breakdown the postures within sun A & B and begin the moving meditation (vinyasa) to a specific count. We will focus our attention on how the breath, cadence and rhythm of the sun salutations truly sets the tone of the entire practice. The transitions include instruction on how to build strength and grace to step/float to top of mat (& back) and jump throughs to seated position (& back).
Fundamental Postures: These are the standing postures that bring stability, balance, and alignment to the body. We will use blocks, props and adjustments to move into padangusthasana thru utkatasana.
Seated Postures: Here we will practice the seated postures of primary series. The seated postures focus on forward bending, opening the back line of the body and twisting (rinsing/detoxification of internal organs). We will use blocks, props and adjustments to move into dandasana thru setu bandhasana.
Backbends and Finishing: Expect a 20-30 minute yoga warm up focusing on back bending postures. Then we will move into breaking down urdhva dhanurasana (full wheel). The finishing sequence will be examined including the inversions, transitions, specific count to each posture and how the steady audible breathing in this portion naturally brings mental peace and an energetic culmination/finish to the practice.
5th Friday (bonus):
Conscious Inversion Practice: Learn the essentials of properly getting into inversions with ease, control and confidence. Establish exercises/postures to build the strength so that overtime you will begin to float and fly into inversions.
Led Primary: (When ready) An entire journey through our Yoga Therapy.
Drop In 28
5 Class Pack 108
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours ahead of scheduled class time. You must receive confirmation from me to attend class. All new students please download, print, and complete forms below and bring with you to your first class. You can not practice without completed forms.