- Category: Health & Spirit
What is Ashtanga Yoga: Yoga is believed to have begun at least 5,000 years ago in the Indus Valley in Northern India. Over the centuries, many different branches of yoga have evolved. The most familiar form of yoga in the West is Hatha Yoga, which incorporates the practice of physical exercise to purify and strengthen the body. Ashtanga Yoga is a type of Hatha Yoga that brings the mind, body and spirit together through asanas (postures) in co-ordination with the breath (pranayama). In Ashtanga Yoga, each posture is reached and moved through in conjunction with an inhale or an exhale.
The Workshop will follow The Vinyasa Primary Series: The workshop will combine a specific set of postures under the Primary Series with breath and movement in a vigorous physical practice. Strength and stretch will be applied to move dynamically from one asana to the next. The Yoga sequence is designed to realign the skeletal system, tone and develop strong muscles, create flexibility in the joints, increase lung capacity, improve the health and efficiency of the internal organs, stimulate the immune system, strengthen stamina, improve balance and sharpen mental focus and concentration.
The Dance of the Breath: The breath is our essential connection to life. It expresses and informs our health, mood, emotion, energy level and state of well-being. When we are excited, distressed or frightened, our breathing tends to becomes shallow and quick. Often in times of stress, we don’t even realize that we are holding our breath. Ashtanga Yoga focuses on breathing deeply, calmly and rhythmically. Through regular practice, we become master of our breath and are able to maintain the same beneficial affects off the matt that we experience on the matt. Gaining control of the breath keeps the mind calm, the thoughts clear and the body centred and balanced.
All skill levels are welcome: All Yoga postures can be modified based on the level, skills and capacity of the practitioner. Everyone brings with them to the matt their history and how it has affected their body for practice. It is essential that the practicing yogi listen to their body and only go as far into the posture as is comfortable. The breath can be used to go deeper into postures, such as using the inhale to extend the spine or the exhale to bend forward. There is no goal in Yoga, no competition. It is a practice for the self only.
About the Yoga Instructor: Shannon Moncrief earned her International Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Certificate from Union Yoga in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her mentor, Brian Cooper was trained by the teacher responsible for bringing Ashtanga Yoga to the West from India in the 1970’s, Sri K. Pattabahi Jois. Shannon has been practicing yoga for 10 years and teaching for 4 years. Prior to following the discipline of yoga, she was a US State Champion gymnast, having competed in the Junior Olympics. Shannon is also a surfer and teaches “Yoga for Surfing” classes as well as Ashtanga Yoga. She is currently teaching yoga in Clane, County Kildare.