Ashtanga Yoga is a powerful system of self-transformation which makes the body flexible, strong and healthy and brings mental clarity, peace and happiness. The sequences of postures are intelligently designed to detoxify the body, align the muscular-skeletal system, purify the nervous system and generally bring good health and vitality to the practitioner. The practice challenges one mentally to release old patterns of behavior and attachments, and so, as the physical transformation takes place through asana practice, a parallel psychological process is happening too. The postures focus heavily on the most common afflictions of Western life, both physical – short hamstrings, tight hips, weak back and abdominal muscles, poor posture – and mental – flagging willpower, flickering attention, weak body-mind connection. This fast-paced class focuses on using the breath to fuel the practice.
Mysore is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga yoga, named after the city in India where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the guru of Ashtanga Yoga, lived. The system is now transmitted by Jois’ grandson, Sri Sharath Jois, at the KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute. Mysore is open to all levels, from absolute beginners to more experienced students. The class is not led and all instruction is given on an individual basis. As you gain strength, stamina, flexibility and focus, poses will be added on to your sequence.
Some of the Benefits of a Mysore Practice:
You can show up when it suits you. As long as you leave enough time to finish your full practice, you can come to Mysore class at any point. You don’t need to worry about rushing from work or home to get to class on time anymore.
You can develop your meditation practice by following your own breath: Ashtanga is intended to be a moving meditation. Led classes are a fantastic way to learn about the breath and the vinyasa, but Mysore-style is where you follow your own breath and deepen your focus and meditation skills.
You get individual attention. In any type of yoga, we come across poses or aspects of the practice that are difficult and challenging. In a led class, you may just skim over a difficult pose, but in Mysore style you have the chance to work one-on-one with a trained teacher. Most people feel this individual attention helps their practice soar.
Mysore class is for everyone. One thing we did not expect when we started our morning Mysore program, was how wonderful it was for families and couples who wished to practice together, but had different levels of experience. With everyone in the room doing their own practice, Mysore class is a great way to work at your full capacity.
Jivamukti Basic Class Description
Each Jivamukti Basic class is part of a four-week fundamentals course that explores a different theme each week. Week one: standing asanas; week two: forward bending asanas; week three: backward bending asanas; week four: inversions, meditation and "putting it all together.' Whereas in the Beginner Vinyasa and Open class vinyasa is emphasized, in the Basic class alignment is the emphasis. Students are taught "how to do" asanas as well as the use of props. The Basic Class provides the underlying structure to help a student be able to eventually enter into an Open class intelligently and safely. Beginners are encouraged to take all four weeks of the Basic course. Intermediate and advanced students will also benefit from exploring the alignment essentials presented in these classes. It is advisable that a student register for the full 4 week program starting with week one, but a student can also drop into any class at any time during the month and can also take as many classes as they want each week. This class is suitable for beginners, but open to all levels of practitioner.
Jivamukti Beginner Vinyasa
Jivamukti Beginner Vinyasa classes are designed to provide the student with the underlying basics of how a vinyasa practice works. Vinyasa is a method of practicing asana (physical poses), where the asanas are presented in a sequence, flowing one to the next. The practice focuses on trying to align one's breath and spiritual intention with movement. The class follows a set sequence of asanas but is presented at a slower more relaxed pace than in the Spiritual Warrior class. Beginner Vinyasa classes provide a good transition for a beginner student from a Basic to the Spiritual Warrior or an Open class and gives the opportunity to the more advanced student to refine their skills through a deeper, slower exploration. This class is suitable for beginners, but open to all levels of practitioner.
Whether you're a beginner, deciphering the difference between vrksasana (tree) and sirshasana (headstand) or an advanced yogi who can put both feet behind their head, the Jivamukti Open class welcomes you, as it is open to practitioners of all levels. You work at your own pace, following the teacher's verbal as well as hands-on guidance. Asana options will be provided for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. A typical Open class incorporates the five tenets of Jivamukti Yoga: shastra (scripture), bhakti (devotion), ahimsa (kindness), nada (music) and dhyana (meditation) by presenting classical yoga teachings as relevant to one's life on and off the mat, drawn from the Focus of the Month essay, supported by chanting, breath awareness, flowing vinyasa sequences, alignment exploration, hands-on assistance, relaxation and meditation. All Open classes include 14 points --asanas, meditation and spiritual teachings-- in a sequence creatively designed by the teacher. Exuberant, eclectic music plays an integral role: you might practice to a shifting soundtrack of ragas, global trance, hip-hop, spoken word, George Harrison, Sting, Krishna Das, Donna de Lory, Michael Franti, Bill Laswell, Alice Coltrane and Mozart. The class is called "Open" because it is open and suitable to all levels of practitioner. Even so, beginning level students should know that there will not be much detailed "how to do" descriptions; for that a student is advised to attend a Basic or Beginner Vinyasa Class.
Jivamukti Spiritual Warrior
Jivamukti Spiritual Warrior classes are designed for busy people who only have an hour to practice. The class is fast paced and invigorating and is certainly a "get-in-shape" class. The structure is a fixed set sequence instructed in a vinyasa style. It is a fully balanced class which includes asana warm-up, chanting, setting of intention, surya namaskar, standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, inversions, meditation and relaxation. The teacher focuses on keeping the pace moving and does not stop to give spiritual discourses. Since the asana sequence is always the same, a student will pick it up quite quickly after only a couple of classes. In many Jivamukti Yoga Centers this class is also offered as the International Spiritual Warrior class, which is taught in languages other than the national language of the country while maintaining standard Sanskrit terminology, making it a wonderful language immersion experience. You could actually learn another language by taking this class regularly. Many yoga teachers find that they learn essential key terms in other languages to enable them to teach yoga in foreign countries. Spiritual Warrior and International Spiritual Warrior Classes are best for intermediate and advanced students, although beginners as well as anyone with a sense of adventure are welcome! Spiritual Warrior classes are one hour in length.
Call and response devotional singing.
The Jivamukti Yoga method of meditation is a mantra form of meditation, instructed in three steps: Choose your seat, Be still, and Focus. Mantra provides the focus. With the mantra "Let-Go" the practitioner is instructed to align the silent repetition of the mantra with the incoming and out-going breath. By allowing a continuous movement of breath through the body and thoughts through the mind, with the suggestion of let-go, the practitioner can eventually let go of identification with the body and mind and allow Self-realization to arise. The class begins with Sanskrit chanting to purify the atmosphere, followed by detailed meditation instruction. The actual sitting time for the meditation practice is usually 20 minutes, but it could be longer or shorter according to the discretion of the teacher. Afterwards there is a Q&A session with the teacher, followed by closing prayers. No prior experience in meditation is required. The class is open to all who have a sincere desire to learn a simple, yet effective way to not only quiet and calm their minds but also move toward enlightenment.
To assist persons with physical limitations who might have difficulty performing standard poses, Advanced certified Jivamukti teacher Tina James offers an adaptive yoga class in which the standing poses are adapted for those who do not stand. Tina’s Rehab's Adaptive Yoga Class starts with breath awareness and gentle warm-ups, includes a series of adaptive poses and ends with guided relaxation. Many adaptive yoga students have noted the following benefits after taking the class: improved posture, less back pain, increased stamina and enhanced feeling of relaxation. Those who continue yoga practice at home seem to experience even more benefits. Yoga is really about self-awareness and enhancing one's whole being — physically, mentally and spiritually.
"Good and virtuous company gives rise to non-attachment."
Satsang means keeping the company of the holy, the like-minded and those who are identified with the truth. Basically, Jivamukti Yoga is comprised of Bhakti (devotional), Karma (selfless service), Raja (ashtanga) and Jnana (intellect) yoga, and Satsang (the spiritual heart and soul of Jivamukti Yoga). Kirtan, which means "people coming together to be in the presence of God," includes Sanskit chanting, meditation, or a discussion. Each kirtan has a leader for the evening. Noteworthy teachers who have led kirtan at Loka Yoga include Shyam Das, Dave Stringer, Sparrow Grace and Sandra from Give Peace a Chant.
Shantiseva is a Hatha-based practice of breath, asana, meditation and kriyas, with a very strong connection to First Nations teachings. Each class is connected to an element: Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether and taught with a vinyasa flowing form. Shantiseva also explores the direct realization of the inter-connectedness to our planet, our body, our mind, our soul, and the children of our future generations.
We are planting the seed for highly conscious living in all facets of life through intention. The seeds germinate through creativity and insight. They mature through experience in action and come into fruition through sharing with others.
Vi (ordered placement) + nyasa (to place on purpose in a special way or sequence) means to act mindfully in each moment so that the sequence of actions leads to the desired outcome. Ordered placement is linked with conscious breath and intention designed to bring about nirodha, the cessation of fluctuations in the mind. The vinyasa classes include an emphasis on movement with the breath, as the breath is the key for focus, detoxification, safety, and moving deeper into your practice. Join us in an opportunity to try new things and have fun!
Yin yoga is a perfect compliment to the more Yang styles of yoga. By holding poses, connective tissues (muscle fascia, tendons and ligaments) are released, thus improving flexibility. The asanas chosen in this practice stretch energy lines, stimulate healing and nourishment of the organs and move prana (life force) through the body. These supported poses activate the parasympathetic nervous system (the body's natural healing system) and are beneficial to everyone seeking stress reduction. It also provides opportunities for well being through stillness. Creating space within, improving mental strength and clarity.
Yoga Off The Wall
*First Yoga Wall in Whistler BC
History & Evotion of the YOGA WALL
Based on BKS Iyengar’s principles of alignment, ‘the wall’ is used as a prop to deepen asana by opening and creating space in the body using therapeutic techniques. (Inversions in our advanced classes). The original “Yoga Wall” took on the form of ropes attached to wall hooks, designed by Iyengar, who has blessed humanity for decades. As years passed, the Yoga Wall evolved, and introduced new systems of adjustable straps to accommodate body-types of all sorts. In the early 1980's, the newest system was designed (due to a foot injury on an older system’s wall hooks) by Kedric Wolfe. He knew there had to be a simpler and more versatile way to use the wall.
Benefits of the YOGA WALL
In this unique practice, gravity can be appreciated and utilized as a natural form of resistance, which can help students develop strong core muscles. The YOGA WALL:
can help improve overall flexibility and mobility in the joints and spine
builds strength in both the large and small muscle groups
aides in the ability to access various muscle groups in poses they are not yet able to achieve on the mat
offers many therapeutic benefits helping individuals heal from athletic injuries, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and Sciatica
can be used as a work-out tool to aid competitive athletes in cross-training and preparation for competitions
allows one to do hundreds of poses
can help students work through fear, build confidence, etc, so that they are able to take what they’ve learned on the Wall, to their mats and into their daily lives
uses specific postures and positioning, movement and breath, awareness to open the joints, connective tissue and joints
allows standing postures, forward and back bends, twists and inversions
helps us feel great after doing yoga, because it is a balanced physical practice designed to open the spine in every direction
It is said in Yoga, that “you are only as old as your spine.” Thus, as long as you have a healthy and flexible spine, your ability to *participate in life is endless! To open the spine in every direction without compression = hang upside down and practice yoga!