Ashtanga Yoga with Nadia Gilani

Are you curious about Ashtanga but have heard that it’s ‘hardcore’ and are put off? Don’t be!

As someone who wasn’t born naturally flexible and still has stiff days, Nadia’s interested in opening the practice up, make it appealing, accessible and essentially empowering people to practice on their own (and their bodies’) terms.

At each class, Nadia will guide you through part of the Primary Series sequence of Ashtanga (there are six series!) and while at times physically challenging, all Nadia’s classes are open level so there will always be lots of modifications and options to suit wherever you happen to be on your yoga journey.

You’ll go from sun salutations, through to standing and sitting postures before enjoying a calming finishing sequence, which always includes headstand preparation, because Nadia believes the best way to overcome the fear of being upside down is to just do it - in a safe and compassionate space.

Nadia takes a contemporary, non-dogmatic, liberal approach to teaching, which makes most sense to her in making this ancient practice relevant to modern life.

Her view is that the practice shouldn’t be about being rigid or making the body fit the yoga but fitting the yoga to the body. It’s also important to laugh through the tough stuff, so expect a sense of fun and lightness at her classes.

Anyone can practice Ashtanga if they want to - it’s down to the teacher to take a flexible, compassionate and intelligent approach to help students find what best suits them, which is Nadia’s aim above all.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic (movement based) form of yoga. Its focus is on bringing both strength and flexibility to the body and in turn stillness to the mind, by synchronising movement with the breath.

The word Ashtanga translates as ‘Eight Limbs’ which represent the 8 yogic elements of yoga as set out in classic yoga texts. This practice aims to harmonise Asana (physical postures) with Pranayama (Breath Control) and Dristhi (Focus) to create a more rounded yoga practice of both the body and the mind.

Many variants including Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga, and Jivamukti have all evolved from Ashtanga, however there is something very special about the traditional sequences.

The poses are performed in the same order allowing the body to create muscle memory over time and the mind to sink into a moving meditation (because it knows what’s coming next).