In our shala we teach Ashtanga Yoga as it is taught in SYC (formerly known as KPJAYI), in Mysore, India. Its foundations lie in the combination of movement, breath and gaze (Tristhana) into one dynamic practice. While paying attention to these three elements, we follow a set sequence and flow from posture to posture in a steady, continuous rhythm (Vinyasa).
What sets Ashtanga Yoga apart from other yoga styles is its unique, traditional teaching method (Mysore). In a Mysore class, every practitioner is guided by the teacher separately, with respect to their personal strengths, needs, temperament and previous experience. This personalized approach allows all practitioners, regardless of their “level” to practice together, like a private lesson in a group setting. But most importantly, this approach allows every practitioner to connect deeply to their practice and become self-sufficient – as opposed to the majority of yoga classes, where the teacher leads and the student follows instructions without really absorbing them.
Ashtanga as a daily practice
Ashtanga is a practice designed to be done 6 times a week. New moon and full moon days are traditionally considered to be extra rest days, along with the three first days of our monthly cycle.
Our practice differs from day to day and it is very important to adjust it to our fluctuating energy levels, and to the external factors that influence them (work, family life). In general, a small practice is better than no practice at all, and some practice every day (e.g. sun salutations & standing) is preferred to a full practice once or twice a week.
The benefits of Ashtanga are multiplied exponentially with a committed practice. Our goal is for it to become an everyday habit, and a lifestyle.
By practicing Ashtanga Yoga, the body gets stronger, more flexible and resilient. Pains resulting from bad posture get resolved, soreness after practice is minimized, the nervous system gets stronger, our mood improves and a new vitality appears. We learn to listen to our body and use it efficiently. We discover the endless potential of our breath. Slowly and steadily, through committed practice, its benefits start to seep into every area of our life, away and beyond our mat.
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