Friday, November 15, 2013

Ashtanga yoga - led class


The Ashtanga yoga community in Munich has grown in the last years. More and more Ashtanga yoga practitioners are familiar with primary and even second series.

It makes sense to offer a full led primary, like in India, for those committed yoginis.

At 7am we were led through primary by MSch at Airyoga

- No asana was omitted or substituted.
- We practiced according the correct vinyasa count. That's one of the reasons why led classes are done.
- The speed was even.
- Flow could be experienced.

It was simply perfect. This IS Ashtanga yoga.

At home I practiced sometimes according to the CD by Sharath to simulate a led class. Yet it's so fast that I often switched it off after some time.

I love practicing Ashtanga yoga in the tradition of P. Jois.

Ashtanga yoga in the tradition of P. Jois is also a teaching method.

The led classes are not so suitable for bloody beginners.
It's best to learn Ashtanga yoga in Mysore classes, where the poses are shown one after the other. The intention is surely a good one if one wants to help also bloody beginners to make it through primary. Yet my experience is one sacrifices flow, vinyasa count, asanas for a few people who come once or twice to a led class just out of curiosity. They need permanent help and adjustments to be part of the game and not to be frustrated.
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Also led classes till the twists or less are a compromise to attract as much yogis/yoginis as possible and to make the series doable for them. The advanced beginners must be neglected.

In India beginners practice till the pose they were shown in a Mysore class. Then they stop. They join again for the closing sequence. This is a safe practice.

Ashtanga yoga has the reputation that it's very challenging. It's so challenging because people try to learn it too fast in led classes instead of building strength and flexibility in Mysore classes. It's amazing, but it's difficult to remember the order of the asanas when going to led classes only. I learned the correct order of the asanas when I started practicing at home and when I started going to Mysore classes.

Me too, I learned Ashtanga yoga till the twists in a led class. Most people learn it that way outside of India. The rest of primary I learned from the book by David Swenson 10 years ago.

Of course I'm conscious that it's hard work to build a community. It's much basic work that was done here in Munich by few teachers. A big thank you to all Ashtanga yoga teachers who have build such a lively Ashtanga yoga community here.

Picture: Christmas time is coming. The Christmas tree is up downtown. Christmas time comes every year earlier. It seems so.

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