Wherever you look you will see God”. Only through practice will we realize the truth of what this guru often says. “Everything is God”.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Creator of vinyasa style yoga, Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga Retreat

Many people ask about the type of yoga taught at Casa Verde. Our retreats are, in fact, Ashtanga yoga retreats since we follow the dynamic practice of Ashtanga.

As a direct student of K. Pattabhi Jois, I I believe the Ashtanga method is borne of divine inspiration and can do wonders for our body and mind if it is practiced consistency.

Who is K. Pattabhi Jois?

K. Pattabhi Jois(1933-1997) is considered one of the most influential and relevant yoga teachers of the past century.

He developed the vinyasa style of yoga called Ashtanga Yoga and founded the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute of Mysore, India.

Ashtanga Yoga Retreats

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Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga, practiced in its correct sequential order, gradually leads the practitioner to rediscover his or her fullest potential on all levels of human consciousness – physical, psychological and spiritual. Through this practice of correct breathing (Ujjayi Pranayama), postures (asanas), and gazing point (dristi), we gain control of the senses and a deep awareness of ourselves. By maintaining this discipline with regularity and devotion, one acquires steadiness of body and mind.

Ashtanga literally means “eight limbs”. They are described by Patanjali as: Yama (abstinence), Niyama (observance), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (contemplation).

Over the course of your Ashtanga yoga retreat experience, you’ll develop your own spiritual practice to purify the mind, body and heart and reconnect with your own divine nature as you flourish in the divine nature of Ecuador’s cloud forest.

Vinyasa

Vinyasa means breath synchronized movement. The breath is the heart of this discipline, and links asana to asana in a precise order. By synchronizing movement with breathing and practicing Mula and Uddiyana Bandhas (locks), an intense internal heat is produced. This heat purifies muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones and minerals, which can nourish the body when the sweat is massaged back into the skin. The breath regulates the vinyasa and ensures efficient circulation of blood. The result is a light, strong body.

There are three groups of sequences in the Ashtanga system. The Primary Series (yoga chikitsa) detoxifies and aligns the body. The Intermediate Series (nadi shodhana) purifies the nervous system by opening and clearing the energy channels. The Advanced Series A.B.C.D. (sthira bhaga) integrate the strength and grace of the practice, requiring higher levels of flexibility and humility.

Each level is to be fully developed before proceeding to the next, and the sequential order of asanas is to be meticulously followed. Each posture is a preparation for the next, developing the strength and balance required to move further.

All of this, an more, is uncovered and explored during the ashtanga yoga retreats we design for our guests. In reality, all of our retreats may be considered ashtanga yoga retreats, since this is the yoga practice Wendy best provides.

Breath

The continuity of deep, even breathing cannot be overemphasized in the Ashtanga Yoga system. When breath feeds action, and action feeds posture, each movement becomes gentle, precise and perfectly steady.

According to the teaching of Sri T. Krishnamacharya and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, “Breath is Life”. Breathing is our most fundamental and vital act and holds a divine essence; exhalation a movement towards God, and inhalation an inspiration from God.

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Practice

It is said that where there is no effort there is no benefit. Strength, stamina and sweat are unique aspects of this traditional Yoga, seemingly contrary to western perceptions of Yoga. This demanding practice requires considerable effort and purifying the nervous system. The mind then becomes lucid, clear and precise, and according to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, “Wherever you look you will see God”. Only through practice will we realize the truth of what this guru often says. “Everything is God”.

During your Ashtanga yoga retreat here in Casa Verde, you won’t just be committing to the daily physical practice of Ashtanga yoga, you will be committing to your internal purification and balance. This is, of course, made easier in the Mindo cloud forest’s pristine environment.

Please note the importance of learning the Ashtanga method only from a traditionally trained teacher. Only a qualified teacher can provide the necessary guidance to assure safe, steady progress without injury to body or mind! At Casa Verde, our Ashtanga yoga retreats are all led by Wendy Green.