What are the benefits of practising Ashtanga Yoga?
Ashtanga yoga is a complete system for growing mentally and emotionally stronger and becoming physically fit. Whole body strength develops as you become more familiar with the practice method. The postures are joined together by a series of movements (the Vinyasa), which maintain focus on the breath, raise the heart-rate, and build heat in the body with a detoxifying effect.
What does Ashtanga mean?
'Ashtanga' means 'eight limbs' -- the physical practice (asana) is just one of these. The other seven limbs focus on living a truthful, compassionate life, in full awareness of the challenges and curve-balls that life throws at us. It is not the challenges that trip us up; it is how we react and behave in response to them. Ashtanga yoga cultivates strong self-awareness so that we can take control of how we move through life. All you need to do is make regular time in your week for your yoga practice, and see the transformations from there. 'New Flame Yoga' symbolises the alchemy or personal transformation that occurs with dedication to a regular yoga practice.
Do I need to be fit to practise Ashtanga Yoga?
Anyone of any fitness level, and any age can start to learn Ashtanga yoga. You are not expected to do what the person on the mat next to you is doing. I teach through careful observation of where you are at personally in terms of what your body can do, taking into consideration your fitness and energy levels, and any previous/existing illnesses and injuries you may have.
Will Ashtanga Yoga improve my mental and physical health?
You will feel the health benefits from the first session. The focused breathing calms the heart rate, which in turn calms stressful thoughts. In this way, your body, mind and emotions will become strong and better able to deal with the stresses of daily life.
The practice gives strength and support to the muscles and joints, balancing and aligning the body. For people who are recovering from illness or injuries, this yoga practice also powerfully relieves chronic pain and fatigue.
Find strength in your breath, find strength in your body, bring strength to your mind.