Most days don’t turn out like they think we will, and for me today was no exception. As yoga classes that began at 2pm and 3pm slipped through my fingers, I did eventually manage to make it for a 4pm class at Indaba Yoga Studio with Nikos. While Astanga is not my regular method of asana practice, it is where I began my practice over fifteen years ago, and is part of the Jivamuki lineage, a yoga style that has touched me deeply throughout the years and the method I teach currently.
While the Astanga primary series is a fixed set of postures in a specific sequence, there is a vast difference in classes based on the teacher. There is the personality of the teacher, the tempo of the breath and ability of the teacher to make adjustments among other elements that make the in class practice rich and dynamic.
Nikos brings a wonderfully calm and unassuming energy to the classroom, enabling students to be present in their practice. As an example of this, Nikos set the breath in the sun salutations and then set us free to do several rounds on our own, establishing our unique pace. He offered variations in many of the postures, and demonstrated when necessary but without excess. I was lucky enough to receive a few adjustments, and left feeling calm and refreshed. Nikos is a mature and humble teacher, and if the Astanga method is a style of yoga you practice or are interested in learning, I recommend seeking him out.