Taylor Hunt Ashtanga Yoga from 10TonDesign on Vimeo, coming to The Yoga Bar October 10 and 11.
Taylor Hunt is a yoga badass. If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to watch the above video. His practice is at once strong and graceful, the fluidity of motion in transitions between postures seems effortless and, for mere mortals, impossible to attain. The focus, the advanced postures… inspiring, yes, but so far out of my reach...sigh.
But at the beginning of his yoga story, Taylor Hunt’s toes were out of his reach. Ten years ago, Taylor was in the middle of a 12-step recovery program, body and spirit broken, struggling with self-loathing. His first yoga practice was sweaty, stiff, and full of ugly self-talk. But the second practice... that's where Taylor got a taste of the sweet stuff. We'll let him tell you:
"We did the same sequence we had done the first class, but instead of all the emotion, self-doubt, and pain it had initially brought up this time, I felt love. I felt connected to my higher power. As I laid down after practice, I remember this feeling of calm sweeping over me and tears running down my cheeks. It was the first time that I can remember when I felt love towards myself. I had been killing myself for so many years but on this day it was like a voice whispered in my ear “you are perfect just the way you are”. Honestly, I had never felt that way before. I had always seen myself as damaged goods and always struggled with how I felt about myself. For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to be someone else. I wanted to be me."
Beginning that day, Taylor dedicated himself completely to the Ashtanga Yoga practice. He practices six days each week, travels to Mysore, India regularly, received his Series 2 Authorization from the worldwide leaders of Ashtanga yoga, and now brings this knowledge home to the midwest, where he teaches daily Mysore-style yoga at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus (OH). Taylor focuses his efforts on honoring the traditional birthright of Ashtanga yoga — you won’t hear loud music or long guided meditations in his classes. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these methods of focus, in Ashtanga, there is only you and your practice.
Ashtanga yoga is dear to each one of the teachers here at The Yoga Bar. We have each spent time learning and practicing Ashtanga’s Primary Series, and it serves as the foundation upon which many of our classes our taught. On October 10th and 11th, we are delighted to welcome Taylor back to Cincinnati, where he will share his years of training and developed expertise with all of us and invite us back to the heart of Ashtanga yoga.
The morning practices will be traditional, Ashtanga Primary series, a set sequence that Taylor will lead on Saturday (this is "Led Primary"), and then will be taken at your own pace on Sunday (Mysore). Take a look at the sequence here but don't be intimidated -- this practice is for your body, whatever size or shape it is in, however many times you have practiced yoga previously. Modifications and adjustments will be offered to you by Taylor or Rachel.
If you've never practiced the Ashtanga style before and would like a preview, you're in luck! Our beloved teachers Rachel Roberts and Sarah Crabtree will be offering an immersion into the Ashtanga practice the week leading up to Taylor's visit, starting with Led Primary next Saturday and Sunday, and continuing with Mysore all the following week. Details about the Immersion and Taylor’s Workshop are below.
Practicing with Taylor will certainly elevate your yoga practice to the next level. You’ll learn about traditional points of focus for your gaze, your breath, and energetic muscle engagement (bandhas) for each posture in his Tristhana Method workshop. Alignment and Adjustments will break down individual poses in the Ashtanga sequence -- Taylor's insight will help you to think about the posture in entirely new ways, break bad habits, and prevent future injury by reinforcing proper alignment.
Every yoga story has a beginning. Let this week be the beginning of yours.
Looking to develop a dedicated daily practice? Want one-on-one attention from a master teacher? Here is a great chance to learn the Ashtanga Yoga System from dedicated Ashtangis over the course of nine days. This immersion is open to all levels.
Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4 (NP)
8-10a Led Ashtanga Primary Series with Rachel Roberts + Sarah Crabtree
Monday-Friday, October 5-9 (NP)
7-9a Morning Mysore (arrive betwen 7-7:30a, complete your practice prior to 9a)
with Rachel Roberts + Sarah Crabtree
Saturday, October 10 (OTR)
9-11a Led Primary Series with Taylor Hunt ($25)
1-4p Tristhana Method ($60)
Come prepared to explore the basis of the Ashtanga method known as tristhana. Tristhana means the three places of attention: breath with bandha (internal energy locks), asana, and dristhi (gazing point). When practiced simultaneously, the tristhana method becomes a tool to steady the mind transforming the physical practice into a moving meditation. In this workshop, we will explore the internal elements of the practice while taking a deeper look at the fundamental poses of the vinyasa sequence.
Sunday. October 11 (OTR)
9-11a Mysore with Taylor Hunt ($25)
1-4p Alignment and Adjustments ($60)
This course is designed for anyone familiar with the Ashtanga Primary Series that wishes to take their practice to the next level. Participants will learn proper alignment and adjustment techniques to go deeper in the postures with safety and greater awareness.
Maintaining and progressing your personal practice
Philosophy of Ashtanga and Mysore-style
Working through and helping to prevent injuries with proper alignment
Reading bodies and learning safe adjustment techniques
Offered for an investment of $175, includes all immersion classes and materials, $250 for Immersion plus full Taylor Hunt Workshop, or individually as noted.