The world of Yoga has become increasingly confusing, with new styles and schools of Yoga being added to an already long list every year. I always get asked the question, “what style of Yoga do you practise and teach?” It is always a confusing question to answer because to me, for the longest time, Yoga was, well, just Yoga.
Back to the question of what style of Yoga I practise and teach. It is a difficult question to answer, but what I have decided to do is to simplify the answer. Most practices today, unless you are in a very traditional ashram setting dedicated to one particular style, is a mix of various styles. Now, when someone asks me the question, I simply say – I practice Classical Yoga. I teach Classical Yoga mixed with restorative and therapeutic styles.
What is Classical Yoga?
To put it simply, it is the Yoga described by Maharishi Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra text, which is the oldest scripture dedicated to Yoga that we know of today. It includes the Classical Ashtānga Yoga (not to be confused with the Ashtānga Vinyasa school of Yoga started by Sri Pattabhi Jois about 100 years ago) as well as a number of techniques and concepts mentioned in the text.
Personally, I have been making an effort to slowly incorporate various concepts in my everyday life, bit by bit, and I’d love to have conversations around it with you!
What does a Classical Yoga practice and class look like?
When it comes to classes, I focus on making the asana techniques work on the body and the mind together, and to ensure it is not just physical exercise. I work around building awareness and mindfulness, incorporating various concepts into the physical practice, and explain how the various techniques and concepts can be applied in everyday life outside of classes.
As far as my personal practice goes, I enjoy slow, static movement combined with the breath and building focus. I also work towards understanding the body and mind from a more scientific perspective, which is where my exploration of anatomy and physiology comes into play.
My personal practice typically is more off the mat than on it – working on incorporating various concepts is what I really enjoy. I love reading and understanding various texts about Yogic concepts and techniques – I am currently looking at better understanding the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. I love working with the breath and building mental and emotional balance through it.
So, there it is! That’s my understanding of Classical Yoga and what I try to take away from it. Comment or message me if you have questions or would like to talk more about this!