Ashtanga yoga has been has been taught by the late Pattabhi Jois since 1948 and it involves a set sequence of poses that a practitioner follows in the exact same order every time.
An Ashtanga class always starts out with 10 Sun Salutations to warm you up, and once you hit the seated postures, you're doing Vinyasas (mini Sun Salutations) between each posture. This keeps your body warm, which enables you to get deeper into poses.
Vinyasas are the link between postures that make this type of yoga more like a fluid dance, and the constant moving not only works your muscles but also helps to quiet your mind.
You will hear your instructor calling out names of poses (usually in Sanskrit) and the unmistakable sound of the hissing Ujjayi breath.
You might hear your teacher mention your Bandhas, the two main "locks" or "seals" you hold: mula bandha is the anal lock, and uddiyana bandha is the lower abdominal lock.
The first one is where you engage your pelvic floor. It's the muscles you'd use if you were urinating and someone walked in on you and you suddenly needed to stop.
The second bandha is all about engaging your lower abs, drawing your naval toward your spine. Ideally you're supposed to hold these two locks throughout the entire practice to encourage energy to flow upward through your nadis (energy channels).
Ashtanga is the foundation of our Dynamic Hot Yoga Series and these classes will deepen your practice.
Ashtanga Yoga classes are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and are 75 - 90 minutes.