Vinyasa is dynamic movement of postures linked with the breath. For each movement, there is one breath. The purpose of Vinyasa is for internal cleansing.
Tristhana refers to the following 3 places of attention and action:
- Ujjayi (breath)
- Dristi (gazing point)
- Asanas (postures and bandhas)
The 3 components are intricately woven together throughout the entire practice, leading practitioners on the path of self-discovery with complete awareness and presence, transforming the physical asana into a moving meditation. By maintaining these fundamental principles, the Ashtanga practice produces internal heat and a purifying sweat that detoxifies the body and enhances a calm and steady mind.
There are six distinct sequences in the Ashtanga system of yoga: Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa/Yoga Therapy), Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodana/Nerve Cleansing), and Advanced A series through Advanced D series. For most people, Primary Series is plenty. It is intended to strengthen and purify the body and focus the mind, and in doing so, the Primary Series of Ashtanga can be a lifelong practice that is adaptable for people of all ages. It also serves to prepare for more advanced practices that follow. For those students that have mastered Primary Series, adding Intermediate Series to their practice offers a deeper cleansing of the subtle energies and imposes tremendous physical and mindful challenges. Advanced A-D series is for advanced practitioners of yoga ready to hone their practice, building strength and stability.
Formats for Learning Ashtanga Yoga
The Ashtanga Yoga method is built around the ‘Mysore Style’ class, so named because yoga was taught this way in Mysore, India, and continues to be taught this way in traditional Ashtanga Yoga schools around the world. In Mysore, the student is taught a sequence of postures through one-on-one instruction. The teacher guides students with verbal and hands-on adjustments to teach and assist proper vinyasa techniques for each of the asana(s) in the sequence.
The correct movements, breathing, and other aspects of the practice are learned gradually, in a step-by-step process accessible to anyone. This method allows each student time to practice and memorize what they have learned before adding more. Students are able to practice at their own pace while surrounded by the energy and inspiration of other students in the room.
A led class is just that – led and guided by the teacher in a group setting. The teacher verbally leads the group together through the practice. Led class reinforces the proper vinyasa system – when to inhale and when to exhale as we enter into and out of each posture.
A led class is an important complement to a regular Mysore practice. It’s an opportunity to ensure that each vinyasa is practiced correctly. Furthermore, a surrender to the teacher’s count and pacing increases internal and external strength and discipline.
In this beginner’s class, students will learn the basics of a led Ashtanga practice including breath, bandha, drishti, and proper vinyasa count. This class is perfect for anyone new to yoga. Students will be guided through the initial sequence of poses with additional instruction and modifications provided so the practice is accessible to all.
Intro to Ashtanga Series
Fundamentals of the Ashtanga yoga practice are taught in a safe and supportive environment. In this beginner’s course, students will learn the technique for breathing and movement, meditative gazing, and internal energy locks. Students will also be guided through the initial sequence of poses. The course reviews the traditions of the Ashtanga yoga system and provides an introduction to the Mysore style of learning. Class size is limited to allow for more individual attention. Class meets once a week at a scheduled time.
Benefits of Mysore class
- One-on-one Attention -In Mysore Style, you will get individual attention within a group setting. You are taught by your teacher in the Ashtanga Yoga method at a pace specifically tailored for you, your body, your level of flexibility and strength.
- Flexible Start Time -Mysore Style is an open practice time, meaning you may come and start your practice anytime between the scheduled hours. Simply leave enough time to finish your practice before the scheduled hours end
- You can show up when it suits you. As long as you leave enough time to finish your full practice, you can come to Mysore class at any point.
- You develop a meditative practice by following your own breath. Ashtanga is intended to be a moving meditation. Led classes are a fantastic way to learn about the breath and the vinyasa, but Mysore-style is where you follow your own breath and deepen your focus and meditation skills.
- Mysore class is for everyone – Mysore class is a wonderful way for individuals at different levels of experience to practice together. With everyone in the room doing their own practice, Mysore class is a great way to encourage each student to work at their full capacity. In addition, if a student has any physical limitations or injuries, the teacher can provide individual instruction on how to approach the practice in a safe manner.
Observing Moon Days
Both full and new moon days are observed as yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. It is important and necessary to take rest from asana practice on new and full moon days. The sun and the moon both exert a gravitational pull. These pulls affect both mind and body. It can make us feel light and airy (energetic but ungrounded) or heavy and stiff (grounded but lethargic). This impacts the physical practice of yoga. ( for more information, visit ashtangayogacenter.com )
Rest From Practice During Menstruation
One reason to take rest during the menstrual period is that the natural downward and eliminating flow during this time may be counteracted by inversions, such as shoulder stand and headstand. Further, that excessive activity can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle. Menstruation may therefore serve as a convenient time to rest as the body begins the next cycle. If a woman decides to observe ladies’ holiday, she is still very much practicing yoga during this time, as yoga is far more than just asana.
new moon full moon
Monday, January 1
Tuesday, January 16
Wednesday, January 31
Thursday, February 15
Thursday, March 1
Saturday, March 17
Saturday, March 31
Sunday, April 15
Sunday, April 29
Monday, May 14
Tuesday, May 29
Wednesday, June 13
Wednesday, June 27
Thursday, July 12
Friday, July 27
Friday, August 10
Saturday, August 25
Sunday, September 9
Monday, September 24
Monday, October 8
Wednesday, October 24
Wednesday, November 7
Thursday, November 22
Thursday, December 6
Saturday, December 22
vande gurunam charanaravinde
sandarsita svatmasukhava bodhe
samsara halahala mohasantyai
sahasra sirasam svetam
I bow to the lotus feet of the Gurus
The awakening happiness of one’s own Self revealed
Beyond better, acting like the Jungle physician
Pacifying delusion, the poison of Sansara
Taking the form of a man to the shoulders
Holding a conch, a discus, and a sword
One thousand heads white
To Pantanjali, I salute.
GURUJI CHANTING THE OPENING MANTRA
Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Shanti Shanti Shantihi
May all be well with mankind.
May the leaders of the earth protect in every way, by keeping to the right path.
May there be goodness for those who know the earth to be sacred.
May all the worlds be happy
GURUJI CHANTING THE CLOSING MANTRA