Spacious Yoga honors and utilizes the structure of the traditional Mysore method of Ashtanga Yoga practice. Workshops and longer courses on themes around the energetic and physical alignment of body and breath in asana and pranayama, as well as Yoga philosophy and lifestyle are used to supplement and deepen a daily Mysore style practice.
The context of the physical practice is inspired by and embedded in the Buddha’s investigations of the nature of the interaction of mind and matter.
The practice is transmitted in a way that attempts to be non-authoritarian. I am deeply inspired by the ideas of Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad in this respect. Structure and authority are inherent and necessary in any formalized course of teaching. However, I teach the practice in a way that places the overall well being of the student above the maintenance of any physical or philosophical ideology. I encourage practitioners to use the practice in a way that builds self-trust, independence and acceptance – hence true freedom – rather than self-mistrust, dependency and measuring oneself against an unobtainable ideal – and hence bondage to an authoritarian hierarchy (whether internal or external).
This paradigm of practice is a work in progress and will evolve and adapt to changing conditions and ideas over time.
The Sanskrit term Ashtanga means eight (ashto) limbs (anga) and is claimed to have been codified by the ancient sage Patanjali around 2,500 years ago in the classic text, The Yoga Sutras. Here, Patanjali outlined the eight limbs of yogic practice: Yama (ethical principles), Niyama (spiritual attitudes), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath expansion and harnessing), Pratyahara (inward gazing), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (meditative absorption). Each of these practices, when used as tools to encounter and develop relationship with one’s own accumulated patterns of reactive habits, can be a great aid on the path to inner freedom.
Ashtanga Yoga, as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India for 70 years, is an asana-based practice that coordinates deep breathing with flowing movements into and out of bodily postures in a particular sequence. When body, breath and mind are all aligned correctly in these movements, bandha (a dynamic balance of opposing forces) and meditative focus are experienced, and a very deep internal transformation occurs. There are six sequences or series in the Ashtanga system which gradually take one on a progressive journey of restructuring of the body, nervous system and mind.
With long term practice, strength and flexibility are developed and internal blockages, which contribute to chronic physical and mental tensions, are gradually removed. One becomes more centered, aligned and balanced at all levels of being and one’s relationship with oneself and the world becomes much deeper, authentic and functional.
I teach the sequences of Ashtanga in accordance with the standard being taught by Sharath Jois in Mysore, India. I am dedicated to the traditional system, but also careful to place the well being of the individual above the physical dogma and ideology of the system. I have years of experience in working with practitioners who have various types of injuries, health conditions, or start the practice later in life and I make this practice accessible to people of all ages and states of health.