Ashtanga Yoga is characterised by the performance of a set sequence of poses (asanas). Each pose is a preparation for the following one. The poses are fluently linked together by a combination of breath and movement. Because there are no breaks between poses this creates a ‘flow’, which makes it a smooth and dynamic practice.Boek a Ashtanga class!
What does a class look like?
Every Ashtanga class starts and ends with two mantras (chants) – the ‘invocation’ to open the practice and the ‘Mangala mantra’ to end the practice. To better understand the content, Sanskrit, texts and translation, click here or go to the bottom of the page. By chanting these mantras, we express our gratitude to those who have preceded us on the path to enlightenment, and assign the class to peace for all living beings. We start the practice with standing poses. A lot of attention is given to them as they stimulate the self-learning capacity of the body. We continue with balancing, sitting, lying and inverted postures. For those who are more advanced, you can end the practice with a headstand (Sirsasana). The class ends with a reclined relaxation, sometimes followed by a seated meditation. The classes are effective for everyone, regardless of experience. A lot of attention is given to the participants and they are closely guided and supported in their learning and practice of the various Ashtanga Yoga poses.
Are there any variations?
Ashtanga Mysore style. In this variation, the participants are invited to go through the sequence by themselves. The teacher is present to observe and support if needed. So the teacher is not giving a group class but guides yogis individually. This is the way in which yoga was traditionally taught. Prepare yourself for a completely different class than you are used to.
What are the benefits?
Thanks to the fixed sequence of asanas you can fully emerge yourself within the practice and become aware of any (energy) blocks. Ashtanga Yoga helps to heal tension and anxiety, which we all have stored in our system. The heat that is generated through the practice (life energy, prana, that starts flowing) stimulates the blood circulation. This has a positive effect on the joints, organs, muscles and nerves. In the longer term, this style of yoga helps to counteract impurities, blockages, illnesses and pain that is caused by emotions and tension. When you are familiar with the full sequence you can also practise Ashtanga Yoga at home or join a Mysore class. Under the heading “Are there any variations” you can read what a Mysore class entails.
Who teaches this class?
The Ashtanga classes at Yoga Spot are taught by Natasa Mojsilovic and Margriet Verhagen. Margriet’s class is a little more gentle that those of Natasa.