Our Philosophy

We practice and teach Ashtanga Yoga in the tradition of Shri K. Pattabhi Jois from Mysore, India (http://www.kpjayi.org/index.html) ; and the Vinyasa Krama sequences developed by Matthew Sweeney (http://www.yogatemple.com) These Hatha Yoga methods are a powerful mindfulness practice based on linking rhythmic breathing to the movements of the body. The four core elements of the breathing system are: ujjayi pranayama (victorious stretching of the breath), vinyasa (breath synchronized movement), bandhas (energy locks or valves), and dhristi (internal gaze). Ideally, these elements are simultaneously engaged as the practitioner moves through a prescribed sequence of asanas (postures) to create a continuous flow of movement.

The simultaneous union of ujjayi pranayama, vinyasa (breath synchronized movement), bandhas (internal energetic valves/locks), and dhristi (internal gazing) is known as Tristana. When this state is achieved, the Ashtanga practice transforms into an experience of seemingly effortless and playful flow; and the practitioner rides on a wave of internal energy infused with joy and grace.

In our own personal practice and teaching, we find ourselves focusing again and again on the refinement of this powerful breathing system. Once the practitioner is comfortable and proficient in the foundation of smooth and even ujjayi breathing; we try to focus the student on the refinement and development of the other core elements, i.e., vinyasa, bandhas, and dhristi.

Vinyasa, in particular, is much more than simply linking asanas together or synchronizing movement with one's breathing. Rather, vinyasa is the conscious yoking together of ujjayi breathing and movement within a steady rhythm. It requires the mindful application of one's own will. When practiced with faith, consistency, and diligence, it is a profound method to gradually settle the mind into stillness. Moreover, when vinyasa is combined with the energetic application of the bandhas, the experience can feel much like that of riding an energetic "breath-wave".

Through this approach, proficiency in asana practice is organically "bloomed" from the inside-out. Correct alignment and action within the asana comes from the intelligent application of the breathing system. Said another way, the sequence of asanas is a continuous flowing energy pattern which is filled and brought alive by the intelligent action of prana carried by the breath.

In summary, our approach to practicing and teaching Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa Krama Yoga is:

 

We invite you to join us and learn to ride your breath to the shore of your true Self.