|Ashtanga Yoga as taught by our teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, is a practice of mindfulness guided by conscious breathing. A string of intelligently sequenced asanas are learned and practiced over time to assist in removing the layers of conditioned existence which hinder us from embracing the truth of who we are.
Most of the classes we teach on an
ongoing basis are Mysore-Style Ashtanga, a class closely
modeled upon Sri K. Pattabhi Jois' teaching method as
historically practiced by him, his daughter Saraswati
and his grandson Sharath at their Ashtanga Research
Institute in Mysore, South India. This is a teacher
assisted class where students go at their own pace with
practices of varying lengths and levels, beginning,
intermediate and advanced. It allows students to go
deeply into their own experience of the practice while
still maintaining the essential and reassuring experience
of a close relationship with a teacher. Following the
guidance of Jois' own guru, the renowned Krishnamacharya,
this style allows us to engage students in a one-on-one
physical and verbal dialogue. At the same time, both
teacher and student can enjoy the collective sharing
and intimacy of a group of people gathering to practice
yoga together, certainly one of the finer things in
The method, a refinement of the results of millennia of profound action by yogis in India, is designed to systematically clear blockages, build strength and tune undeveloped areas in the physical body; over time, this kinesthetic work practiced in the body begins to replicate itself at the level of mind, clearing blockages, building strength, tuning. Regular practice sustained over time is absolutely necessary to achieve these goals, and to overcome stumbling blocks encountered along the way, yet the system is so potent that practitioners feel changes after a single practice.
Krishnamacharya, and in turn Pattabhi Jois, have regularly emphasized the quest for personal health as an essential part of yogic activity. The body becomes strong and beautiful; the nervous system awakens, heals and feels with fuller precision; pathology in the body and mind is revealed and cleared; immaturity in the body and mind is revealed and exposed to both evolutionary rigor and the love which is purified attention; pleasant gifts along the path of the greater work of steadily deepening and expanding the capacity for attention and applying it towards the work of enlightening the body and mind, allowing increasingly constant access to collective soul and collective spirit.
Traditionally, the practitioner engages the system six days a week, taking breaks when the moon is full or new. We have taken on the full rigor of this path and offer to teach it to those who so desire. Westerners who have tasted the experience of the body in integrated response to the mind and vice-versa, are either haunted by it or feel the desire to live there. As the 21st century begins, a rapidly increasing share of Westerners are irresistibly drawn to the processes of traditional Eastern yoga. A good number of individuals carrying on the historically potent Krishnamacharya lineage are Westerners, and the great Indian teachers in that line, recognizing our hunger, have willingly offered it to us. Ashtanga Yoga, as taught by Pattabhi Jois, is a powerful sacred system, unmodified by shallow frantic regions of the American marketplace; the deep benefit of an authentic yogic process such as this may not reveal its extent all at once.
If you're willing to come and work, we'd love to share it with you.