Why I love Ashtanga Yoga!

from lisa

I love teaching and practicing Vinyasa Flow Yoga, I love the creativity and freedom that the practice offers and being able to incorporate poses that feel good or challenging on different days, playing with the breath and the movement . It always feels so good to get on a mat and free flow! But if you are looking for attending a class, anyone at Jiva will tell you, I’ll be in Ashtanga!

This dynamic and physically demanding practice created by Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India, Ashtanga synchronizes breath and movement as you flow through Sun Salutations, standing postures, seated sequence, finishing sequence and relaxation. I fell in love with this style when I started going to Emma’s classes when she was teaching, it was fast and sweaty and I liked that. As it is a set sequence I could really get into a place where I could switch off the mental chatter, focus on the breath and flow through the primary, without wondering what pose going to come next! My other practice got stronger, as in Ashtanga I built upper body strength and improved my core, it was through this style I really learned that Yoga wasn’t just about getting as bendy as you can to achieve poses but finding that balance between strength and flexibility.

When Emma decided to stop teaching one of our lovely clients said she knew a fabulous teacher called Tracey and I needed to find her! Long story short Tracey joined the teaching team… Tracey has a very different teaching style to how Emma taught, the classes are full of Tracey-isms (her words not mine!) While of course we work through sun salutations and standing sequence, Tracey will deviate from primary and work on backbends from second series. She teaches lots of technique which really helps to focus the practice and build strength and of course flexibility to get into some of the more advanced and (maybe for some of us) tricky poses!

We don’t have a workshop this weekend but if you want a practice to get your teeth into come along to Tracey’s class at 11.30am Sunday, it’s a 90 minute class so a great opportunity to get deep into your practice, it’s like a mini workshop!

Our other Ashtanga class is now on a Monday evening at 8.15pm with Ashley. Ashley is a very experienced Pilates teacher who decided she loved Yoga so much she had to add it to her repertoire! Her approach is completely different to Tracey but this is great as they complement each other so well. Ashley flows through the Primary series, Sun Salutations, standing, seated all the way up to Navasana (boat pose) then moves to the finishing sequence, comprising of shoulderstand sequence, headstand practice and into

final relaxation. This is a great opportunity to get into the dynamic style and put into practice all those techniques that Tracey teaches.

You may love one, you may love the other or like me, you may love both classes! But you never know until you try, come and join Tracey, Ashley and me on a Sunday or Monday… They are the highlights of my week!


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