YOGA

ASHTANGA YOGA

Yoga is a mind and body practice that originated over 5,000-years ago in ancient India. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. 

 

Yoga has become a popular form of physical exercise based upon poses that improve control of the mind and body and enhance well-being. However, yoga is much more than physical exercise. Besides the physical aspect, yoga explores how to master the mind, control the emotions, and grow spiritually. 

 

Ashtanga Yoga is a form of traditional yoga and can be seen as meditation in movement. It is a dynamic flow of challenging and powerful movements and postures (asanas). 

Ashtanga yoga practice focuses on 8 yoga principles:

– Yamas: be kind and respectful to other people 

– Niyamas: pay attention to your own mind and body

– Asanas: practive of physical postures

– Pranayama: practice of breathing techniques  

– Pratyahara: controling the senses  

– Dharana: concentration

– Dhyana: meditation

– And at last - samadhi: transcendance and bliss

 

Asthanga Yoga is often referred to as power yoga, because the postures require strength.   

CLASSES

In my classes I combine elements of ancient Ashtanga yoga traditions with gymnastics elements. The postures (asanas) are always connected with each other. Meaning that the ending of the previous pose serves as the beginning of the next pose. This way we create a nice, gentle flow of exercises (vinyasas) as demonstrated in the timelapse videos.

All classes are adapted to each indiviual's own level. Yoga is a deeply personal experience and has to feel 'right'. During class
I will always offer different variatons of the same posture, ranging from more easy to more difficult. The most important thing that I ask you to do is to listen to your own body. The key is to stay focused on your breathing technique (pranayama) and to consciously experience your body movements. There is no use in forcing yourself to do a certain movement. Every body is different and requires individual attention. 

Class structure:

- Sun salutations A + B (warming up)

- Standing postures (balance, flexibility, strength)

- Seating postures (balance, flexibility, strength)

- Savasana (corpse pose): meditation

WHO AM I?

 

A couple of years ago I discovered yoga practice. In an instant I knew this was something that I wanted and explore deeper. Yoga changed my life and mindset and taught me more about myself, my body and my mind. Not only is it a wonderful physical practice, it also stabilized my mental wellbeing and spiritual balance. 

For 11 years, since I was 6 years old, I have actively been practicing rhythmic gymnastics on a competition level. During my time as a gymnast I have achieved a couple of titles like Provincial Champion and a silver medal on the Flemish Championships C. However, due to back injuries, I started focusing more on teaching and judging. I obtained my teaching certificates and judging license from the Gymnastics Federation and continued my journey as a coach and judge. Slowly but surely my love for rhythmic gymnastics grew into something new: yoga.

 

With yoga I found a dicipline that I could practice myself and which considerably helped me solving my back injuries. Thanks to my gymnastics experience, I immediately felt comfortable doing yoga postures. And at the same time they also felt completely new. Because yoga brought in an extra dimension to physical activity: pranayama, or breathing technique and mental stability. The core ingredient of yoga practice. 

 

Today I want to share my yoga and teaching experience during my own yoga classes.   

In the posession of official teacher certificates from BLOSO and the Flemish Trainer school (VTS). 

Antwerpen, België     |     elenagontcharova@hotmail.com    |     www.elenagontcharova.com

© 2019 by Elena Gontcharova

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