Ashtanga at Sift

Last week we learned from special guest instructor: Kimberly Allan.

Kimberly "Kimber" first found yoga through injury. After she completed 6 months of hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2007, she was pleasantly surprised that she could not only heal her body through the practice, but that she could also find the same peace she could find while hiking mountains through asana.

Kimber did her teacher training in 2011 in Thailand studying Ashtanga Vinyasa with Larry Schultz based. Kimber has spent many years traveling between the US and Canada studying many styles of Vinyasa and teaching both in the US and Canada. Some of her favorite Vinyasa teachers include MC Yogi and Megan Currie.

It wasn’t until Kimber came to Ashtanga Yoga Victoria (where she currently teaches) that she really started feeling passionate about staying true to the Ashtanga lineage and the tradition of the practice. She loves the Mysore method and couldn’t imagine life without it. 

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What a special week this was exploring Ashtanga Yoga! 

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Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.

Ashtanga is a method, a path, for many practitioners, it becomes their primary spiritual practice. We practice not to advance in the sequence, but to live a more peaceful life. 

The Primary Series is cleansing for the body — from the lymphatic to the digestive to the cardiovascular systems. Other benefits vary by person, including but not limited to: internal/emotional strength, physical strength, discipline, calm and centered mind, improved sleep, desire to improve diet, etc. 

Keeping the consistency of an external factor (in this case asana practice) allows you to better tune into what’s happening internally. This is why asana is the "gateway" to the other 7 limbs of yoga.

Once memorized, the asana sequence is like a tool that you can carry in your pocket. You don’t need anything except your mat to practice. Like your breath — it’s always there for you. First you memorize the asana sequence, then the breath count, then you can shift your focus to drishti and bandhas. The practice becomes a moving meditation.

Here is the series we worked on this week: 

 Here is Surya Namaskara A. Repeat 5x. Take rest in balasana (childs pose) if needed. Or at the top of the mat in Samastitihi.

Here is Surya Namaskara A. Repeat 5x. Take rest in balasana (childs pose) if needed. Or at the top of the mat in Samastitihi.

 Surya Namaskara B repeat 5x. Take rest when needed. Breath with sound.

Surya Namaskara B repeat 5x. Take rest when needed. Breath with sound.

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 Closing postures. 10 breaths each.  Take rest in Savasana at least 5 minutes.

Closing postures. 10 breaths each.

Take rest in Savasana at least 5 minutes.

 

If this is something you would like to continue to learn more about - click here to see when our next Ashtanga for Beginners Series Begins