The Practice

Ashtanga Yoga is a tradition that’s essence is embodied learning. It is personalized, and is transmitted directly from teacher to student. The practice is a means to come to know your true self, while creating a cleansed, strong physical body and a calm, steady mind.

Through the coordination of breath and asana (postures) and dristhi (gazing points), we gain awareness of ourselves through repetition and time. Free breathing with sound is the foundation of Ashtanga practice. Every movement is an inhale or exhale, a concept known as vinyasa, that creates a meditation in motion with movement following the breath. As we focus on our breath, it brings us to the present moment in a tangible way, where our minds can move out of the way and we can experience more clarity. In learning to control our breath, we can learn to control our mind.

CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Mysore- Mixed Levels

Ashtanga Yoga is traditionally taught in what is known as “Mysore” practice, named affectionately after the city in India from where it originates, and it is how the practice is taught and learned there.

Mysore can be described as an independent practice where the asanas are taught, one at a time, in a set sequence so that the student can build their practice slowly and commit the sequence to memory. Students advance at their own rate, irregardless of the other students in the room. Although it is self practice, the teacher is there to give support and guidance as needed.

Traditional practice is 6 days per week, with days of new and full moon as rest days. At least 3 days per week is strongly recommended to feel the benefits of practice.

New students are also welcome to come directly into the Mysore practice room with a monthly commitment. Attendance at least 3 times per week is required to start as a beginner in the Mysore room. Initially, please allow 40 minutes for practice as a beginner. Your practice will become longer as you learn the series

Intro to Ashtanga- Level 1
Foundations of Yoga philosophy, breathing, and basic postures

Intro to Primary Series- Level 2
Exploration of all standing postures and various seated postures of the Primary Series

Led Half Primary Series- Level 2/3
Primary Series to Navasana

Led Primary Series- Level 3
Entire Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga

Intro to Intermediate Series- Level 4
Exploration of first half of Intermediate Series

Led Intermediate Series- Level 5
Entire Intermediate Series

Guidelines

Be prepared to sweat. Please bring a Mysore rug or micro-fibre towel, and hand towel. Manduka Mats, Mysore rugs and towels are also available for purchase at the Shala

Please wear clean comfortable clothing and arrive clean to practice.

Please do not wear scented products to class

Practice on an empty stomach. Please allow several hours after eating before practicing.

Drink plenty of water after practice, but not during. Through the breath and movement system, our aim is to generate an internal heat and a detoxifying sweat. Water interferes with this process and is saved for after the practice.

The Mysore practice room is a mostly quiet, breath-filled, self-reflective space, and as such, is a cellphone free zone. No apple watches or cellphones are permitted. Please refrain from talking in the Mysore room, and please enter and leave quietly. Please ensure that when electronics are left in change rooms, that they are switched off.

If you happen to arrive during the opening chant, please wait until it is finished to enter the room.

In Led Primary series class we learn the correct vinyasa count in sanskrit. Please stop where you usually stop in Mysore practice.

SHALA

My aim in opening the AYSJ Shala is to build a community for personal transformation, and as such, is a supportive space for the physical body and the meditating mind. I am dedicated to passing on, with integrity, The Ashtanga method that has been taught to me by my teacher, R. Sharath Jois of Mysore, India.
Shala photos by Anja Sajovic

Moon Days

2020


January
Friday, January 10th – full
Friday, January 24th – new

February
Sunday, February 9th – full
Sunday, February 23rd – new

March
Monday, March 9th – full
Tuesday, March 24th – new

April
Tuesday, April 7th – full
Wednesday, April 22nd

May
Thursday, May 7th – full
Friday, May 22nd – new

June
Friday, June 5th – full
Sunday, June 21st – new

July
Sunday, July 5th – full
Monday, July 20th – new

August
Monday, August 3rd – full
Tuesday, August 18th – new

September
Wednesday, September 2nd – full
Thursday, September 17th – new

October
Thursday, October 1st – full
Friday, October 16th – new

November
Sunday, November 1st – full
Sunday, November 15th – new
Monday, November 30th – full

December
Monday, December 14th – new
Tuesday, December 29th – full

Both full and new moon days are observed as yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. What is the reasoning behind this?

Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong.

The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.

The Farmers Almanac recommends planting seeds at the new moon when the rooting force is strongest and transplanting at the full moon when the flowering force is strongest. Practicing Ashtanga Yoga over time makes us more attuned to natural cycles. Observing moon days is one way to recognize and honor the rhythms of nature so we can live in greater harmony with it.

Info provide by: ashtangayogacenter.com

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