PART 3: ASHTANGA YOGA - PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
Image: Geoff Mackenzie
Future: A Personal Account
Looking towards the future at Vayusha Yoga we have the extreme pleasure to welcome a fully certified Ashtanga teacher. He is hosting a practical and comprehensive introduction to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga workshop. Come take a read through on Geoff’s personal relationship with Ashtanga yoga and his future plans for the practice.
Anyone can practice! Like most of us, I have been finding steadiness and calm in the midst of intense activity since childhood: tearing around at high speeds on foot or wheels, and climbing up and jumping out of trees as a kid; more formally in competitive swimming and rugby; then more viscerally, snowboarding multiple seasons in the French Alps, and surfing the waves of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Of course, I had little idea at the time that all these pursuits, with their peak experiences, were showing me a glimpse of total integration with Life as It unfolds - what some might call Yoga. Looking back from where I stand now, I see that‚ exactly what was frequently occurring and why I was so passionate about them.
My formal introduction to yoga practice happened in Bali in 1998, when classes were still a rare discovery on that unique and beautiful island. Though I had already began reading in Buddhism, meditation and mysticism, I was initially attracted to practice so as to benefit my surfing: I wanted to be stronger and more flexible, focused and calm, and able to hold my breath for longer! For the next five years I dabbled in the few different classes on offer there, noting the differences between certain methods, my commitment waxing and waning; and despite my inconsistency, I always returned to class because practice felt so good.
Moving to Victoria, BC in 2003 exposed me to the drop-in yoga studio world and I indulged myself thoroughly! The guided Ashtanga and Vinyasa classes hooked me the most and I ended up in a local teacher training course a year later, to deepen my studies and explore the possibility of sharing with others. Despite my reservations, I ended up teaching right away (likely due to the lack of male teachers on the scene!) Soon after starting to teach classes, I also began self-practice of Ashtanga Yoga, which changed everything.
I first met Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in the USA, in 2006, and made my first pilgrimage to his yoga Shala in Mysore later that year. Since then, I have returned annually to the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) for extended study periods and recently arrived back from my 9th visit. In Mysore and elsewhere, I have also undertaken informal studies of classical yoga texts, such as Patanjali‚ Yoga Sutra, The Baghavad Gita and The Ramayana ‚primarily explored by learning to chant the original Sanskrit, call-and-response fashion, with a teacher.
Authorized at Level 2 by my teacher, Sharath Jois ‚ director of the KPJAYI , I am able to share the Primary and Intermediate Series of the Ashtanga Yoga method, as I have learned them from him in Mysore. I have also been fortunate enough to gain teaching experience under the direct supervision of Sharath, while assisting him for multiple months in daily classes at the KPJAYI during my most recent visits.
I am now growing an Ashtanga Yoga school in East Vancouver, where I live, called Mysore BC. I also travel periodically within Canada to assist other fledgling Mysore programs and to cover for teachers who wish to take time out for their own studies.
For more information check out these links:
Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute
Ashtanga Directory Website http://www.ashtanga.com
Want to learn more about Ashtanga yoga?
Join Geoff Mackenzie for a practical and comprehensive introduction to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice, in the tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Over the course of one Workshop and four classes, students can learn and practice the essential foundations of Ashtanga Vinyasa, each progressing step-by-step according to their own capacity, receiving individual assistance as required.
All levels of practitioner, especially Beginners, are welcome to participate. Regular students of Vinyasa/Power/Flow classes will benefit from exploring the foundational elements of this method, which has inspired so many recently-evolved forms of yoga.
When: June 12th, 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd I 10.45am - 12.15pm
Cost: Workshop only: $45 + gst OR Full series + four 90 mins classes: $150+gst
firstname.lastname@example.org OR 778.988.9642