Class Descriptions

PRIMARY SERIES

Primary series is the foundational practice of Ashtanga Yoga. It has 48 poses, with a very wide range of movements. The postures range from basic to challenging, and you are not expected to do be able to do them all on the first time you try it out. In fact, this particular approach to Yoga follows a philosophy of learning that says it’s good to learn things slowly, a little at a time. So, if you are new to this class, please remember— you don’t have to do everything, but you can try as much as you like. If you have some Yoga experience and want to check it out, you can try as much is as comfortable for you and stop at any time in the series (or just hang out and watch to see what the poses look like) and keep coming back to learn new poses at your own pace. 

Ashtanga Yoga follows a technique called vinyasa, which means the linking of breath and movement together. It is a structured and dynamic form of practicing yoga postures, and can have wonderful effects on the body, mind, and spirit. Enthusiasm and effort are encouraged for all spiritual endeavors, and Yoga considers that challenging ourselves is a good thing, we just have to be careful to monitor our levels of energy and awareness and remember that becoming a more conscious person is largely the objective of Yoga.

This class is somewhere between 80-90 minutes long. 

 

PRIMARY & INTERMEDIATE POSTURES

This class is the full Primary Series as described here, and on Mondays and Fridays, we add in a couple of Intermediate postures to introduce you to poses from the sequence that follows Primary.

This class is about 90 minutes long.

PRIMARY & 1/2 INTERMEDIATE

This class is for if you have been doing the Primary Series for a while and are looking to explore the first half of the Intermediate series up until Kapotasana. You can also come to this class if you just want to do Primary, and then stop out when you are finished, or before Intermediate starts.

This class is about 90 minutes long and a good place to learn the beginnings of the intermediate asanas, which focus largely on backhanding postures for the first half of the sequence.

 

INTERMEDIATE

In order to take this class, you should be very comfortable doing all poses in the Primary Series. We only mention this because these poses will not be beneficial if you haven’t gotten comfortable with the Primary Series first. If you are interested in learning the Intermediate poses, but might not be ready for this class, come learn a few of the poses each week when we do a few Intermediate poses after the Primary Series or the Primary and ½ Intermediate.

This is 90 minutes long.

BEGINNER’S YOGA

This Beginner’s Yoga class includes about 30 minutes of yoga postures, ten minutes of breathing practices, and five minutes of relaxation. If you or someone you know has no experience doing Yoga at all, and may not even be physically active, this class has some great postures, some nice stretching, and all the internal focusing that makes for a balanced and gentle Yoga class.

This class is about 50 to 60 minutes long. It’s for everyone, and you should feel pretty good when you’re finished!

ONE HOUR ASHTANGA

For those who prefer a shorter practice, or do not have time for the longer full primary, this class is a great option. In this class we do sun salutations, standing poses, and then group the asanas of primary series together without as many jump backs. Options are given for challenging asanas, and there are several asanas that are done in full primary that we do not do in this class, making it a slightly less complicated approach to the primary asanas.

ONE HOUR ASANA CLASS

In this class, we do an hour of poses that are largely from the various Hatha Yoga traditions. These are postures I do in my own practice, many that we do not find in Ashtanga Yoga. It’s basically an all-level class. Some Ashtanga Yoga folks find it too easy, but for me, it works pretty well, and you get to move your body in ways that you don’t in an Ashtanga Yoga class. This is a great class to try if you want to do some traditional Yoga practices or want a mid-week break from Ashtanga Yoga!

PRANAYAMA

Pranayama is the science of quieting the mind and nervous system through various breathing practices. Respiration is an automatic function of the body, occurring  approximately 21,600 times per day, 15-18 breaths per minute. Our breath is a wonderful indicator of our mental and emotional state, and our energy level, yet rarely do we pay attention to it. When we spend a few minutes each day paying attention to our breath we can shift our perception inwards and begin to build internal energy and calm. Pranayama is a practice for creating inner awareness and preparing for meditation. The yogic texts say that stress and all the associated problems with stress are basically from the speed of the mind. When the mind is speeding along, stress accumulates, and our breathing gets faster as well. By slowing the breath, we slow the speed of the mind. With a calm mind, our yoga becomes more refined, and our minds become clear, organized, energized, and focused.

This is a 30-minute class. All levels are welcome. Every 3-4 months we also have a week-long pranayama intensive. The next one will be in February.

KRIYAS, BANDHAS, AND MUDRAS

The practices of kriyas, bandhas, and mudras are elucidated in the Hatha Yoga texts for strengthening and purifying the nervous system. In a typical class, you will learn different types of abdominal contractions, energizing breath patterns, and purificatory practices. They are an essential foundation for deeper Yoga practices. As well, they can be strengthening for the digestive and elimination systems.

This class is 30 minutes long.

SELF-PACED PRACTICE

The self-paced practice class is what I will be teaching at the Broome Street Temple instead of the Mysore-style class. You are of course welcome to come to this class and do an Ashtanga Yoga practice and receive help in your practice, however it will not be the only format of yoga that will be taught or practiced in this class. For brand new students, you can come and learn individualized practices depending on your needs. If you are new and wish to learn Ashtanga Yoga, then you can most certainly learn that, but if you wish to learn sequences for back pain or stress, then in this class you can learn those as well. 
 
For Ashtanga Yoga practitioners, both because of covid regulations and because of how I am teaching yoga now, there will be very limited physical assistance given in the asanas. Most of the help will be verbal or by demonstration. It is a well understood phenomena in physical exercise sciences that our neuromuscular pathways open only when we apply effort to make those connections. So while physical help can indeed be beneficial, repeated assists in the same postures year after year does not help someone learn how to have independence in their practice, and to experience and discover what mastery feels like in your own body. 
 
This class will take place in a friendly and welcoming environment regardless of what yoga you are practicing. Our philosophical viewpoint follows the Hindu teachings on Yoga that say that Yoga is a practice of attaining higher states of consciousness: to be more aware, kinder, thoughtful, energized, enthusiastic, non-judgmental, and accepting. We hope to actualize these qualities of being through the use of asanas, pranayama, meditation, and chanting. We welcome you to join us. 
 
Because of the individualized nature of this particular class, it is only available as a monthly subscription. If you are visiting from out of town, please contact us through this form, and if we have room, you are welcome to join.