By Rebecca Louzan
Before dawn each day in the early 1900’s, a curious 12-year old south Indian boy would sneak out of his house, wide-eyed and eager to absorb teachings from a sanskrit scholar later known as the “Father of Modern Yoga,” Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. The little boy’s family never knew the child practiced yoga before school each day, but his internal drive was so strong that he left home at an early age to pursue the studies of Ashtanga. When the boy grew to 33 years old, he established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India, and soon Westerners including Madonna, Sting and Gwyneth Paltrow would travel to study under him. His name was K. Pattabhi Jois, and in 1975 his first trip to the United States would mark the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga movement in America.
Ashtanga Yoga is much more than the physical practice we associate with the word “Yoga.” Ashtanga Yoga literally means “eight-limbed yoga,” referring to a diverse set of practices to ultimately achieve a complete understanding of our human condition, and the “why’s” of our existence. These Ashtanga practices include the establishment of moral codes, self purification and study, physical posture practice, breath control, sense control, concentration, meditation, and ultimately spiritual enlightenment. According to Jois, the definition of yoga is "the controlling of the mind." But he argued that many of the limbs of yoga cannot be practiced when the body and sensory organs are weak and distracted, so a daily physical practice is necessary to keep the body strong and healthy to achieve a steady, controlled mind.
The purpose of the physical practice of yoga, specifically vinyasa, is for internal cleansing. It involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of asanas (postures) to produce intense internal heat and a profuse sweat that carry impurities out of the body, detoxifying muscles and organs. Through the use of vinyasa the body becomes healthy, light and strong.
For more information about Ashtanga Yoga, visit www.ashtangayoga.com. For more information about Lori, visit /www.namastelyons.com/lori-legault. Namaste Lyons charges $14 for a drop in, $120 for a 10-Pass and $200 for a 20-Pass.
Namaste Lyons (formerly Lyons Yoga & Wellness), has been in business in Lyons since 2011. We recently moved to a new and larger space at 402 Main Street (just under The Soda Fountain) and established our new name this August. We offer a full range of yoga and wellness services including Gentle Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, meditation, private wedding classes, massage, body and energy work, relationship workshops, community groups and more. See our full schedule at www.namastelyons.com and follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/namastelyons. The article author, Rebecca Louzan is the owner of Namaste Lyons. Rebecca is a yoga + meditation instructor, author and a holistic wellness advocate. www.rebeccalouzan.com She studied at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda and at Clark University. Rebecca co-founded and operates a second Lyons-based business, Onda Creative - a branding and marketing studio that specializes in the Yoga/LOHAS, Outdoor and Biotechnology industries. www.ondacreative.com