Introduction to Ashtanga Series
Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga
With Doug Slack
Ashtanga is a vigorous practice of breath synchronized movements which build strength, endurance, flexibility, focus and balance. In this 4-Week Series, we will explore the order of the postures, the concept of "drishti" (focal point) and ujaiyi breath work. The ashtanga sequence is always the same, which will allow for consistency in your practice as well as the opportunity to create or add to your home practice.
Every posture has multiple variations making them more accessible.
Even though the sequence of postures is the same, the experience is unique every practice.
The format of these classes will be as a led class with additional time spent finding our way through some of the more challenging postures.
The Practice Manual by David Swenson
Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by Kino MacGregor
This workshop is appropriate for Level 1 or Level 2 practitioners.
April 29th, May 6th, May 13th
$25 per workshop
Preregistration is Necessary for this series
About Doug Slack:
For the first 61 years of my life, My life consisted of many different kinds of athletic activities. However, due to severe knee issues, I was limited to bicycling on the weekend for the last 20 years leading up to my introduction to yoga. I always had a series of athletic and spiritual interests in my time on this earth, but yoga wasn’t destined to enter my life until exactly the right time. In 2009, my knee had deteriorated to the point of requiring a knee replacement, and I decided to bring the practice of yoga into my life to help with the rehabilitation.
When I first started practicing yoga, my first teacher announced the postures in Sanskrit and I was completely lost. I watched the teacher and other students model the poses with awe and disbelief that my body would ever be able to move in these ways. To my joy and surprise, yoga felt comfortable in my body and made sense. Utilizing breath and synchronized movement with cycling had prepared me for enhancing the breath and focus that would become an integral part of my yoga practice. One of my teachers, Sarah Will, gave me a copy of Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar and The Practice Manual by David Swenson. She also introduced me to Yin Yoga Master Paulie Zink, Ashtanga greats Manju Jois, David Swenson, David Williams, Nancy Gilgoff, and Kino MacGregor. Sarah also introduced me to Kathryn Budig, who taught me a more playful side to yoga.
In January, 2012, I tried an Intro to AcroYoga workshop led by Wendy Dahl and I was instantly hooked. Through Wendy I met and practiced AcroYoga and slacklining with Kendra Charts. Kendra introduced me to the Chicago Acro community. I have attended six 30 hour “Acro Immersions” and am now a “Jambassador” with AcroYoga. In the fall of 2016, I began practicing with Gabriel Halpern at the Yoga Circle where he teaches Iyengar-style therapeutic yoga. I’ve also apprenticed in his therapeutic yoga classes.
It was never my intention to teach yoga when I signed up for an 8 day “teacher training” with Paulie Zink in 2011. My desire was simply to learn more and deepen my personal practice. A year later my yoga teacher called to tell me her son was ill and that she would not be able to teach class that day. In order to be helpful, I went to the studio and led the class. Something similar happened months later. The manager of the studio called to tell me thanks and wanted me to be a permanent part of the teaching staff. A few weeks later I was an employee at this studio and have been teaching ever since. Sharing what has been shared with me is my life’s joy and part of my dharma. The regular practice of yoga has had a profound impact on my life with regards to new perspectives, new friends and renewed mind and body.
The organic way through which I have received the yoga practice is something I wish to pass on to all of my students. The joy I feel when practicing and sharing the magic of the practice is woven into my teaching and something I hope to help people find within themselves any time they walk into my class.