What Is Yoga?
"Yogash citta vritti nirodhah."
Yoga is the cessation of thought waves in the mind.
~Sutra 1.2 from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
Yoga is an ancient holistic discipline practiced for mental and physical health, self realization, and spiritual enlightenment.
Practices of Yoga include physical poses and movements (asana), breathwork (pranayama), chanting (mantra), meditation (dhyana),
self study (svadyaya), and selfless service (karma yoga), among many others.
At Breathe, we practice the traditional lineage of Classical Ashtanga Yoga with influences from other teachers and disciplines.
Original teachings of yoga are drawn from scripture, reference Hindu deities, and have been passed down by living and non-living Gurus.
The Mount Madonna Center School of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Community Studies, where I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training, is an intentional community founded by silent Indian Monk, Baba Hari Dass. It is located near the central California coast in the Santa Cruz mountains. It is in the Classical Ashtanga* (eight limbs) and Hatha Yoga lineages - derived from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
*This is not to be confused with the commonly referenced Ashtanga by Patabi Jois - which is a much more modern power flow practice of calculated vigorous postures.
The eight limbs of Ashtanga (ashta = eight, anga = limb) Yoga (union) are:
1) Yamas - Ethical Restraints
2) Niyamas - Ethical Observances
3) Asana - Seat, physical postures
4) Pranayama - Breath control and expansion
5) Pratyahara - Sense Withdrawal
6) Dharana - Concentration
7) Dhyana - Continuous focus, Meditation
8) Samadhi - Absorbtion, Oneness, Pure Consciousness
I have had many inspiring teachers, life experiences, and studied many disciplines that have influenced me as a person, teacher, and bodywork therapist. I draw from my knowledge of yoga asana, eastern philosophy, western psychology, partner yoga, acrobatics, bodywork, dance, and play.