Aṣṭāṅga Yoga classes / What is Aṣṭāṅga Yoga? / What is Yoga? / My teachers
Aṣṭāṅga Yoga classes
My lead classes are suitable for beginners and intermediate practitioners, who want to experience a dynamic and challenging physical practice, while also focusing on the higher purpose of yoga: Becoming one with all that is.
We always practice traditional Sanskrit chanting and guided meditation or relaxation.
We will go through primary series with focus on alignment, as taught by Patthabi Jois and I will adjust you individually. The power of presence and one-pointedness will guide us back to the present moment. Be aware with your breath, respect your body and use this beautiful temple of yours as a tool to connect to the divine. It is time to come home!
Cheatsheets to print out and bring to class: https://de.ashtangayoga.info/ashtanga-yoga/download/cheat-sheets-pdf/
Take a look at this artistic video of Primary Series, practiced by some of Patthabi Jois´most advanced students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUgtMaAZzW0
What is Aṣṭāṅga Yoga exactly?
Aṣṭāṅga Yoga can designate two different things and my teaching unites both of them.
First, a system of Vinyāsa yoga, put together by Patthabi Jois, who traces it back to a scripture of his teacher T. Krishnamarcharya. This fixed system of powerful postures is very challenging and sweaty, but also rewarding and energizing.
Second, the 8 limbs as Patañjali describes them in his beautiful Yoga Sūtras. Practiced simultaneously, these yogic disciplines lead to liberation:
1. Yamas (Moral Disciplines): Non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy or „right use of energy“ and non-greedyness
2. Niyamas (Observances): Cleanliness, contentment, discipline, study of the self and sacred texts, surrender to a higher consciousness
3. Āsana: Posture, which means physical practice
4. Prāṇāyama: Control of the physical breath and the subtle life energy
5. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses (bringing the senses inwards, like the turtle pulls in its limbs)
6. Dhāraṇa: One-pointed Focus
7. Dhyāna: Meditation, meaning continued absorption without thoughts
8. Samādhi: Enlightenment
What is Yoga?
Yoga is said to be Oneness (of one entity with another)Mālinīvijayottaratantra of Abhinavagupta 4.4
Yoga in Sanskrit signifies union. Yoga joins your individual consciousness with the all-pervading universal consciousness. The term yoga can designate different schools, philosophies and paths, whose ultimate goal is liberation or enlightenment. Aṣṭāṅga Yoga, which I mainly teach, is a specific style, which belongs to the well-known category of „Hatha“ or „Vinyāsa“. It is good to keep in mind, that yoga in itself encompasses a much broader field than the westernized, physical yoga styles we often encounter:
Bhakti Yoga: the yoga of love and devotion towards the divine
Karma Yoga: the yoga of selfless service
Jñāna Yoga: the yoga of knowledge, sacred scriptures and self-understanding (Who am I?)
Rāja Yoga: the yoga of self-control
Mantra Yoga and Nāda Yoga: the yoga of sacred sound
Kuṇdālinī Yoga (the yoga of energy)
To the gurus who reside in my heart!
From left to right: Ram Vakkalanka, myself, Fredric Bender, André Riehl and Denise Pesch (picture taken at Yoga La Source 300 hour Teacher Training)
Lino Miele (middle) in Kovalam, India
John Scott (third from left) in Goa, India
And many other wonderful yoga teachers such as Manju Jois, Matthew Sweeney, Andrew Eppler, Kathy Cooper and Andrea Lutz. I bow to you!
लोका समस्ता सुखिनो भवन्तु |
May all beings, in all worlds, be happy and free!