Ashtanga Yoga 101
If you’ve recently seen “Ashtanga” added to our weekly yoga class schedule, you might’ve immediately wondered what on Earth that even means.
You’re not alone in never having heard of Ashtanga — out of the commonly practiced types of yoga in the west, you’re much more likely to practice vinyasa (power flow), bikram (hot yoga), or yin (restorative yoga).
While Ashtanga might be a foreign concept now, we actually think it’s one of yoga’s best-kept secrets. Whether you’re looking to build strength quickly or just want to power up a stale yoga routine, trying an Ashtanga class at Yoga Pod Fort Collins is an excellent remedy.
So, What Is Ashtanga Yoga?
On the surface, Ashtanga isn’t that different from a traditional vinyasa flow (the podFLOW 1 and podFLOW 2 classes you’re used to at Yoga Pod Fort Collins).
Ashtanga, though, is known for being incredibly energizing and rigorous — there’s no sense in beating around the bush: it’s a tough class.
In a traditional Ashtanga class, you’ll move through sequences of poses in a specific, regulated order. In this sense, Ashtanga is similar to a hot yoga class. For instance, the primary series (the “Yoga Chikitsa”) includes 30 different postures. The Ashtanga series differs because it also includes a gaze (or “drsti”) for each posture. So, in addition to moving with breath, you’re also working to gaze at a designated point. You might also hold a posture for much longer than you’re used to, with the intent being to focus inward and transcend beyond the physical body.
The flow is also a bit different because it is traditionally practiced six days a week. A teacher’s role is to encourage individuals to progress throughout the different Ashtanga series and cultivate a dedicated practice.
Who Should Practice Ashtanga?
We know we said Ashtanga yoga classes are tough, but that doesn’t mean they’re only for experts. In fact, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the originator of Ashtanga yoga, conceived of the practice as suitable for everyone: the old, the young, the healthy, the sick.
Because Ashtanga traditionally includes more individualized guidance from the teacher, individuals can reach their own edges with support and dedication.
We highly recommend Ashtanga classes to anyone who wants to try a different type of yoga class! Whether you fall in love with it or not, you’ll at least be growing your yoga experience.
Ashtanga At Yoga Pod Fort Collins
At Yoga Pod Fort Collins, one of our missions is to provide varied yoga class types to our students. In addition to our podFLOW, podHOT, YIN, and podFIT classes, we’ve added Ashtanga to create an even more diverse yoga studio schedule.
If you’re on the fence, come by our yoga studio today and chat with a staff member about Ashtanga!
To join our yoga studio community and experience unique classes like Ashtanga, sign up for $30 For 30 today! You get 30 days of unlimited classes for just $1 per day.
We hope to see you soon at Yoga Pod Fort Collins!