Ashtanga Yoga in Portland, ME and Boston
Kate and Rich teach two traditional morning Ashtanga Yoga programs. Ashtanga Portland meets on Saturdays 8-10, and Monday/Thursdays 7-9 at Bright Star Dance Studio downtown. Expect this schedule to expand in 2019, experienced students are welcome to drop in ($18). In Boston, find us near Fenway Park, at Down Under Yoga Brookline. These classes are open to all who are able to commit to a practice 4-6 days/week. Room is open M-F 5:30-9:00 for experienced students (backbending completed by 8:45), new students please email us to set up a day to begin. Out of town practitioners are welcome to drop in and can bring $20 directly to the teacher, or pay on-line prior. Find up to date class schedule, and directions to our shala at 1052 Beacon St here.
WHAT IS Ashtanga?
Ashtanga is translated as “eight-limbs”. The classical yoga as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras includes the following eight limbs. The path of yoga is most effectively practiced in this order.
1. yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
2. niyama (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
3. asana (posture)
4. pranayama (moderation of the movements of prana)
5. pratyahara (moderation of the sense organs)
6. dharana (concentration)
7. dhyana (meditation)
8. samadhi (meditative absorption)
In the system of yoga taught to Pattabhi Jois by his teacher Krishnamacharya, the focus is very much on the third limb, asana. Ashtanga is considered the mother of all vinyasa styles of yoga. It is the practice of postures on the mat, and the Yamas and Niyamas off the mat, that will lead practitioners along the path carefully described by Patanjali. Guruji was fond of saying “practice, and all is coming.” The vinyasa system of Ashtanga (coordinated breath and movement) has a unique effect of focusing the mind. The consistency of daily practice, with careful moderation from a teacher, makes the impossible possible and students find themselves growing in the asana, and in life, in surprising ways.
The basis of the practice is the breath/movement technique of vinyasa, posture, and drishti (gazing points). These three practices build focus, strength, and purification of the body, mind, and senses.
Traditionally, the practice is learned from one teacher, in increments, over the course of time. As one posture is mastered, the next is offered. “Mysore style” refers to the way the practice was taught in the city of its origins, Mysore. In this style, students move at their own pace, and the teacher has the ability to observe and adjust students individually.
Class is appropriate for absolute beginners, as well as advanced students. All are welcome.
Practice at home with Kate!
Kate and Rich have produced a series of videos for those who do not have a teacher nearby to begin learning the practice from the sun salutations all the way to an Intermediate series taster. Subscribe with my friends YogaU Online to begin the practice, and come visit our yoga room in Boston sometime.