Ashtanga vinyasa is a vigorous, energising form of yoga, in which you move dynamically on your own breath. Expect to work hard and sweat. The postures and the level of intensity are very adaptable – so there is an ashtanga practice for everyone, regardless of fitness and flexibility (or not!). In my classes, you will find people practising gymnastic-looking postures and people working on very basic sequences. Everybody is welcome, and everybody is equally included.
While you will probably develop strength, stamina and flexibility in an ashtanga class, the real intention of practice is to offer attention to our physical, mental and emotional experience on the mat. In this way, over time, we can begin to recognise and shift unhelpful patterns (samskharas), enabling us to be human in kinder and more functional ways.
“Yoga is not a matter of ‘How can I attain this or that final posture?’ It’s a matter of gently pressing into the various edges you encounter within the template structure of each particular posture. And your edges and limits will change as a by-product of this exploration; you will change.”—Erich Schiffmann