What is ashtanga yoga?
I first heard about Iyengar Yoga from my teacher, Bindu who taught it during her visits to San Francisco. After hearing about it for some time, last year I had the opportunity to visit the Los Angeles studio of Iyengar Teacher Elan Friedberger. The studio was founded by his mentor, Mr. Iyengar himself.
During this experience, I learned that practicing Iyengar Yoga means learning a series of poses or moves designed to strengthen your legs, back, and arms. Since many people are concerned about their overall health and wellness these days, but don’t want to invest too much money in classes, this form of exercise is becoming more popular.
You can practice Iyengar Yoga at home, at the gym, or at any other class you might attend. It’s a great way to improve your flexibility without spending extra money each week on a membership.
The beauty of this style of yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere — there is no requirement for a steady stream of students, a lot of scenery, or even really good posture. All you need is a well-fitting pair of shoes and/or yoga pants.
As long as you have them, anything will work. A backpack may help out a little bit more than flat sandals, but both should allow you to feel comfortable and focused while doing the exercises.
How to practice ashtanga yoga
The purpose of this article is to guide you through each stage of your asana practice with detailed instructions and video demonstrations.
There are eight stages in total, but don’t worry about going too hard or pushing yourself too far.
Ashtiniyam means ‘eight forms’, and includes four chapters (asanas) of basic yoga poses plus the next chapter which is prayer.
All five chapters (poses) are described in more detail here.
You can read more about the history of each chapter here.
Each will be practiced inside the temple over the course of two weeks, so set aside enough time for one chapter at least.
Read More: Discover the Advantages of Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India
That should be plenty of time to learn the movements and get comfortable. Each pose requires patience and repetition to really master it.
Some people take longer to learn a new posture than others, but that is mostly due to not knowing the proper alignment.
About half of the humans feel happy with just one try-through meditation. However, after practicing for several years, many individuals find their bodies automatically getting into the correct position.
This is called subconscious integration and helps us release any negative thoughts and distractions from daily life.
Getting back in shape isn’t always easy and takes work! But I guarantee you’ll enjoy these practices over the course of six months.
When to start ashtanga yoga
The starting time of the series is early morning so that most people can begin their day with some peaceful time. Also, since you will be walking around a lot, make sure your feet are ready to go before heading out for the day.
The first thing you need to do is wake up early in the morning. In order to get more done during this busy period, we also recommend that you spend one hour writing down things you want to do or places you want to visit between now and weekend.
It’s important to set a regular routine going when you first wake up which will help fix your body in a steady state of sleep deficit-mode. How much sleep you should actually require depends how long you have been awake and how hard you have been working prior to waking.
Usually it’s a good idea to aim for eight hours worth of sleep per night, but if you find yourself suffering in school because of lack of sleep, you may want to cut back to six hours.
Also, try to establish a consistent sleeping schedule by keeping your clock close by (if possible) and making sure you don’t use any light sources near your room.
Finally, remember to take breaks every two hours while doing anything requiring movement; this prevents you from getting too tired more quickly. The best way to achieve this is by standing up and moving about for several minutes at once.
What is Rishikesh?
Rishikesh is located in the north-east part of India, between Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. It is a popular tourist destination now due to its many yoga programs.
However, there are few important points that you should know about Rishikesh before you start preparing for your trip. First of all, it’s only called ‘ryshikk’ (pronounced as ‘rishikesh’) by locals. Secondly, it’s widely known among foreigners that English gets very messy when people from British try to learn Indian languages. There are lots of phrases that will either never be understood or just may end up being misunderstood.
A common misunderstanding among foreign students is that “Rishikesh means mountains. Thus, everyone here talks like Rajin Shahumon but can’t understand each other….” Well, I’m sorry to say this but this is one of the most ignorant things i’ve ever heard.
For starters, the language spoken here is not Hindi nor any other language that we might be familiar with. The language that is used here is an ancient Sanskrit dialect called HINDI! So if you don’t speak HINDI then you really have no business being here.
Furthermore, although the locals here do talk fast, what they’re saying is usually quite simple. It sounds weird at first, but after you learn some basic rules.
What is the sequence of ashtanga yoga?
The six steps of ashtanga yoga are shoulder stand, legs up the wall, cat cow, bow forward, child’s pose and twist.
Shoulders stand is done first to restore full spinal health. When your spine is healthy, it does not curve like a rod.
By having shoulders stand, you will also feel more stable and comfortable in all your poses. After that, you can do walking backbends, which is a whole series of backbends.
A backbend is when you come down onto one knee and then onto the other. You will be bending your knees almost completely 90 degrees; this is called shinsuka deba position.
When you are ready for full front kicks, start with 30 seconds on each side, then build up from there. Most yogis sync their kicking times since they are both runners.
What is the six-week course?
The asana practice for this class has been created by Lotte Myrtvedt, author of several books on yoga and fitness. You will learn about different styles of poses, but you will also be given guidance on how to modify the poses if you are not comfortable with them. This class is helpful for beginners as it helps you integrate proper form into your practice.
Weekly talks will be held every Friday evening (Indian time). Questions or comments during the lectures can be sent through the Facebook group page.
What is the advanced class?
This level is for those who want to add some variation to their asanas (poses). We will focus on vinyasas (a sequence of poses) that promote complete breathing cycles, so everyone can do them comfortably.
These pose sequences are called ‘vinyas’ and they help balance your body’s need for mobility and stability.
Stability here refers to how well you control your movements; flexibility refers to how freely you move. When your ratio of stable moves to flexible moves is balanced, it helps you maintain physical fitness and health.
A regular yoga practice is known to be helpful for weight loss, improved mood, better sleep, and increased confidence. You also must work out regularly to see results.
That being said, working up a sweat every day is a huge benefit of this exercise, so bring your swim suit or towel to try the class. One of our teachers will let you know if there is a complementary swimming lesson coming up at the studio.
We also have lots of free outdoor classes around San Francisco next month! Check out the schedule page for dates and locations.
Read More: Yoga Teacher Training In Rishikesh
How much does it cost?
A typical residential course (8 weeks) is available at Rs 15,000 for those above 14 years of age. This includes all expenses including food, accommodation, instructors, reading material etc.
No previous yoga experience is required. All students are introduced to basic yogic principles and practices such as salutations, neck stretches, breathing exercises and body poses.
Each student is provided with a personal trainer who helps them build a strong practice using simple vinyyasic moves.
Students are also encouraged to participate in social activities where they can network and make friends with other people living in the community.
What’s not included?
There is no charge for taking this class if you are under the age of 18.
What is the schedule?
The course begins with simple asanas (poses) to build flexibility, strength, and stamina. Over the next four weeks we will develop your yoga skills through eight lessons, five practice sessions per week.
Each lesson features a variety of poses designed to improve balance, strength, and coordination. Poses are also organized into levels of difficulty so that anyone can master them after some practice.
You will leave this program feeling more balanced and confident in your body’s ability to perform exercises. Plus you will have fun along the way!
Practice Days 1-5
Lesson 1: Introduction
Practices 6-10: Breathing
Breathing is one of the most important parts of your workout. If you can breathe properly, you will be able to feel more relaxed and comfortable during your session.
Proper breathing helps lengthen muscles, protect organs, and increase energy level. In these days of exercising under stress, it is easy to get distracted or nervous. But good breath control can help bring peace of mind.
Day 11: Legs Up the Wall
This pose should not cause pain. You will need a towel for this exercise.
Your knees should be together while sitting against a wall. Your feet should be flat on the floor, but don’t hold onto the carpet or the wallpaper.