I landed back in Liverpool two days before booking at Yoga Nation. I’m living in the semi desert of Andalucia and my sister is a principal dancer with a U.K Ballet company – on tour most of the time … I wasn’t sure whether to include her in the adventure but as we very rarely ( like once every 2-5 years ) get to spend any time together, I thought … go for it! Truthfully though, I was more than a little bit dubious about the imminent culture shock involved of trekking off to County Road. Any anxiety I had immediately vanished when we reached Yoga Nation. It’s a beautifully furnished studio with lots of extra nice touches that made us feel comfortable and relaxed. However if we’d have known anything about Ashtanga then we’d have known that we really shouldn’t have got quite so relaxed!
Ashtanga is based on ancient yoga teachings, but it was popularized and brought to the West by Pattabhi Jois in the 1970s. It’s a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures and is similar to vinyasa yoga, as each style links every movement to a breath. The difference to other styles of yoga is that Ashtanga always performs the exact same poses in the exact same order. This is a hot, sweaty, physically demanding practice… and that’s the definition before putting the practice in a hot yoga room !
So my sister and I went fearlessly down to County Road on Saturday morning. We had booked and paid online and were welcomed into Yoga Nation by a friendly and professional receptionist. I didn’t catch her name but she made us feel extremely welcome and showed us around the studio, which included a chill out room where juices and smoothies were available. Then we were offered a freshly made wheat grass shot on the house!
A common difference between Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga in terms of class structure is flow, and Debbie’s fabulous instruction and motivational attitude had us moving from posture to posture without stopping. There is no transition between postures in Ashtanaga classes and although my limbs were trembling towards the end, I was grateful to my body and grateful to Debbie for what had been my first ever Ashtanga class!
I booked my class on the Yoga Nation website but you can also book with the link below