Imagine life where relaxation comes naturally, without effort! Have you been searching for this feeling? Yes, this is it.
"... for there is no greater tragedy than that of the blind man in Granada'' - anonymous
Imagine a yoga retreat in beautiful Granada, Spain. I'm sure you would love to know more about the retreat by checking out my website: www.jessicaludascher.com
WHAT IS ASHTANGA YOGA?
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a traditional style of yoga derived from an ancient Indian text, the Yoga Korunta; a record of groupings of asanas/ postures which are practiced in synchronization with the breath. You will sweat. The practice produces an intense internal heat, the heat purifies the muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as improving circulation and releasing beneficial hormones and minerals. It is a gradual process and with regular practice it revitalizes the body and mind, and awakens the soul.
ASHTANGA BASICS (BEGINNERS +)
Learn the fundamental poses in the Ashtanga Yoga sequence. Here you are introduced to the order of the poses, coordinating breath with movement, and how to use your breath and bandhas to find alignment in your body. In a beginners class you discover what your body is capable of, the quality of your breath and the quality of your concentration. You begin to build a relationship with your body, breath and mind. The class includes:
Standing poses are the foundation for the rest of the poses; they bring our attention to how we stand. They also correct the posture and tone the leg muscles. They prepare the body to go into more complex poses by creating the right imprints and actions. Standing poses include the sun salutations, standing forward bends, twisting poses and balancing poses.
After mastering the art of standing, one has to learn the art of sitting (Bhagavad Gita) The first three asanas of the primary series (Dandasana, Paschimottanasana A, B, C, D, and Purvottanasana) Seated forward bends are beneficial as they help calm the mind, relieve stress and ease anxiety. They stretch the spine, shoulders and hamstrings, and stimulate the liver, kidneys, and uterus.
Flexible ligaments and tendons allow the spine to move in all different degrees. Muscles and strong bones protect the nerves and support the structure of the body. With regular backbends we strengthen these supporting muscles and increase the mobility of the spine; balancing the combination of strength and flexibility. Backbends are also front stretches; they open the heart.
The finishing sequence serves to consolidate the benefits of the practice and calm the nervous system, heart, and mind. It begins with back bending and progresses through inversions (shoulder stand sequence and headstands) and hip openers (lotus pose). Followed by Savasana, lying down relaxing every part of your body and absorbing the benefits of the practice.
Practice experiencing silence.
This requires you to commit to taking a certain amount of time to simply be. This means withdrawing from activities such as speech, television, social media, music and reading. If you never give yourself the opportunity to experience silence then you create turbulance in your mind; in your internal dialogue. You can practice experiencing silence not only through meditation but also through non-judgement. Judgement is the constant evaluation of things as right or wrong, good or bad. You are constantly evaluating, classifying, labeling, analyzing etc doesn't this sound tiring and like a waste of your energy? Your creating this internal turbulence in your mind which takes affect on your body, storing negativity in the cells, and it ''clogs the channel'' you literally squeeze the gap between thoughts, this gap is your connection to the state of pure awareness. That inner stillness conncet you to your true power, gratitude and stillness are the first requirements for setting intentions and manifesting them; health, peace for others and yourself
There is a myth that when you sit down you should be able to quiet your mind. The mind generates thousands of thoughts per second. Let's be realistic here. When you sit down quietly and turn your focus inward, you become very aware of what is going on in the back of your mind. A lot of chatter and plenty of distractions to choose from. The key is patience, and sometimes you require an environment in which you have no choice but to be patient ;) Just keep going. Keep going back to your point of focus, may it be your breath, a mantra or a specific gazing point. Do not evaluate or react to your thoughts. Allow them to arise, acknowledge them without analyzation and allow them to pass, return to your point of focus
There are various traditions, methods and techniques in meditation. Below is a short description of the techniques I apply in my classes:
Meditation in Kundalini Yoga contains specific, practical tools that carefully and precisely support the mind and guide the body through the use of breath, mantra, and mudra
I use Yoga Nidra as a technique to prepare the mind for meditation. Yoga Nidra or ''Yogic Sleep" refers to the conscious awareness of the deep sleep state, referred to as prajna in Mandukya Upanishad. It is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. The practitioner is in a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, it is a state in which the body is completely relaxed and the senses are withdrawn, only the hearing still connects to the verbal instructions of the teacher. This is different from meditation in which concentration on a single focus is required
Yoga Nidra is practiced in Savasana, ''corpse pose''. It's not a concentration technique, you just have to follow the verbal instructions of the teacher. The practice includes breath awareness, body awarenes; rotation of consciousness and visualization. These techniques help to maintain awareness while going deeper in the level of relaxation
ASHTANGA FUNDAMENTALS WORKSHOP
Breaking down the Tristana method: Breath, Bandhas & Dristi
Ashtanga Yoga utilizes an approach to yoga asana known as Tristana. This approach consists of the use of Ujjayi Pranayama, Bandhas and Dristi; through this method practitioners develop a deep sense of control and awareness. Join this workshop to learn how to effectively apply this method as you perform yoga asanas
The workshop is split into three parts and will cover the following points:
Part 1: Ujjayi Breath
- Why is Ujjayi good for you (in yogic terms + physical terms)
- Breath and the nervous system
- How to do the Ujjayi breath; the four stages of breathing
Part 2: Bandhas
- The four bandhas moola bandha; uddiyana bandha; jalandhara bandha and maha bandha
- Benefits and three muscle groups involved
- Resistance in the body through bandhas
- How this affects the asanas and the breath
- Calming effect through engaging bandhas
- Applying the bandhas individually and how to apply maha bandha
Part 3: Dristi
- The nine dristi and which dristi should be used with each asana
- Slow led class practice with awareness of tristana (fundamental asanas surya namaskar a + b; standing sequence; dandasana; paschimottanasana; purvottanasana; backbends; finishing sequence)