This approach differs tremendously from how yoga is taught today. From experience, I can say that when taught in this format, this practice is very transformative.
I started yoga in 1988 and began ashtanga in 1996. Since finding this practice or, perhaps since it found me, I’ve never looked back. What is sure is the ‘right practice’ entered my life, facilitating so many changes mind and body, all impacting my life and work in an amazing way.
Now you might be thinking, will going to my mat really do all of that for me?
The answer is yes, but it requires dedicated work and, it doesn’t happen overnight.
In traditional ashtanga, we use a physical practice facilitated by breath to manifest the affects of yoga. We develop our asana practice over time allowing the body to open gradually and, the energizing affects of the breath to take hold. Breathing is the hallmark of this practice and what creates the true healing affects on the body. It is the emphasis on the internal aspects - breath and bandhas that differentiates ashtanga from other formats. Later, other yoga techniques such as pranayama (breathing exercises) and mantra meditation are added to maximize the healing impacts. When taught in this manner, this practice offers an integrated approach that is tremendously effective.
I have been fortunate to have many amazing teachers and mentors and, I am excited to share this experience with you.
I’ve had the opportunity to travel to India on several occasions, to visit Mysore (the birthplace of ashtanga yoga) and practice with Pattabhi Jois, Looking back, these early trips set a nice tone to what would follow in my yoga journey.
More than a decade ago, I met Manju P. Jois, the eldest son of KPJ. Manju’s teaching is very authentic and resembles his father’s early approach. Since this meeting, he has had a transformative influence on my teaching and practice. I travel regularly to participate in his European workshops and teacher trainings while hosting and assisting him in his Canadian training. I am blessed to be authorized by him to teach the ashtanga system (1st &2nd series) including the ancient practices of pranayama and mantra.
Nancy Gilgoff’s House of Yoga &Zen is one of the last bastions of traditional practice. I met Nancy on one of my early trips to India and since have travelled to practice and study with her on Maui - these annual trips have become an important time for me to recharge and reboot my own practice - Nancy continues to be an important mentor on my path of yoga.
It is without a doubt, this powerful combo of practice and continued study that has allowed my teaching and personal practice to evolve and develop. I can help you to bring ‘practice’ into your life and we can witness the transformation together!