Yoga means union with supreme consciousness. Yoga practices began developing in India about 5000 years ago. Yoga practices are designed to eliminate disease and liberate the yoga practitioner from suffering on all levels of being; physical, psychological and spiritual. The six traditional branches of Yoga practice are Karma (the Yoga of action), Hatha (Yoga of postures and breathing), Bhakti (Yoga of devotion), Jnana (Yoga of knowledge), Raja (Yoga of meditation) and Tantra (Yoga of rituals). Hatha Yoga includes Asana (Yoga posture), Pranayama (Breath control) and Kriyas (purification techniques).
Sri K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India taught a form of Hatha Yoga, which is known as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga includes Primary, Intermediate and Advanced sets of yoga postures and a Pranayama Sequence. This method was enumerated by Vamana Rishi in a sacred text called the Yoga Korunta. The oral transmission of the practices and teachings of the Yoga Korunta can only be traced back from Sri K Pattabhi Jois to T Krishnamacharya and to Guru Mohan Brahamachari, Krishnamacharya’s teacher.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a unique form of asana practice that includes vinyasa or breath initiated movements, which connect one posture to the next. Ujjayi pranayama (a sound induced breathing method) and drishti (the looking place) is emphasized throughout the practice of the postures and Vinyasa. The Ashtanga Yoga practice improves cardiovascular fitness, quickly builds strength and increases flexibility. Asana practice is designed to yoga teacher training purify and eliminate disease from the body. The Ashtanga Yoga is a complete form of asana practice, which includes hundreds of yoga postures, which stimulate and improve all the functions of the body, mind and sense organs. Caroline Klebl yoga teacher training a direct student of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, developed a 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher training Programs, which focus on the practice and teaching techniques of the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Her 200 hour yoga training is open to all levels of yoga practitioners and is an introduction to the practice and method of teaching the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga.
It is traditionally advised to practice Ashtanga Yoga for over 10 years and complete the Advanced Series postures prior to teaching Ashtanga Yoga. It is by that time that a practitioner can perform hundreds of Yoga postures and is able to teach them to others, through personal experience. The Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga takes only about two to five years to complete, after which it is possible to teach the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Most people who practice Ashtanga Yoga practice only the Primary Series. The Primary Series is known as Yoga Chikitsa or Yoga Therapy and is designed to remove impurities and eliminate disease from the physical body. The Primary Series consists of over seventy Yoga postures and countless Vinyasa, which include the Sun Salutations, Standing Postures, Seated Postures, Twists, Hip Openers, Backbends and Inversions.
Participants of the 200 hour yoga teacher training are able to continue practicing on their own after completing the program and are can introduce beginners to yoga posture practice. By completing the 500 hour yoga teacher training, students learn to practice and teach the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Caroline Klebl offers assistant positions during her yoga teacher training courses and teaches the Intermediate Series to those who have completed the postures of the Primary Series.