Yoga ah! Blog
What is the similarities and differences between Ashtanga Yoga and Rocket Vinyasa Yoga?
Ashtanga Yoga was found around 1930 written on a bundle of palm leaves in a library in south India. It was believed to be dated over 5000 years old. Ashtanga Yoga was practiced in a very specific sequence with a very specific breath count for each movement. Poses were meant to be held for 5 to 8 ujjai breaths, while focusing on your core to build internal heat. One poses had to be mastered before you could proceed to the next. Also traditional Ashtanga Yoga is taught thru what some may call very intense physical adjustments. Over time with regular practice Ashtanga Yoga leads you to a path of enlightenment and healing.
Rocket Vinyasa Yoga was created by changing the Ashtanga Yoga Sequence as a blend of simple to advance poses in one practice. Rocket Vinyasa Yoga blends poses from all The Ashtanga Yoga series, so a yogi can experience a broder range of poses in one week.
In the year 2000 I found myself in San Francisco walking up to It's Yoga at 848 Folsom St. You could smell the nag champa from the side walk and upon entering the studio the smell of incense became mixed with the smell of musty sweat, it was after a Rocket Yoga Class. Larry would always say you know it was a good class by the way the room smelled. Meaning the stinkier the better.
That was to be my home for the next 28 days as I embarked on my journey of becoming an yoga instructor. There were about 20 other yogis who were also in my training group. I remember sitting in a large circle and listening to Larry give lessons and the whole time I kept thinking "shouldn't we be teaching on each other?", yet Larry would just have us sit and write in our journal about the breath and our core and talk about our hands and feet positioning. Larry also wanted us all to write out our whole class which he called "our script". It was only by the last week that we were really in full swing practice teaching on each other and testing out by teaching a class at It's Yoga. By the end of training we had accumulated handouts and books and notes and journals all equaling out to a 55 minute class. That's how we did it, Larry had us build a foundation, he taught us well and by the end of training we were all ready to go out into the world and share the practice.
Yoga as taught in India over the past 1000's of years existed mostly as an oral tradition. The teachings were passed on from student to teacher and teacher to student. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900's discovered a bundle of palm leaves with what was later to become The Ashtanga Yoga Sequences thet were taught by Pattabi Jois. Krishnamacharya worked very close with Pattabi Jois as his student. One time Krishnamacharya and Jois were asked to move into the Mysore Palace to help the Maharish's son walk. After sometime passed with the help of Jois and Krishnamacharya the boy walked again. Yoga instructors were seen as Medicine Men or healers. As vigorous as the Ashtanga Yoga practice may appear from the outside looking in, ultimately it awakens a spiritual fire which heals body and mind.
When I discovered the Rocket routines I knew I had found my yoga. Being 20 years old at the time it was a gift. One of my first yoga classes was a Rocket 2, I thought thats just what yogis do, as a beginner it was really amazing to see all kinds of people going upside down with a breath cue from Larry.
My body was so flexible and rubbery when I began practicing, really all over the place. The flexibility came very easy yet the strength was a whole other animal. The first time I did a handstand I thought my arms were going to break. Even just balancing in tree pose my body would blow with the most gentle breeze. However something deep inside me kept making me want to practice.
I do believe that if one person is suffering we all are, if one person heals we all heal.
If you have ever experienced loss in your life you know you can not change the outcome of some situations. How can you quantify the relationships we have with other people and spirits? The human spirit is beautiful and complex with many layers. The human experience is a gift from nature, we are nature. Have you ever noticed that nature just happens?