Category: Ashtanga

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Action in Practice

By David Garrigues In this new post I speak about the concept action in asana, action as a catalyst to the revolution within you. There is a wide range from (superficial to deep) of what constitutes action in asana. At times cultivating action may mean that you activate specific muscle groups to move your bones and achieve dynamic alignment of...

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Ashtanga Yoga and the Secret of Mula Bandha

By David Garrigues Part I Ashtanga Yoga (as in the 8 limbs) begins with Ahimsa, non-harming.   Yama is the first limb of the eight limbs and ahimsa is the first Yama.  Thus ahimsa can be considered the base,  the very foundation and support of the 8 eight limbs.   Consider the use of the word ahimsa, the main root himsa,  means...

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The Diaphragm is Key! Don’t Forget It. Observe It.

By David Garrigues The diaphragm is the main muscle involved in breathing; when you get an experiential feeling of its actions, that knowledge helps you breathe better and thus helps you develop your yoga practice. You can learn to sense the diaphragms anatomical location within the torso and to follow its contraction (inhalation) and relaxation (exhalation) phases. The diaphragm is...

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Ashtanga Yoga 70 years or 2000?

A Side Thread to Matthew Sweeney’s Article ‘The Evolution of Ashtanga Yoga’ In Matthew Sweeney’s article The Evolution of Ashtanga Yoga that we posted here a few weeks ago, he writes the following: “Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a relatively new system, despite some opinions to the contrary. Apart from the obvious fact that the sequences have been changed by Pattabhi...

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Your Shoulders in Upward Facing Dog

By David Keil This is a play off an article I wrote for the newsletter back in May. That one was titled Your Shoulders in Downward Facing Dog. There are perhaps as many variations in what we are told to do with our shoulders in Up Dog and it is sometimes just as confusing for students. As I often do,...

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Your Shoulders in Downward Facing Dog

By David Keil I think we can all agree about one thing with regard to the shoulders in downward facing dog. None of us like to have our own or see our students shoulders stuck up in our or their ears. How do we get our shoulders out of our ears? In addition what is the effect of this on...

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Flexed or Extended Foot in Lotus

By David Keil I’ve been hearing for years that we should flex our foot in various poses where we have our knees bent at ninety degrees or more. More recently I’ve received two seperate emails regarding the application of this technique to lotus posture. Should the foot be flexed or extended in padmasana? It’s time I throw in my own...

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The So-Called Tradition of Ashtanga

By Chad Herst I have noticed that as the Mysore-style Ashtanga method becomes more popular over the years, the individual connection between teacher and student is disintegrating. The practice, which was originally designed to be individualized, has become increasingly supplanted by a one-size-fits-all approach. This is a natural outgrowth as more and more people both learn and are touched by...

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The Evolution of Ashtanga Yoga

By Matthew Sweeney Ashtanga Yoga is a wonderful practice for the body and mind. It is an evolving practice that is changing and growing to suit people of all ages and abilities. At least that is its potential. The tradition and its changing nature can be a difficult thing to reconcile. This problem exists for all traditions, so understanding some...

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