Ashtanga Vinyāsa Yoga is a traditional method of yoga in which students practice at their individual pace while being supervised and adjusted by the teacher. This ancient system was taught by the ancient Sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta and was passed down to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois during his studies with the yogi and Sanskrit Scholar, T Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.
In the practice of Ashtanga Vinyāsa Yoga, breath is aligned with movement (vinyāsa) and attention to create a meditative and purifying style of yoga. Vinyāsa is all about continuous movement and breath (for cleansing and purifying). The breathing technique performed with vinyāsa is called ujjayi.
It is the length of the breath, either an inhale or exhale, that determines the length of time transitioning between asanas. The breath and the journey between asanas becomes the primary focus rather than perfecting body alignment.
Asanas (postures) are learnt in a sequence starting with the Primary Series and new postures are given when the student is ready to move on. The whole experience of learning is very unique to assessing the needs of the individual student. Through a regular self-practice the sequence of postures taught by the teacher will be memorised, allowing more of an internal focus and deeper into the subconscious mind. Remember though that not every practice will be the same, some days the practice may go deep and others a more gentle practice is all that is needed. This variation will help you to listen to the body and by increasing internal awareness help to prevent injuries.
Other terms that you may hear from the teacher while learning:
Looking place or Drishti is the gazing point to focus on while transitioning through a posture. There are nine drishtis; nose, navel, thumb, hands, feet, left side, right side, third eye and upwards.
Bandhas meaning "lock" or "seal". It's purpose being to unlock pranic energy and to direct it to the nadi or energy channels. Bandhas give the feeling of being light in the body as well as being strong.
Traditionally, Ashtanga Yoga is practiced six days a week. As a complete beginner this may start as 2-3 days a week with a 30 minute practice each day.
The Primary Series builds up sequentially starting with sun salutations (Surya Namaskar A and Surya Namaskar B), five rounds of each. There are nine transitions or vinyasa in Surya Namaskar A and seventeen transitions or vinyasa in B. These help to warm up the inner fire, calm the mind, release the hamstrings and stretch/strengthen the back in preparation for the six standing postures and through to the primary series.
After the sun salutations there are six standing postures followed by 41 postures forming the primary series. The primary series ends with a further 16 postures forming the finishing sequence for a cooling, restorative end to the practice.
Once the sun salutations and standing postures have been learnt postures from the primary series will be given one at a time and in sequence. Each new posture is taught by the teacher with lots of instruction. It is very important to focus on the posture and be present and mindful to how your body reacts. If necessary modifications are shown to help prepare, build strength and flexibility until the posture is mastered.
When you get to the end of the primary series and if the ability, strength and flexibility is there, intermediate series postures will be given. This doesn't necessarily mean your practice becomes longer, just that the previous postures become smoother and transitions between become shorter.
Hands-on adjustments are integral to an Ashtanga yoga practice. The teachers here at Ashtanga Yoga Bromley are very experienced at adjusting and have learnt to adjust intuitively from understanding the body from their very own Ashtanga yoga practice. Over time the teacher will observe the body type of the student and adjust according to the needs of the student. Adjustments can often transform a yoga student, offering insight and deepening which can be satisfying and exhilarating. Remember, You know your body and if the adjustment doesn't feel right let the teacher know.
Lee has been teaching yoga for quite a few years now RYT500 and BWYQ L4 500hr teachers who have all completed Teacher Training with world-renowned teachers John Scott and Lucy Crawford. They teach using experience and compassion from their own personal practice to nurture, develop and support your own practice.
yoga is not about self improvement, it's about self acceptance..
Practicing since 2009
Teaching since 2012
It was in 2009 Lee started Ashtanga yoga, just one evening a week under the guidance of an inspirational Ashtanga yoga teacher. At that time balancing the demands of a family and the stress of a career he soon discovered that the practice was the key to reducing stress and achieved a much needed personal balance. One evening a week soon became a six day practice, a very personal practice that helped him discover his own relationship between the mind and the body.
Lee has been extremely fortunate in learning Ashtanga yoga from dedicated and inspirational teachers, Deena Davis, Scott Johnson and the late Ozge Karabiyik. Through their combined, deeply nurturing, non-judgemental teaching styles they encouraged him to deepen his knowledge and understanding of a truly authentic, traditional style of Ashtanga Yoga. Lee started yoga teacher training in 2011 with John Scott and Lucy Crawford and is one of the few teachers to study with John Scott to achieve 500 hour certification in 2018.
Lee teaches as he practices, with compassion, patience, encouragement, authenticity and in a non-judgemental way. He has embraced the fact that we are all individuals with our own physical limitations, fear, self-doubt and will guide students gently through the Ashtanga yoga path to empower them to discover their own journey and to nourish, strengthen and balance mind and body.
At AYB we welcome students who are complete beginners to yoga through to the more experienced Ashtanga practitioner, or if you are transitioning from a led class to discover your own potential and learn a sustainable, exhilarating yoga practice.
To all new students please email us first using the contact form below
AYB teachers would like to know about your general health, medical conditions or sensitivities. All information is treated in STRICTEST CONFIDENCE. Download the form, print and complete before coming to your first class. We do have paper copies in case you are unable to print one.
If you are new to yoga or new to Ashtanga Yoga and want to find out more about how self-practice classes work drop me a message using the contact form below and I'll be happy to talk to you about how to get started in Ashtanga Yoga. All classes are suitable for complete beginners to more advanced practitioners.
The teachers at AYB are passionate about teaching the traditional method that has been passed down through to our teachers, John Scott and Lucy Crawford. If you would like to attend a workshop in a smaller group setting with other beginners then use the form below to enquire when the next one is running.
Our workshops have been designed to teach from the foundations upward to build a safe, sustainable life-changing self-practice. The workshop runs over four consecutive Sunday mornings at the Chantry Studios and it is recommended you attend all four.
The workshop fee is £55 for four Sunday mornings (09:00 to 10:30) and must be paid in advance to secure a place.
Places are limited to 6 students.
For next course dates please enquire via the contact form.
The following will be explored throughout four 90 minute sessions:
As you become more familiar with the sequence postures are added and as the journey continues, the mind releases. Attending a beginner's workshop will help you approach new postures with foundation, grounding and strength. The progression is gentle and often you will meet imbalances in your body. The practice will awaken deep sensations within the body.
Chantry Studios, 20 Chantry Lane, Bromley BR2 9QL
use the contact form below