Hatha Yoga | Tantra | Kriya Yoga | Vira Yoga | Kundalini Yoga
Modern Yoga’s roots in Hatha Yoga
Most popular systems of yoga practiced in the west are in one way or another dirived from the practice of Hatha Yoga. Most of it is coming from a lineage that takes shape with T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), the teacher of yoga titans such as B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi, and T.K.V. Desikachar. Think of the most popular ‘brands’ of yoga (Anusara Yoga, Forest Yoga, Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga, etc), and you’ll likely find their roots in one or more of these teachers.
Krishnamacharya was largely responsible for the creation of modern hatha yoga. He blended traditional hatha yoga with modern western gymnastic movements, exercises from western and indian wrestling, and developed new asanas to suite the needs of the people of the day. B.K.S. Iyengar (a student of Krishnamacharya) was also responsible the creation of new, pioneering asanas that targeted the needs of the day. Despite most modern western yoga’s claim as being an ‘ancient practice’ most of what is practiced in the west was developed within the last 150 years. Many modern western teachers however, such as John Friend, have begun to bring more of the ancient understandings of asana into this more modern practice.
Daogandantra is a synthetis of the old and new. Not only does it have a heavy focus on the actual ancient practices of yoga, as well as the contemporary practice of modern yoga, but it also assimilates other practices, both ancient and modern into it’s lexicon. And not only does it focus on assimilating other practices, but it is directly concerned with the development of new practices suites for the modern man, woman, and child.
What is a typical Daogandantra Yoga class like?
Ancient yogis and sages recognized through meditation, that our natural state is peace and joy. That the various fluctuations and agitations of the mind cause us to become dislodged from that natural state of being. They recognized that these agitations, these tensions, manifest physically in our bodies. If I’m really stressed, I’m holding onto all this tension in my neck and shoulders. If I’m very sad, my shoulders round forward as the muscles around my ribs and pecs tighten. And so on. So they developed poses, asanas, to access this tension. Ways of motion and posture to address various specific emotional tensions in the body that manifest physically in our connective tissue and muscles. By moving ourselves into these poses, we are directly practicing softening and relaxing those tensions. So it is through the body, through relaxing the physical, that we are practicing relaxing the mental and emotional.While a typical DGDA Yoga class is so much transcending the physical, a great emphasis is given to propery body alignment. I believe strongly that we should not be injuring our causing harm to our bodies in our asana practice, as such, proper alignment and foundations are key to maintain an injury free practice and are covered heavily in every class.Poses are often held for longer periods of time than in many western styled yoga classes, giving each being the time to truly settle into each pose to find the subtle nuances of the pose, and individual differences and tensions that each person holds.
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