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About Yoga

The union of Yoga
Yoga (translated means “union” or “integration”) is an Indian philosophical science. It aims to align the body with the soul and the mind to reach absolute self-awareness. Through this awareness and a regular asana practice, yoga is known to make the body and mind more flexible, purify the organs and nervous system, create focus, release stress, realign the body, plus many more health benefits.*

Sri K. Pattabhi JoisThe Ashtanga System
Ashtanga, or “8-limbed path,“ was written around 2500 B.C. by the ancient Indian scholar Patanjali, in his book, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. He explains the sutras as a way to live that will ultimately lead to a happy and healthy life. His book is still wildly popular with yoga students today.
The 8 limbs:
1. Yamas (behavior towards others)
2. Niyamas (behavior towards ourselves)
3. Asanas (physical exercises)
4. Pranayama (breath control or extension)
5. Pratyahara (discipline the senses and turn them inwards)
6. Dharana (concentration)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8.Samadhi (contemplation)

Ashtanga Yoga
In 1927 Sri K. Pattabhi Jois learned a series of exercises based on an ancient Sanskrit document verbally passed down from his teacher Sri T. Krishnamacharya. After years of learning he opened the doors of his home in Mysore, India to teach others. Soon after, he established the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Institute (KPYAJI). Jois taught his system of yoga until the impressive age of 94 then passed down the Insititution’s Director postion to his grandson, Sharath. Together with his mother Saraswathi he keeps this old tradition moving forward to dedicated students from all over the world.

The Ashtanga System is a dynamic set of exercises in combination with the breath, drishtis (focus points), and bhandas (energy locks). Every pose opens the gateway for the next pose which gradually increases your endurance, stamina, and concentration levels. We breathe through our nose while slightly contracting our epiglottis creating a breathing sound similar to whispering while connecting it to the individual postures and that’s what is called vinyasa. This combination creates heat in the body which leads to purification through increased circulation and sweating.

The Primary Series
The Primary Series is the first of six series in the Ashtanga system. This first series is known as “yoga therapy” which aligns the body and purifies the internal organs. The class starts with Sun Salutations which creates heat in the body and a standing sequence that gives balance, strength and flexibility to the waist and legs. Following the standing sequence, you will learn the seated sequence which strengthens and increases flexibility in the legs and hips. The class ends with the closing series which relaxes the body and brings it back to balance.

The traditional form of Ashtanga Yoga is to be practiced 5-6 days a week with a teacher. Not all students finish the primary series. Poses are added on to the sequence when the student achieves the previous pose. By practicing on a regular basis, this safely and effectively makes the body light and strong, reducing injury and ultimately resting the mind.

Mysore Style
The traditional way of practice is called “Mysore Style” and is meant to be done first thing in the morning.  This means that students practice at their own pace with a teacher providing individual attention for adjustments. This type of consideration allows for the personal transformation of each student with their own rhythm.

*It is not scientifically proven that Yoga is a replacement to medicine or regular doctor check-ups.

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