As a multi style yoga school, we aim to introduce our students to a variety of practice methods. We offer a holistic view of yoga that is not centered around asana, while still allowing students to experience the myriad of physical practices available.
Hatha Yoga is a branch of yoga containing a system of physical techniques, including the practice of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises). The Sanskrit word ‘hatha’ can be translated two ways – to mean forceful/wilful (alluding to the yoga of activity), or as ‘ha’ (sun) and ‘tha’ (moon), alluding to the yoga of balance. This style of yoga is a process of purification of the gross, subtle and spiritual aspects of the body. By using the body as an instrument we build greater awareness of our selves and our consciousness, and we prepare to enter deeper spiritual practice, such as meditation.
As the term ‘Hatha Yoga’ really just indicates a physical form of practice, many of the styles of yoga practiced now (Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa etc) also fall under the umbrella of Hatha Yoga. The practice itself emphasises proper diet, processes to internally purify the body, regulation and control of the breath (particularly during the physical practice), and the sequence of postures designed to allow a free flow of energy throughout the body. Hatha Yoga is a tool for holistic health. In order to reach the highest stages of yoga and experience Atman, our true self, we must begin with a dedicated practice of Hatha Yoga. The discipline and devotion involved in this path lead eventually to a state of self-realisation or enlightenment.
The philosophy behind Ashtanga Yoga has origins dating back as far as 200 BCE, when ancient sage Patanjali compiled the knowledge of yoga into a book known as the ‘Yoga Sutras’. The 196 sutras (or verses) that comprise this book provide the foundation for Raja Yoga (royal yoga). Patanjali outlines 8 stages or 8 different internal and external practices that allow us to achieve stilling of the fluctuations of the mind, otherwise known as yoga.
The knowledge from the yoga sutras was passed on to Krishnamacharya, one of the most influential yogis of modern times and the teacher of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Pattabhi Jois formulated a series of set sequences of asanas, each more powerful and demanding than the last. Ashtanga yoga as developed by Jois therefore gained a reputation for being a strong, physical practice, with a heavy emphasis on the third limb of yoga: asana.
At Multi Style Yoga School, we teach the Ashtanga Vinyasa method as formulated by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The set sequence of this practice aids in building strength, focus and awareness, as well as activation of the nadis (or energy channels) throughout the body. It is a demanding, intensive practice which requires dedication and devotion from those who become regular practitioners of it.
Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar was born in 1918 as a very ill and sickly baby. By age 13 he’d contracted malaria, tuberculosis, and typhoid, and was consistently suffering with ill health. The death of his father left the family with a large financial burden and Iyengar was sent to live with his brother in Bangalore. During this time his health continued to decline and his education began to be affected.
In 1934, Iyengar’s sister invited him to stay with her and her new husband, Professor Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. It was here that yoga would enter B.K.S. Iyengar’s life. Krishnamacharya, a gifted man and advanced yogi, ran a yoga school where Iyengar was invited to attend and learn asanas. Initially Iyengar struggled with pain, largely due to his physical limitations, but also because he struggled with concentration.
However, with his determination and his guru’s strict ways, he gradually mastered some of the asanas. As time went on Iyengar saw huge changes in his physical and mental health and well-being. Seeing how well he was advancing, Krishnamacharya asked Iyengar, who was at this time eighteen years old, to start teaching. Iyengar didn’t know how to speak Marathi, the language spoken by his students, and had never learnt the techniques for teaching asana. This caused him to struggle initially as a teacher, and in order to overcome this he practiced persistently, in the hope of gaining an in-depth knowledge of each posture and the movement of each body part. The accuracy he established was later reflected in his teaching. By working as a teacher, he became fluent in Marathi, as well as English, Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, and Kannada, which enabled him to communicate with all of his students.
With a growing reputation as a successful teacher, more and more people of all ages and abilities started coming to practice with him, including many people with ailments. Since yoga had improved his health, they thought it could do something for theirs, too. Iyengar developed a system of yoga that heavily utilised props, such as ropes, belts, wooden blocks, and bolsters, in order to allow the elderly, weak, and inflexible experience the therapeutic effects of yoga.
This focus on alignment, heavy use of props and close attention to detail have become the key features of an Iyengar yoga practice. It is precise, therapeutic and accessible, and for these reasons has become one of the most popular branches of yoga.
Vinyasa yoga heavily emphasises coordination of breath with movement, and is often a dynamic, fast paced class that leads you into a meditative state as you flow from one asana to the next. In Vinyasa yoga there is no set sequence of postures, and often other elements of movement based practice can be incorporated, giving the student a well-rounded and holistic practice.
Yin yoga is a slower paced style, whereby the practitioner moves through a small selection of postures that are held in stillness for an average of 1-5 minutes each. Yin aims to access the deep layers of connective tissue and fascia in the body, applying healthy amounts of stress or ‘load’ to joints, tendons and ligaments. It is often used as a counter balance to other forms of yoga or physical practice, these usually being dynamic, ‘yang’ styles (like Ashtanga). Yin yoga is traditionally performed on the floor, often utilises props and sequences are designed with the aim of stimulating specific meridians (subtle channels in the body as outlined in traditional Chinese medicine).
Yin yoga’s balanced and gentle approach to the physical body leaves the subtle body with an immense feeling of calm, release and stillness.
Restorative yoga focuses on relaxation and rest. Sequences tend to contain a few simple postures, ranging from forward folds to light twists and variations of supine asanas. Restorative yoga takes it’s teachings from B.K.S Iyengar (world renowned yogi and founder of Iyengar Yoga), and in true Iyengar style props may be heavily utilised. In this practice, physical and mental are aligned through the practice of stillness and centering awareness to the breath.
Pranayama is a practice involving a variety of techniques used to control and manipulate the breath. ‘Prana’ translates roughly as ‘life force‘ and ‘ayama’ refers to control or restraint. The breath is the only function of our autonomic nervous system that we have direct control over. Therefore control over the breath leads to control over the body, and greater awareness of the mind. By focusing on the pattern of breath we are able to achieve one pointed concentration, one of the key aspects of the yoga practice. The breath is the bridge linking the physical and the subtle bodies, also connecting body with mind. Through pranayama practice we can purify and balance the ‘nadis’ (energy channels through which prana flows). This leads the practitioner into a state of purification, awareness and spiritual advancement. At Multi Style Yoga School we introduce you to several pranayama methods, including nadi shodhana, kapalabhati and bhastrika.
You will have the opportunity to study and practice a selection of techniques, as well as learning about the differing benefits of each method.
Meditation is the art of observation, reflection and realisation. There are now a wide variety of meditation techniques, from passive and relaxing to dynamic, powerful experiences. In line with our holistic approach we offer a variety of guided meditations at Multi Style Yoga School. Yoga nidra, trataka, om meditation and chakra cleansing are just some of the techniques you’ll encounter with us. Alongside this we also commonly use visualisations of sacred symbols or images are used to heighten concentration and help the practitioner access a deep layer of the sub conscious mind. In gaining experience of these practices we hope to fill you with joy, freedom and love.
Mantra involves the use of a divine sound, a word revealed to one who is in the state of true enlightenment. These sacred sounds are the vehicles by which we can achieve one-pointedness of the mind. You can think of a mantra as a ‘compact prayer’ or a condensed form of spiritual energy. In yogic scriptures, mantras are defined as being akin to a boat or bridge, leading the aspirant from the external world into the deep realm of consciousness. A true mantra is the essence of guru Shakti, meaning that the mantra itself is the guru.
The chanting of mantras creates a vibration that is in tune with a higher space of consciousness. This allows our body and mind to connect to that same vibration, and we begin to experience a purification if the body and mind. Repeated recitation of mantras is known as ‘japa’, and is an incredibly important and useful tool in the development of concentration and focus.
Aside from japa and mantra meditation, you may also come across mantras in the form of kirtan, a uniting of voices offered in celebration and devotion to the gods. Kirtan is a practice of Bhakti yogi’s, the yogi’s who follow the path of love and devotion. Through community connection, devotion and mantra, self-realisation is achieved on the Bhakti path.
At Multi Style Yoga School we highly value the importance of mantra and you will have the chance to experience japa mantra daily, which expands the development of your sanskrit, your practice, and your ability to achieve personal clarity.
As a core part of the 200 and 300 hour teacher training programs, we offer daily classes in anatomy and physiology, led by specialised and knowledgable teachers.
Medical technology has seen huge advancements in recent years, and health care is becoming better and better. Although nutritional deficiencies and infections continue to be a major problem in underdeveloped and developing countries, the scenario in developed countries is totally different. Fascinating discoveries in medicine have made our lives more comfortable, increasing life expectancy and quality of life. However, stress, anxiety and mental health issues are on the rise. Looking for a holistic view that combines both Western medicine and traditional Eastern practices, many people are turning to yoga, and taking the health of their mind and body into their own hands. As a yoga teacher you will guide many people of all shapes and sizes through a physical practice. Some of your students may even have injuries. It’s therefore necessary to be equipped with at least a foundational level of knowledge regarding the body and how it works and moves. The more accurate the information, the more skilled the teacher, and the less likely your students are to develop injury or pain during their practice.
We cover a predefined set of topics, including the anatomy of the human body and physiology (as relating to the yoga practice), biomechanics, and comprehensive knowledge on the digestive, respiratory, reproductive, nervous, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine systems.
Ayurveda is a system of holistic healing which has roots in the Indian subcontinent, going back some thousands of years. The word ‘Ayurveda’ loosely translates as ‘life science’, and it is commonly known as the medicinal counterpart to the philosophical yoga practice. Ayurveda is a system of healing, but it is also a lifestyle, and beyond treatment and medication it also includes recommendations for diet, exercise and lifestyle. Ayurveda aims to maintain the health of healthy people, and to cure the diseases of sick people.
Ayurveda is an individualistic method of healing, the basis being that each person has a constitution that is unique to them, made up of differing amounts of the three ‘doshas’. The doshas are known as vata (ether and air), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth). Imbalances in the doshas give rise to differing physiological issues. Ayurveda looks to balance the doshas by incorporating holistic methods, providing the individual with their own unique pattern and system of healing.
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