Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Taught by Sri Krishnamacharya in Mysore in the 1930’s then by Sri Patthabi Jois, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is suited for sporty people, men or women looking for a physical and dynamic practice. People looking for a physical training in the way of Yoga would be fulfilled. Ashtanga provides us with strength, flexibility and steadiness.
We start lessons with 10 sun salutation (Surya Namaskar) followed by a series of standing postures which improves our flexibility and stamina.
Then comes sitting postures, interspersed with half salutes (Surya) – activating the body from top to bottom, physical structure and muscular chains are constantly shifting, therefore working on deep dorsal muscles. These postures purify, vivify, magnetize, boost and fortify the joints for a greater steadiness and rebalance the whole body.
This is all thanks to Vinyasa, which means "synchronizing breath and movement”.
Breathing is the key to Yoga and must be the foundation of practice. It helps the mind to find the necessary focus.
We learn to breathe differently with Ujjayi (victorious breath) – with the nose, but also with a contraction of the throat that allows the breath to be fluid and constant during inhalation and exhalation, bringing body temperature to a higher level. During the class the internal temperature of the body and sweat increase. This sweat purifies the body by eliminating toxins.
With thorough and regular practice, we find more fluidity and self-confidence, and we can turn our attention towards muscular contractions: the Bandhas (similar to "locks”), of which there are three.
The Bandhas are used nearly all the time, in harmony with the breath. Perfectly mastered, these conscious muscular contractions become more subtle. Bandhas are said to pierce through emotional and psychological locks (Granthis).
The class ends with a relaxation. In every class, there is an initiation to Pranayama (breath control).The goal of an Ashtanga Vinyasa class and of postural Yoga is to find internalpeace, opening towards the greater space of meditation. Its physical engagement allows access to the essential meditation postures, such as Siddhasana or Padmasana, the postures that purify the energy channels.