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Is Centered Yoga an Ashtanga Vinyasa Training?

By Elonne Stockton

elonne-centered-blog-01One of the most common questions we get from prospective teachers considering our training program is whether or not we are an Ashtanga Vinyasa training course.

The simple answer is no.

The Ashtanga Vinyasa system, which we use to teach the asana portion of the course, is merely one part of the course. We teach yoga in its entirety, which includes pranayama and other meditation techniques like mantra, as well as philosophy, chanting, anatomy, asana study, etc. We also introduce and incorporate other asana styles, including but not limited to traditional Hatha and restorative approaches. We emphasize the seated practice, the main part of which is pranayama from the Kaivalyadhama tradition. We start each morning sitting for breathwork/pranayama and mantra repetition.

We teach an informed approach to the Ashtanga Vinyasa system, which allows for and encourages props and modifications as needed. We do not expect that trainees come with an established practice in Ashtanga, only that they have a couple years experience with asana, some foundation in practicing. We believe that our most important responsibility is to ensure that the practice is safe for everyone and supportive of each student’s overall practice and growth.

Avoiding extremes

To those non-Ashtanga students who are not interested in working with Ashtanga at all, it is important to remember that all Flow, Power, Vinyasa, etc. classes originate from the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. Students who wish to teach any of these styles may benefit from first learning the rules of the original sequence(s) before they learn how to “break the rules,” so to speak. Without getting caught up in any dogma and rigidity that is all too often the downside of many practices, not just Ashtanga.

And we encourage those students, who are heavily into the Ashtanga practice, to learn all of the many aspects of Yoga, beyond asana. It is good to research different trainings and find the right fit for the individual. Then, whichever training someone chooses, it is important not to get attached to the physical form of practice, which only creates more suffering in the long-run, both for them and for their future students.

Our aim is to help students build some solid foundation for practice in a way that is both physically and mentally positive, and that is supportive of overall growth.

Summary
Article Name
Is Centered Yoga an Ashtanga Vinyasa Training?
Description
The Ashtanga Vinyasa system, which we use to teach the asana portion of the course, is merely one part of the course. We teach yoga in its entirety, which includes pranayama and other meditation techniques like mantra, as well as philosophy, chanting, anatomy, asana study, etc.
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Centered Yoga

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