Ashtanga


Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, as by taught Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, is a branch of Hatha yoga and is a sequential system of postures linked together by breath and movement.  This is an ancient and powerful discipline for cultivating physical, mental and spiritual health. Progressive techniques of breath, posture (asana), gaze (drishti) and movement, cleanse, stretch and strengthen the body as well as focus and calm the mind.  The breath is the heart of this discipline, and links asana to asana in a precise order. By synchronizing movement with breathing and practising Mula and Uddiyana Bandhas (locks), an intense internal heat is produced. This heat purifies muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones.  The breath regulates the vinyasa and ensures efficient circulation of blood. The result is a light strong body.  Awareness is essential to asana practice, which aims to influence, integrate and harmonise all levels of being: physical, energy, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual.  Awareness in this context is noting sensations in the body, the physical movement, the posture, the breath, synchronisation of movement, concentrating on a particular area of the body and witnessing and accepting any thoughts or feelings that may arise during the practice.  A deeper experience of the self becomes possible through consistent practise as we gain control of the senses and acquire steadiness of body and mind.

View the full, traditional, counted primary series with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois here.

Beginners

Find the start date of the next course on the courses page.  Our 6-week beginners course will offer an introduction to yoga and lay the foundations for your yoga practice.

  • Increase your strength & flexibility
  • Develop your balance & posture
  • Promote better sleep and improve mental focus
  • Reduce stress & anxiety
  • Promote weight loss
  • Feel energised
  • Improve physical and mental well-being

In a relaxed and friendly group setting, learn the fundamentals of an Ashtanga yoga practice:

Week 1: Intro to yoga philosophy, meditation, sun salutations & standing postures

Week 2: Forward bending and seated postures

Week 3: Twisting and balancing

Week 4: Heart-openers and back bending

Week 5: Introduction to inversions

Week 6: A typical class with pranayama (breathing) and meditation techniques

Upon completion of the course you will have the experience, confidence and knowledge to attend the open level yoga class and start to build a regular yoga practice.

What to expect in each class:

  • We will start each class with a short mindfulness meditation to connect with our breath and allow the mind to settle.
  • During the class we will practise some physical postures (asanas) to build strength and develop flexibility, focussing on the breath
  • Finally we will rest to calm and relax the mind & body, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Ashtanga Improvers:

Improve and advance your Ashtanga practice with focus on:

  • Breath and Movement Synchronicity
  • Drishti
  • Core Strength
  • Alignment in postures
  • Strength, stamina and flexibility
  • Meditation and relaxation

There are 2 Ashtanga Improvers classes – View our Timetable for class times.

Level 1/2

This class will build on the foundations laid in the beginners course and will work through a modified Primary Series focussing on technique and alignment and developing synchronicity of breath and movement.

It is recommended that you have some yoga experience or have completed the beginners yoga course.

Level 2/3

A challenging class for more experienced practitioners that assumes a good grounding in the principles of asana and breathing.  This class will look more in depth at the Primary Series including more advanced asanas, back-bending, inversions and finishing sequence. Great for building stamina and strength with specific techniques for accessing trickier postures.  The class will include regular led full primary-series and occasional Mysore-style self practice (see below).

It is recommended that you have been practicing for at least 12 months and have familiarity with the Ashtanga primary series by completing the beginners course and attending the level 1-2 classes, or have previous experience.

Mysore

Mysore asana practice is part of the Ashtanga yoga tradition; this class is not led by the teacher, students will self-practice at their own pace, in a class setting.  This approach therefore provides the opportunity for 1:1 physical and verbal adjustment from the teacher, tailored to the student’s needs and experience.