ASHTANGA YOGAAshtanga Yoga gradually leads the participant to rediscover his or her fullest potential on all levels of human consciousness - physical, psychological and spiritual
The grand old man of all dynamic styles, Ashtanga Yoga was established by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore in the 1930s, but only really came into Western consciousness in the 1970s with the advent of American hippies to India.
Since then Ashtanga has dominated Western forms of yoga, resulting in many derivatives such as Jivamukti, Vinyasa Flow and Bikram Yoga. This is a physically challenging and vigorous practice with a strong cardiovascular element. It involves an unvarying sequence of postures, linked by dynamic movements , known as vinyasa , which must be mastered in order to proceed to the next level, or Series.
This is a challenging, athletic form of practice designed to work the whole body and concentrate the mind with the primary purpose of engendering heat, or tapas, in the body. It needs to be practiced in a warm room, so expect to build up a sweat!
The class is taught in a sequence known as the Primary series. The postures are linked so you are constantly moving for the duration of the class.The postures are linked with the Ujjayi breath which is sometimes called ocean breath. The Ujjayi breath simultaneously builds heat and calms the body creating a rhythm to his or her practice. This diaphragm breathing helps students to stay present and to not strain in the postures.
This class is not suitable for beginners to Yoga. Inversions are practised so the student needs to have practised yoga before.
Karen Stone teaches Ashtanga Yoga.