WHAT IS ASHTANGA YOGA?

WHAT IS ASHTANGA (VINYASA) YOGA?

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a well-known Hatha Yoga system that has its roots in Patanjalis Sutren and Yoga Korunta. The oldest known teacher is T. Krishnamacharya, who in turn passed on his knowledge to his students, among others T.K.V. Desikachar, B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois.

In the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, we dynamically and in harmony with breathing alternate between different postures (asanas) and thus work energetically with our body. But if we look at Ashtanga Yoga as a whole, it is much more than what we see on the mat: Translated, it is “the path ofthe eight limbs” and consists of just as many building blocks, some of which are visible, partly palpable and partly unimaginable. The asanas only describe the third limb.

The regular and devoted practice of the eight limbs (Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana & Samadhi) leads to a wonderful energy perception and concentration, even to a (dynamic) meditation as well as to a deep knowledge of his self. The following applies: 99% practice and 1% theory.

WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL ASHTANGA MYSORE STYLE?

In the traditional Mysore style, a teacher and his team help the student to find his own practice (self-practice) or to deepen his existing practice individually. The student receives adapted assistance and is corrected in the execution of the postures (Asanas). Due to the individual instructions, a Mysore hour is basically like a private Ashtanga yoga unit. At the same time, one benefits from the motivating and inspecting energy of all practitioners in the room.

In the beginning, Ashtanga Yoga is usually experienced as a physically demanding yoga form. However, the practice in the Mysore style is always adapted to the respective possibilities of the practitioner. Students are therefore challenged, but not overwhelmed. The aim isto find a unique balance between rest and challenge in yoga, between breath and movement and between attention and in-self-sweeping.

In addition to focusing on tradition and dedication, I and the team of AYRF understand the Mysore style primarily as an individualized practice. In order to prepare for certain asanas or to respond to physique-psychic conditions, we detach ourselves from the strict tradition if necessary. Then we use e.g. variations in the sequence or execution of the exercises, which everyone can carry out guaranteed. The goal is a traditional, individualized-customized yoga practice.

Students who already have a permanent Ashtanga Yoga teacher and are currently visiting .B only in Frankfurt (drop-ins) practice their usual practice at AYRF. Out of respect for the teacher-student relationship, I or my team do not change their practice style. I make exceptions with the student, if I consider it absolutely necessary, for health reasons, for example, for a student to adapt or omit an Asana.

AYRF PHILOSOPHY

MY PERSONAL EIGHT LIMBS

1. ASHTANGA Yoga is an individual practice.

For me, it’s not about putting a rigid system on a student, it’s about accompanying each student on his or her personal path. This is how our (as I like to say) Godfather T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) saw it:

“Teach what is appropriate for each individual”.

In order to prepare for certain asanas or to deal with physio-psychic conditions, I depart myself to the strict tradition if necessary. The goal is a traditional, individualized Ashtanga Yoga practice.

2. ASHTANGA Yoga is like brushing your teeth.

In my opinion, we should not boast about both, not carry it so much outwardly, but simply do it and not constantly try to optimize it. One should not see it AS THE great revelation, but simply regard it as a self-evident part of his daily routine.

3. ASHTANGA Yoga consists of 8 limbs and not just one.

Strength and flexibility don’t make a yogi yet. Accordingly, Aṣṭāṅga Yoga is more to me than the asanas. The asanas nevertheless form a very good introduction to the practice of the eight-member path, since one works from the outermost shell steadily inwards.

ॐ First you go INSIDE, then OUTSIDE ॐ

4. ASHTANGA Yoga is the close connection between teacher and student.

I think it’s very important to have a yoga teacher you trust. One should feel comfortable and seen in his shala. I am in my shala every day to support my students in their individual ways. I know all my students not only by name, but i know their problems, their challenges, their woes; I see them.

The following applies: What grows slowly has deep roots. It is important to me to realize that the development is happening with you on your mat and I only accompany you.

5. ASHTANGA Yoga happens where you are.

You can practice Aṣṭāṅga Yoga with what you have and where you are. In the end, it doesn’t matter where you roll out your mat: Aṣṭāṅga works, detached from space and time, where you merge with love, devotion and mindfulness.

6. ASHTANGA Yoga should be accessible to everyone.

For me, Ashtanga is not a consumer and certainly not a luxury commodity. That is why, from the very beginning, I have not excluded those who are less well-funded from participating in classes at AYRF. If you are in a difficult financial situation, you can come up to me and make an individual contribution with me.

“Everybody can do yoga, except lazy people” (K. Pattabhi Jois)

…. and so this should also be taken literally and implemented. If you want, you can support the AYRF principle of solidarity with a voluntary obolus.

7. ASHTANGA Yoga works in daily practice.

The actual work is the (daily) devoted practice of the eight paths: Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi. No more, but no less. Here you can see your up&downs, the depth of your self, the depth of Ashtanga Yoga. Here you go your way, the end of which can be the knowledge of becoming like with your true self.

8. ASHTANGA Yoga does not force or overwhelm you.

You don’t have to practice six times a week, lead a certain lifestyle, give up your lover and include the unloved in your routine: when it’s going to happen, you’ll want it. Aṣṭāṅga Yoga is what you make out of it.