Notes on the Ashtanga Vinyasa workshop with Masterji Visnawath

Over the weekend i attended Masterji Visnawath’s Ashtanga Vinyasa workshop and here are a few notes i took…
We found out the actual name of Surya Namaskar A, it’s not just A, it has a real name, “Aruna” whilst B is “Maha Saura”, but i guess A & B just had a ring to it didn’t it?
– In the 2nd and 3rd postures of the sun salutations, Uttanasana and Ardha Uttanasana – Keep palms pressing down  on mat.
– In Chaturanga Dandasana, don’t squeeze the elbows in, allow a small gap between the elbows and the sides of the body.
– In Adho Mukha Svanasana, heels down, palms down, hips up.
– Chin over the knee to lengthen the spine.
– In Utthita Trikonasana head in line with the legs.
– Relax toes – shoulders – jaw – forehead.
– In Prasaritta Padottanasana A, B, C, D – chin down to straighten back.
“Never, never a yogi should look unwell” – Masterji Visnawath
“Always a person who does yoga should have a smiling face” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Understand your own body – Yoga is a practice of Freedom.
The Origins of Yoga
In the Bhagavad Gita we get an idea of the origins of yoga, the BG was written 5000years ago, so the idea is that yoga is about 5000 years old, but actually yoga is much older than that.
1st Guru of Yoga is Shiva, and by chanting Om we are evoking Shiva.
We pray to Patanjali – our present day Guru.
Teachings appeared in the Vedas – Upanishads.
Patanjali wrote the sutras for present-day teachers – very abstract.
Darshana – this is a sort of vision
– 6 schools all have the same goal of Liberation
“Yoga Darshana” by Patanjali
Jnana (knowledge), Karma (action) & Bhakti (devotion) Yoga.
Detached from the outcome = Liberation.
infraMysore style is the best way to learn.
The Teacher is the best prop in the class.
Vinyasa is the highest level of learning asanas.
People were practicing yoga before Patanjali wrote “The Yoga Sutras”.
The knowledge you get from self-practice is best.
Yoga is to control the Mind.
Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha:
– Chitta is more than just the mind, it’s also manas (->collects), buddhi (->intellect), ahankara (->ego)
– Vritti – fluctuations, the activity/modifications of chitta
– Nirodha – not just merely control, modification from one state to another.
Firm practice: regular & continuous – 6 days a week = quick results.
Practice without expectations, dis-attachment.
Never Stop Practicing!
There’s a few last things that Masterji said that have stuck – pain in the joints/body is due to cheese.
Practice changes based on age:
one should start yoga at the age of 8, not before.
8-13year – light practice (in this phase the body goes thru lots of physical changes)
13-16 (sometimes even 18years) – not too many backbends
from 20years everything can do – until about 50/65years, then again practice should change…i.e. at the age of 80 it might not be a good idea to do a headstand etc.
Rigid students should practice as much as possible – repetition helps open up.
~*~ There’s a few more notes on Pranayama which i will add in a few days – so check back in! 🙂
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About ctyoga

Christiane has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Her yogic journey began in 2000 as a student of Swami Nirmal (now at the Satyananda Centre in London) at the Fitness First gym in Kensal Rise, London. She experienced various teachers in different Fitness Firsts in Central London and around Clapham Junction before changing gyms and meeting Alexa Kho at LA FItness in Piccadilly Circus, London. Christiane attended Alexa's Anusara classes as well as her workshops. In January 2011 she enrolls in a 200hr Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training course with Rebecca Ffrench at YogaLondon. Vinyasa Flow is a modern form of yoga that comes from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and follows Sri K Pattabhi Jois. She quickly become passionate of this discipline and wants to deepen her knowledge; this brings her to meet and attend many workshops with Stewart Gilchrist, Shiva Rea, John Scott, Danny Paradise...all very famous teachers around the world. Being in the presence of such teachers is a significant experience for Christiane, in terms of her yogic journey, personal transformation and growth as well as understanding of yoga. After 11years in London, she moves to Milan to deepen and continue her journey. In Milan she teaches privately (1:1 and group classes) as well as in various yoga and dance centers. Milan is where her love for Ashtanga Vinyasa deepens and grows, bringing her to attend workshops with Lino Miele, Sharath Jois and most recently Kino MacGregor...all original students of Guruji, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. All of this culminates with a long awaited and long overdue trip to India, the birthplace of Yoga. Here Christiane deepens her practice and knowledge of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga by doing a 200hr Ashtanga Vinyasa TTC with Yogi Kamal Singh at Tattvaa Yogashala in Rishikesh India. After the monthlong course, her travels take her around India practicing with various other world renown teachers, namely with Sri V. Sheshadri in Mysore and with Rolf and Marci Naujokat in Goa. In 2013 Christiane decides to embark on yet another yoga adventure, this time in Aerial Yoga! The course was divided into two weekends: level I in April and level II in June, after which she becomes a qualified Aerial Yoga teacher. Teacher and student of yoga, writer, adventurous soul, creative mind, curious world traveler & lover of the outdoors. Current HQ: Milan, Italy.
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