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Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Kranti Yoga is based on Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa Flow.  We teach the fundamentals of traditional Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series along with dynamism of Vinyasa Flow Classes. Both of these complement each other, the prescribed sequence of The Primary Series along with the creativity of Vinyasa Flow Classes. We call it Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. We offer you a unique programme that allows you to further develop your practice effectively with immediate results.  

Courses start with Ashtanga Yoga Led Classes that then progress to Self-Practice Classes as you gain familiarity with The Primary Series. These are taught alongside workshops that have been devised to build strength and flexibility through the technical focus of hip opening, jumping back, transitions and back bending.  All these are the fundamental elements of becoming a skilled practitioner of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

Our programme was developed by Kranti when he observed that moving the body through The Primary Series everyday was not enough to build your practice.  He therefore devised these workshops in order to bring attention to the areas that often prove problematic in practice. The fundamentals of these workshops have also been put into dynamic vinyasa sequences in classes such as Hip Opening Flow and Back Bending Flow which have since been developed.

Each and every one of our students arrives with his or her own development needs based on prior experience and knowledge of Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa Flow.  Each and every student is unique in terms of body type, strength and flexibility.  We therefore recognise that personalised learning is at the heart of Kranti Yoga as we tailor our programme to suit the needs of our Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga students.

 

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Classes and Workshops
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Led Class (Morning)
A Senior Teacher will guide you through The Primary Series with modifications (easier versions of the postures) if needed.  This will help you to gain insight into how the sequence flows from posture to posture as the breath initiates the movement.  The class will be supported by our Assistant Teachers who will correct alignment and give some light adjustments.
Classes will often start with a spiritual message from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras or sometimes with a more technical focus based on what you have been learning in your Anatomy/Alignment Class.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Mysore Style Self-Practice (Morning)
In this class, you will complete The Primary Series, just as you have learnt in the Led Classes, by yourself.  This means you practice at your own pace and in your own time.  Mysore Style Self-Practice will give you the chance to experience meditation through movement as you allow the rhythm of your own breath lead you through the sequence.  Your Senior Teacher, along with the Assistant Teachers will assist and adjust you.  It is the ideal opportunity for us to personalise your learning and advance you in some of the postures on an individual basis.

Hip Opening Technical Workshop (Afternoon)
This is a powerful and dynamic class designed to open the hips.  The hips are one of the major joints in the body and open hips are key to moving deeper into your practice, helping you master more challenging gateway postures of The Primary Series.  Hip opening helps to release blocked tensions and stored emotion. In making our hips more flexible, we can help keep our lower backs healthy.

During Hip Opening class we also work on developing our leg strength, as strong legs and thighs result in hip flexibility.  We will guide you in this powerful, deep and energising class.

Jump Through/Back Technical Workshop (Afternoon)
Kranti Yoga will lead you through this powerful workshop intended to isolate and strengthen the parts of the body required for a light, graceful yet strong vinyasa.  We’ll work on building strength in the arms and shoulders, core, back and legs.  Not only will you learn tools and technique to improve your jump through and jump backs, we will break down each stage of the transition and each movement for you to apply and try during Mysore Style Self-Practice Classes.

Back Bending Technical Workshop (Afternoon)
Backbending requires the rest of the body to be open.  You need a calm, open mind.  During this workshop we will take a look in depth at the correct technique, alignment and breathing for performing intense back bends without injury.  This class begins by warming up the whole body with three different styles of sun salutations, working through the spine from the cervical vertebrae, through the thoracic to the lumbar region to help you gain maximum flexibility throughout the entire back.

Back bending is an incredibly important part of yoga as spinal health is absolutely key to overall health and wellbeing. The spine is connected with our whole nervous system, circulatory system and the nadis.

 

Hip Opening Flow (Morning)
This class is a dynamic 2 hour class that combines what you have learnt in the Hip Opening Workshop with Vinyasa Flow. The sequence will build towards gateway postures such as Hanumanasana and Padmasana (splits and lotus poses) through the preparation and release of the muscles needed for such postures whether in terms of strength or flexibility.  The sequence is deep and dynamic and sure way to open your hips.

This class is always warmly received as it provides inspiration in terms of its sequencing, particularly for YTTC students who are devising sequences for themselves. 

Back Bending Flow (Morning)
This is another 2 hour class and works towards peak postures like Urdhva Dhanurasana and Shalabhasana.  The structure of class allows you to lengthen and strengthen those muscles needed to be successful in this area. The sequence remains the same each week in order that you can see the visible progress that this class along with the Back Bending Workshop brings.  

The postures included in this class require mental strength and focus. In working with the nervous system, you will reap the benefits of feeling energised and rejuvenated. Typically, this class takes place on a Saturday morning and is a great way to end your week. 

What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga?

Yoga is the science of right living and is intended to be incorporated in daily life. It works on all aspects of the person: the physical, vital, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual.

The word yoga means 'unity' or 'oneness' and is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means 'to join.'  This unity or joining is described in spiritual terms as the union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. On a more pratical level, yoga is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotions. This is done through the practice of asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, shatkarma (cleansing practice) and meditation.

The science of yoga begins to work on the outermost aspect of the personality, the physical body, which for most people is a practical and familiar starting point. When imbalance is experienced at this level, the organs, muscles and nerves no longer function in harmony; rather they act in opposition to each other. For instance, the endocrine system might become irregular and the efficiency of the nervous system decrease to such an extent that disease will manifest. Yoga aims at bringing the different bodily functions into perfect coordination so that they work for the good of the whole body. 

From the physical body, yoga moves on to the mental and emotional levels. Many people suffer from phobias and neuroses as a result of the stresses and interactions of everyday living. Yoga cannot provide a cure for life, but it does present a proven method for coping with it. 

There are many branches of yoga: ashtanga, bakhti, hatha, karma, kundalini and raja to name but a few, and many texts explain them in detail. Each individual needs to find those yogas most suited to his/her particular personality and need.

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world. By Sri TKrishnamacharya Ashtanga Yoga, practiced in its correct sequential order, gradually leads the practitioner to rediscovering his or her fullest potential on all levels of human consciousness - physical, psychological and spiritual. Through this practice of correct breathing (ujjayi pranayama), postures (asanas) and gazing point (dristi), we gain control of the senses and a deep awareness of ourselves. By maintaining this discipline with regularity and devotion, one acquires steadiness of body and mind.

Why people do yoga: "Many people might believe that the main benefits of yoga are physical, such as flexibility, strength, and balance. But the most obvious and quickest benefits are more mental and spiritual, such as reducing stress, seeing yourself more clearly, and experiencing more equanimity in your life. These things happen right away in yoga faster than any changes in flexibility. The beauty of yoga is feeling the peace that comes from harmonizing your body, mind and spirit."

 

"Chakras from Eastern and Western perspective"
"Mind, Body & Spirit"
Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, described the eight aspects of yoga as limbs of a tree:

Outer world

      Bridge between them

Inner world

1.Yama - ethical disciplines

      

5.Pratyahara - Sense withdrawal

2.Niyama - self observation

4.- Pranayama - breath control

6.Dharana – concentration

3.Asana -posture

 

7.Dhyana - meditation

 

 

8.Samadhi - a state of joy and peace.

*ASHTANGA VINYASA YOGA* The basics of Primary and Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga are Ujjayi Breathing, Bandhas, Vinyasas and Drishti.  Surya Namasara A&B are then completed followed by the Standing Sequence.  The Primary Series includes forward bends and Secondary Series focuses more on backward bends.  All series have a Finishing Sequence followed by Final Relaxation.

 

*Ujjayi *is a specialised breathing technique which means victorious. This unique form of breathing is performed by inhaling and exhaling through the nose to creating a soft sound in the back of the throat. It's the sound of the breath when you sleep that quiets the mind.

*Bandhas *are a series of internal energy gates within the body which assist in the regulation of pranic flow - prana being the life force. There are three types - "Mulabandha", "Uddiyana Bandha" and "Jalandhara Bandha".

*Mulabandha *is the root lock. It is so called because of its location at the base of our nerve tree, the spinal column. There is a difference of location for this bandha in males and in females. In males the seat of Mulabandha is the perineal muscle which is located in front of the anus and behind the genitals. In female the location is near the top of the cervix.

*Uddiyana Bandha *which means flying upwards is performed by exhaling fully and then drawing the lower abdomen inward and upward simultaneously lifting the diaphragm. This lock is more subtle during the Ashtanga Yoga practice.

*Jalandhara Bandha* is the chin-lock. This lock is not continuously engaged throughout the yoga practice like the others. It occurs spontaneously in some asanas such as shoulder stand and is prescribed for use in others. It is, however, used extensively for pranayama. To engage jalandhara bandha you may extend the chin forward and then draw it back into the notch which is formed where the two clavicle bones meet, closing the glottis. When engaging all three bandhas simultaneously it is called *“mahabandha”* or the great lock.

*Vinyasa* is the unique linking of one asana to the next in a serpentine flow. Done affectively these movements keep the heat on in the practice. Vinyasa orchestrates the balance of strength and flexibility, lightness and heaviness, movement and stillness.

*Drishti* is a point of gaze or focus, yet it has little to do with our physical sight. The real “looking” is directed internally. We may fix our physical sight upon an external object or a specific point on our body, yet truly the drishti is meant to direct our attention to the subtle aspects of our practice, the breath and bandhas as well as the mind.

1) *Nasagrai*: Tip of the nose
2) *Ajna Chakra*: Between the eyebrows
3) *Nabi Chakra*: Navel
4) *Hastagrai*: Hand
5) *Padhayoragrai*: Toes
6) *Parsva* *Drishti*: Far to the right
7) *Parsva* *Drishti*: Far to the left
8) *Angustha Ma Dyai*: Thumbs
9) *Urdhva or Antara Drishti*: Up to the sky

*Belts and Blocks *– The use of props has become increasingly popular as an aid to practicing yoga.  They offer huge benefits to enable students to achieve challenging asanas.

*Yoga Chikitsa* – The Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga is known in Sanskrit as “Yoga Chikitsa” which means yoga therapy.  It is a healing process of cleansing and toning for the body, mind and senses.  This therapeutic action occurs through the subtle vehicles of Ashtanga Yoga.

*Surya Namaskara* – The Foundation Surya means the sun and namaskara is a greeting of honour and respect to the divinity present in each of us.  The entire foundation of Ashtanga Yoga is based upon the dynamic flow of Surya Namaskara A and B.  Surya Namaskara is the birth of your practice.  It is here that we set the rhythm and mood of each session of yoga.   The dynamic marriage of breath and movement into a serpentine flow is what sets this system of yoga apart from other methods.

*The Standing Sequence *– The standing sequence initiates the weaving of one asana to the next to form, what K. Pattabhi Jois calls a garland of asanas. In the standing sequence our balance is challenged and the understanding of how to work with the forces of gravity is developed.

Namaste!

Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self realization. Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions.
B.K.S. Iyengar