Ashtanga Yoga is a practice that develops one's psychological and spiritual health. It has been kept alive for thousands of years from one generation to the next by being passed on from teacher to student in an unbroken tradition and has been spread worldwide by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, affectionately named by his students Guruji.
This unique method of yoga involves synchronizing a specific breath with a specific movement through a precise set sequence of postures. The focus devoted to correct breathing helps the practitioner to create internal heat, which, over time, purifies the blood and results in a body that is light and strong, and a mind that is focused and calm.
With correct use of Ujjayi breathing, drishti (gazing points) and bandhas (energy locks) one can develop a sense of awareness in both the body and the mind.
Led Class and Mysore style
Led Class is when the teacher leads the whole class through the sequence together, calling the Sanskrit name of each pose and mentioning the correct Vinyasa count. The teacher establishes an even pace that the students will follow together and the class will move and breathe as ONE.
Mysore Style is the traditional way that students are taught the Ashtanga sequence. Students move through the series independently, following the correct sequence, at their own rhythm and breath pace. The teacher gives mostly hands-on adjustments and determines when a student is ready to move forward through the series. The energy in a Mysore style room is completely different: it s very quiet and the absence of verbal instructions leads the practitioner toward a more individual experience of the practice. The teacher comes to know each student's process and can observe his or her individual development. The sound of the breath in the room carries the energy of each student throughout the whole practice.