Ashtanga Yoga Self Practice with Julie is a 90-minute class suitable for those between beginner and advanced. It is advised that participants should have a knowledge of standing sequences.
The Ashtanga series (8 limbs – Asta means 8) is a system of Raja yoga (complete system or Royal system) characterised by having ‘8 limbs’ developed and brought to the west by K. Pattabhi Jois.
The immediate and obvious focus is on the physical aspect ‘asana’ featuring intelligent sequencing (called Vinyasa Krama) designed to bring greater understanding of the body and mind to the practitioner. Although the initial focus is physical, through regular practice the student quickly becomes more aware of the deeper effects on their mind and day to day life.
To achieve these effects Jois introduced an ‘easy way in’ via the third limb. The ‘Tristana’ method using Ujjayi Pranayama (breathing technique), Bhandas (physical locks) and Dristhi (focus for the eyes/mind) Jois said that breath, posture and gaze are the concrete tools a practitioner should use to effectively perform their daily asana practice.
Ashtanga can be a challenge at first however, it is completely safe for all levels if you carefully listen to teacher and take the modifications which are taught (lotus really can take a long time to do safely – so don’t rush!).
Ashtanga teachers often use gentle physical assists (a hands on approach) in order to help guide students into some poses. Our teachers are trained and experienced, however if you have any concerns about being assisted, please discuss with the teacher before class. Remember at any time it is okay to ‘back off’ the posture and often some poses can take months or even years to truly unfold in the body, so there is no rush. Be patient – all is coming!