Ashtanga, Floating and the Elusive Seated Jump Through
This week we caught up with Melissa Perret, avid Ashtanga practitioner and instructor at Yogalife Studios. You may know her from her challenging and rewarding classes at both Yogalife Studios south and north; she brings a passion and intensity that always leaves you happy you came. This weekend she is co-hosting "Ashtanga, Floating and the Elusive Seated Jump Through" alongside Ricky Brennan at Yogalife Studios North (full workshop details below).
Here's what Melissa shared with us about her relationship to the practice she holds so dearly and the little details that accompany the journey!
Ashtanga Yoga: A Quick History
Ashtanga yoga is one of the few practices we have that is based on a long lineage of tradition and is passed on through parampara...teacher student relationships. There are texts that cite it to be thousands of years old, and we faithful practitioners today try to keep this tradition alive and blossoming. It is the one practice we have that requires a dedicated practice 6 days a week, which, as I know, can be quite challenging, but if you start to follow the method, as prescribed, come to your mat, breath deeply, used the bandhas and follow the vinyasa count, you will start to notice the most profound changes, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Moving Through the Practice
Primary series is know as Yoga Cikitsa, which 'means cleanse of the body'. It is a purification through our breath and asanas. Once we are pure in the the body, it becomes easy to have pure thoughts and emotions!
The jump through... we do this a lot in Ashtanga. I mean a lot. And it is quite possibly one of the most challenging vinyasa to obtain. This is why it is elusive! But if you find the work in more simple postures, which we will talk about in our workshop, then it becomes a bit easier to catch each time you try. As I stated earlier, when you stop cheating ...heehee, I use this a lot in my classes...in your regular practice and actually work really hard at seemingly easy movements, then the more challenging aspects that will come later are just that much easier because you have already established a solid foundation. For example, don't swing your leg when you are lunging, learn to use your core and your bandhas. Don't drink water when it is time to do core work in class! You are missing out on vital information, even though it isn't always the most fun.
This jump through took me a super long time. And even then I still can barely catch it through an entire practice, but I always try my best. That is all that really matters.
I learned many great techniques from my teacher, David Robson, and his system really helped me, but of course I did some nose dives along the way, went through an awkward time when it did not look pretty at all, but essentially, you let that all go and focus on the work and the process and have fun. And all of a sudden one day it is just happening. The fruits of your labour! Does it matter if you ever can do it? No, but I guarantee you that you can!
You have to have faith in everything you do. It may seemingly be impossible at first, just like anything that looks hard, but keep trying and it will come. Trust me, I am not naturally bendy or strong. I was yelled at in India for being a weak one...even given homework to get stronger! But I never gave up. All you have to do is work hard, forget the end product and enjoy the journey. All of a sudden you will forget about obtaining the asanas and realize that the true practice of yoga lies in the calmness in the breath in the face of our challenges. When this is obtained, beauty will start to spark within, and soon yoga is with you at all times:) Join Ricky and Melissa as they guide you through the fundamentals of a strong, safe vinyasa method, with tools that can help you in all your asana practice. There will be an emphasis on floating, bandhas and the beautiful jump to seated. Their years of experience can help aid you in what work needs to be put in along the way and how much fun you can have in the meantime! Leave expectations behind you and just come and have a lot of fun. Ricky and Melissa are both devout followers of ashtanga yoga and diligently practice 6 days a week. They both know the trials and tribulations that go into just coming to your mat everyday, facing your fears, your weaknesses, your strengths, everything that is thrown at you.
"We have experienced nothing but pure joy from this system and have had barriers start to disappear. Through this workshop we hope that maybe your hurdles will start to fade as well!"
Ashtanga, Floating and the Elusive Seated Jump Through Saturday May 7, 2016 Yogalife Studios North 2:30-5:30pm