Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a moving meditation resulting in calmness and clarity. It maximizes body tone, detoxifies and increases all-round health, flexibility, strength and balance. The term 'ashtanga' translates as eight limbs, 'vinyasa' means breath movement synchronization and 'yoga chikitsa' means yoga therapy. The four elements of yoga are:

* Asana - posture
* Pranayama - breath
* Bandha - internal core support
* Dristi - directed focus

what it is

The series comprises of about 60 postures, which begin with sun salutations, then continues through standing postures, sitting postures and then a closing sequence (followed in this order). The practitioner experiences asanas in a dynamic flowing sequence. Vinyasas thread all the asanas together, which gives the whole practise its flow, grace and momentum. By moving through the vinyasas the body is realigned in preparation for the next posture and the body's heat is increased.

origins

The ashtanga vinyasa yoga system was discovered and systemised by Sri Krishnamacharya and his student Sri Pattabhi Jois in the early 1930s. Sri Pattabhi Jois later became the principal proponent and master of the system. The practice may be as old as 5000 years, but it must be looked on as a growing, living knowledge and art.

 what are the benefits?

The system is designed to therapeutically realign and detoxify the body. Inner body heat is produced during the practice through special breathing (ujjayi). This, combined with two important internal body locks (bandhas), induces sweating. Toxins are eliminated and the nervous system is purified. Heat and energy is also maintained in the body throughout the practise. A deep focus (dristi) is maintained which directs the concentration and brings about a meditative state while you flow through the asanas. There is a dramatic increase of energy and sense of well-being and calm.

Time: Wednesdays 6:00pm - 7.15pm Beginners' Led Foundation Ashtanga Yoga.

Cost: £40 for 6 week course, £10/£8 concs for drop-in. New students only - £25 for 5 classes special offer.

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I had tried a couple of different yoga classes in the past but found they didn’t suit me. I decided to try the Ashtanga style of yoga and attended Cathy’s ‘Introduction to Ashtanga’ workshop and I’m glad I did. I feel safe in Cathy’s classes and leave feeling calmer and more energised. I look forward to each class and have been inspired to combine her led beginners classes with home practice and investigating Ashtanga philosophy further.

Giga Gray,

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