Imagine yoga before it was transformed in its journey to the West. Imagine personalized, breath-centered practice, passed down from individual teacher to student. Yoga for the well being of the whole person. Something that would provide a vehicle for slowing down and learning to truly take care of ourselves. Something to ease the pains of life.
That something is the breath. The breath moving in and through the opening and closing body. Full, deep breathing into all corners of the body makes people feel better. Feel stronger. Feel more energetic. And it has been doing so for thousands of years.
Yoga changed when it came to the West. New styles and brands of yoga have developed which meet the desires and expectations of much of the American audience. Focusing on the outer, physical achievements, and perhaps losing something in the creation of a standardized, scaled and franchised approach to yoga. But the older traditions have also continued, and AYC is at the forefront of a wonderful resurgence of this ‘old-school’ yoga. The gentle, therapeutic, breath-centered yoga.
What makes this yoga practice different from working out at the gym or going to a physical therapist is that the exercises are intended to encompass more than physicality. We are making the body strong and flexible — but we go about it in a way that also encourages useful patterns of thought and behavior. No struggling. No straining. No striving. Just strong and calm, even and measured work.