A series of precisely sequenced yoga postures [asanas] (to strengthen and purify the body), linked together by a unique kind of breathing [ujjayi] (to increase the ‘internal fire’ and purify the nervous system), assisted by use of core strengthening techniques [bandhas] (to give lightness, strength and health to the body and to cultivate a strong ‘internal fire’), and ‘gazing point’ (drishti) to help focus the mind and promote deep state of concentration. Combination of the above techniques induces meditation-in-motion-like state, promoting mind that is peaceful and clear and body that is strong, healthy and lean.
Popularised by Sri K Pattabhi Jois (1914-2008) of Mysore, India ashtanga yoga has tens of hundreds of dedicated followers all over the world, who help to keep the tradition alive. The principle teachers of ashtanga yoga today are Sharath and Saraswati Rangaswami (Pattabhi Jois’s grandson and daughter respectively). Prepare to sweat and work hard!
A modern style of yoga evolved from ‘The Guru of The Gurus’ – Krishnamacharya’s lineage, beautifully combining the flow of Ashtanga Yoga, the precision of Iyengar Yoga and the individual attention of Vini/Holistic Yoga.
Vinyasa flow is a dynamic, creative style characterised by breath-synchronized movement, use of visualisation, meditation, breath work (pranayama) intention and chanting. Although the sequence varies each time, a usual class consists of series of Sun Salutation variations (to invigorate the body), slower, deeper, longer-held poses that focus on particular areas of concern, and deep relaxation at the end (to restore and rebalance).
Vinyasa yoga session leaves one feeling energized yet peaceful and content. Prepare to work hard!
Highly relaxing and restful practise, especially recommended in times of high emotional and physical demand, when a dynamic yoga practise might not be most beneficial, or simply to complement one’s regular strong (Ashtanga/Vinyasa Flow) practise.
Restorative yoga sessions aim to balance and heal without depleting body and mind’s natural reserves, nourishing the nervous system and allowing time to tune in deeply within oneself, giving a chance to recuperate.
In a restorative class the body is supported by various props (bolsters, blankets, belts and blocks) to encourage deep states of relaxation.