Ashtanga Yoga Classes in Queen Creek, AZ
- Links breath with movement
- Incorporates basic strength training with deep stretching
- Is the predecessor for modern Flow classes and Power Yoga
- For those new to the practice, be forewarned, although deeply rewarding, Ashtanga Yoga can be physically challenging and should be practiced under the guidance of a teacher
- New students are encouraged to arrive early to introduce themselves to the teacher
If you would like to find out more about Ashtanga Yoga, give ZenLife Center for Healing a call today or contact us!
What Are Ashtanga Yoga Classes?
Ashtanga yoga has its roots in the early 1900s: First developed by yogi and teacher Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the midcentury. This form of yoga, similar to other types, focuses on moving your body in a series of postures.
In contrast to other, more gentle forms of yoga, Ashtanga practitioners synchronize their breath with their movements to create a full-body exercise in which detoxifies their bodies. Ashtanga can be significantly more of a “workout” than other types of yoga.
Our Philosophy and Principles
The image of a smiling woman doing yoga in fluorescent stretch pants with a green smoothie in hand is marketing material — not real life. We strongly encourage our practitioners to try yoga even if they don’t match up to the image of the yogi they’re seeing in their minds (and if you do, that’s great too!).
Yoga aids in developing a strong, flexible body and a calm mind. Practitioners often find that developing a weekly or even daily practice helps them get in touch with their bodies in a way they didn’t know was possible.
Who Should Try Ashtanga Yoga?
Ashtanga yoga class is different from a restorative class, which focuses on holding poses and perhaps staying in a seated position to heal your body and mind. It’s also not the same as a vinyasa flow class which is a routine or a series of poses that stays constant from one pose to the next – in which your teacher may not instruct as much as in the other classes. The goal in Ashtanga yoga is to focus on your breath as it is the gateway to bandha control. Then pull your attention to what your body and breath are doing — not what your teacher is calling out.
If you love routines, Ashtanga may be a great fit for you. When you’re just beginning your Ashtanga class, you may notice that the poses are similar to what you’ve learned in other beginner yoga classes (such as a Vinyasa flow class). It’s important to start at the beginning with Ashtanga, even if you are a more advanced student because the primary pose builds on each other to allow greater knowledge for the series of poses that come next. There are six sequences in the whole method, but the primary series, or yoga cikitsā, is the beginning.
If you attend a few Ashtanga yoga classes with us and find that you enjoy other styles more, that’s perfectly fine. Ashtanga may not be the right choice for someone who has significant medical limitations or prefers a slower style of practice. Or, it may just not be the right choice for you on that specific week or day. Always listen to what your body is telling you and honor its wishes: Doing yoga that isn’t helping your body and mind and “pushing through” will not serve you here!
How To Start Yoga Classes
If you’re a complete beginner to yoga, stop by the studio and speak to one of our teachers before signing up for classes or workshops. Speaking to one of our teachers is especially important if you have a medical condition or a mobility limitation that affects how you practice.
When practicing this style of yoga, it is essential to understand and try to incorporate all eight limbs in practice, not just the physical aspect—focusing your attention on three areas known as breath, āsana or posture, and gaze or dṛṣṭi. The focus on these three areas boosts strength, flexibility, blood flow, and awareness.
The Benefits of a Regular Ashtanga Practice
Because Ashtanga yoga classes can be very active, they engage your body and mind to its fullest extent. By focusing on your breath, you clear your mind of worry, fatigue, and the stress that accompanies so many of us in our everyday lives. You’re moving your body to the rhythm of your breath and helping your muscles, joints, and ligaments retain strength and flexibility.
When you attend an Ashtanga yoga studio regularly, you’ll experience a greater range of motion throughout your body and experience detoxifying sweats with each practice that help your body stay healthy. You may notice that your mind feels calm after each session as well. Every practitioner may see a different effect of their Ashtanga yoga practice, which is good and encouraged. Our goal is to honor everyone’s strengths and meet them where they are.
Get In Touch
If you have questions about yoga, Ashtanga practice, or our studio in Queen Creek, AZ, get in touch with ZenLife Center for Healing today! We look forward to serving you, and we are here to answer any inquiries you may have. Stop by or register online to book a spot for your first class.