Ashtanga Yoga is a comprehensive eight-step evolutionary program designed to transform a human being physically and mentally by reducing dis-ease, pain and stress and by increasing health, peace and happiness - leading ultimately to the highest realization of the Self. Since we live in such polluted and unnatural environment - for most people this means starting with healing the body.
Healing - Therapy - Evolution
Many people come to yoga after realizing that modern medicine does not have a cure for most of our common ailments: at best, modern medicine can often only offer a band-aid which aims to cover up symptoms without eliminating actual causes of dis-ease, but alarmingly, more often, medications prescribed by doctors (or bought over the counter) have many unwanted side affects - which in the end may cause more suffering than they eliminate.
Yoga suggests that most of our distress is of a psychological origin - because we feel stressed, we eat bad food which causes us pain - or we say something which has endless miserable consequences. Today it is recognized that most dis-ease has a psycho-somatic component - many of the common ailments people suffer have direct or indirect psychological causes eg symptoms increase with stress, the presence of certain people or environments.
Yoga approaches the elimination of pain or dis-ease by addressing both the physical and the mental dimensions, recognizing these as two sides of the same coin, by accessing and modifying the subtle interface between them. This subtle interface between the mind and body is reflected in the way we breathe, and yoga utilizes different methods of breathing for therapy, purification and concentration.
Asana practice is fundamentally therapeutic - it helps one eliminate everyday aches and pains, reduces stress and helps one to sleep better at night. It can eliminate or help one control many chronic conditions related to muscular tension and digestive distress - back ache, headaches, constipation, IBS - even diabetes, heart conditions etc can greatly benefit from yoga practice.
Asana practice brings more peace and helps one to concentrate. It also educates one about one’s body - healing oneself is a journey which allows one eventually to become one’s own doctor: no one can know one’s own body as intimately as the one who experiences it.
Written by Guy Donahaye
HANDS ON ADJUSTMENTS
"Adjustments can allow students to move deeper into postures, and/or correct postures from potential injuries. The bigger picture for me in adjusting, is to observe, see, and truly understand what the student needs at that very moment. Tailoring and individualizing their practice to suit their specific needs."
"Everything about assisting, whether verbally or physically or both, is to help the spirit of the student to shine fully so that their innate radiance adds more light to the world." (Sianna Sherman)