What is it?
Wednesday mornings are dedicated to the study of Ashtanga yoga, starting with our usual donation based Sun Salutations 9.10-9.30.
From 9.30to 10am
-we discuss certain areas of the eight limbs of Ashtanga as laid out by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. We have this discussion with the intention of integrating the teachings into our physical session:
10-11.30, where we will move into sequences of Surya Namaskara (sun Salutations) into the standing sequence, and then entering the primary series, but with the emphasis on;
Breath, (various pranayama practices)
Dristi, (focus of sight, line of sight, and direction of energy)
Bandhas (a series of internal physical and energetic locks)
But also tapping into our study, what our group sankalpah is (the focus, or “promise” for ourselves as we dedicate our practice)
This is a Sangha (community or fellowship of spiritual aspirants) so I want to emphasise that comments, adjustments, teachings from other lineages, teachers, books, and any other influences that have informed the attendees practice are encouraged to be shared during the session. This brings a humbleness and openness to the practice, which is rarely found in other yoga lessons.
Purists may disagree, but to evolve though our ever changing environment, we need to help each other; there is so much we can learn from each other.
ashta =eight anga=limbs
Who can come?
It is advisable to know some Ashtanga yoga, or at least have experienced some Hatha yoga-flow, and had the experience of a challenging yoga class.
However we do start from scratch at the beginning of term, with discussion intermingled into our practice.
As your guide, it is my responsibility to check that you have an understanding of what is being asked of you within each of the frames (as above, Breath, Dristi, Bandhas) that helps to realise the full potential of your involvement in the sequence of postures, which is why discussion and feedback is important.
So to have a level of fitness that meets a deep flow of movement for an hour and a half, combined with a mental concentration that combines the limbs of yoga, is necessary for you to feel the benefits of this profound practice.
This is one of the many paths to a view of self realisation, but not for selfish means, in these sessions- as tradition suggests, we dedicate our practice to all sentient beings, not just for ourselves.
This is a selfless practice, which may not be obvious straight away. Leave pride at the door to enjoy the innocence and curiosity that lives within you.
There will be postures that will challenge you, there will be moments when your thoughts take you to emotions you may not have been expecting.
This is one of the functions of the primary series of Ashtanga yoga.
True self-realisation requires you to look deeply into your shadow as well as delight in your light.
Seek and observe your demons, see what leads your instincts, what ignites your passions, what informs your physical body on and off the mat.
What to wear or bring?
Either stretchy athletic or loose natural fibres, a layer of warmth for relaxation, and preferably your own mat if you have one. We do have a couple of clean spare mats, but is more hygienic to bring yours.
There are props, in the studio, but if you know you need extra support (-like a block) please bring your own.
How do I book?
Get in touch with me directly, and I can suggest a starting time. As this is a half termly session please only drop in if you are familiar with the primary sequence of Ashtanga yoga.
Those who have a rolling class card, there is a paypal link on the front page to automatically top up your bank of classes.