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Yoga ah! Blog

Rocket Yoga Manual Excerpt

This is Amber Gean's experience of "The Rocket" as taught by Larry Schultz

Rocket Yoga views yoga as an art ever changing, evolving and expanding to meet the needs of modern day yogis. We use Rocket Yoga as a means to stay connected to the ancient teachings of spiritual evolution and self realization where ever life may find us. Rocket Yoga from the outside looking in may appear to be a very physical practice, however from the inside looking out it is all about the healing work we all have to do when we look with in ourselves.This is a self empowering practice. Rocket Yoga shows us our strengths and our weaknesses, it serves as a vehicle for spiritual liberation.

As you learn to instruct Rocket Yoga classes you will practice and memorize specific sequences. Through your personal practice you will discover your voice and begin to create "your rocket". Every lead Rocket class should be based on your practice of the Rocket. While Rocket Yoga offers specific sequences , everyone is encouraged to explore variations of the poses, being creative and finding a way to practice in a healing therapeutic manor. By letting go of the "right" or "wrong" way to do the pose we give our self the freedom to explore, the freedom to soar and the power and strength of the rocket ship that carries us through the universe to our dreams and our goals ultimately freeing us from conditioned existence.

As you begin to lead Rocket classes you will want to be familiar with the It's Yoga/Yoga ah/Larry Schultz philosophy. It is in the philosophy that we learn to nurture each yogi that comes through the door. We learn to give them and opportunity to explore their bodies and there "self". You will learn key points and modifications for the poses your students can build a launching pad for their rocket ships. The philosophy teaches us less is more, its ok to fall and how most importantly how to keep everyone safe in your classes.

Yoga Teacher Training Licenses and Certifications

You may be new to yoga and be curious about taking a yoga teacher training. You may have lots of questions to find out what program is best for you and what are the licences and certifications needed to instruct yoga. Currently there are no required licences to instruct yoga anywhere in the United States as a whole. Some individual institutions may require some type of certification and even require you to be a registered yoga instructor thru the Yoga Alliance at a minimum of 200 hours.

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Ashtanga and Rocket Vinyasa Yoga

What is the similarities and differences between Ashtanga Yoga and Rocket Vinyasa Yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga was found around 1930 written on a bundle of palm leaves in a library in south India. It was believed to be dated over 5000 years old. Ashtanga Yoga was practiced in a very specific sequence with a very specific breath count for each movement. Poses were meant to be held for 5 to 8 ujjai breaths, while focusing on your core to build internal heat. One poses had to be mastered before you could proceed to the next. Also traditional Ashtanga Yoga is taught thru what some may call very intense physical adjustments. Over time with regular practice Ashtanga Yoga leads you to a path of enlightenment and healing.

Rocket Vinyasa Yoga was created by changing the Ashtanga Yoga Sequence as a blend of simple to advance poses in one practice. Rocket Vinyasa Yoga blends poses from all The Ashtanga Yoga series, so a yogi can experience a broder range of poses in one week.

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Amber Gean's Teacher Training Experience

In the year 2000 I found myself in San Francisco walking up to It's Yoga at 848 Folsom St. You could smell the nag champa from the side walk and upon entering the studio the smell of incense became mixed with the smell of musty sweat, it was after a Rocket Yoga Class. Larry would always say you know it was a good class by the way the room smelled. Meaning the stinkier the better.

That was to be my home for the next 28 days as I embarked on my journey of becoming an yoga instructor. There were about 20 other yogis who were also in my training group. I remember sitting in a large circle and listening to Larry give lessons and the whole time I kept thinking "shouldn't we be teaching on each other?", yet Larry would just have us sit and write in our journal about the breath and our core and talk about our hands and feet positioning. Larry also wanted us all to write out our whole class which he called "our script". It was only by the last week that we were really in full swing practice teaching on each other and testing out by teaching a class at It's Yoga. By the end of training we had accumulated handouts and books and notes and journals all equaling out to a 55 minute class. That's how we did it, Larry had us build a foundation, he taught us well and by the end of training we were all ready to go out into the world and share the practice.

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Yoga Lineage

Yoga as taught in India over the past 1000's of years existed mostly as an oral tradition. The teachings were passed on from student to teacher and teacher to student. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900's discovered a bundle of palm leaves with what was later to become The Ashtanga Yoga Sequences thet were taught by Pattabi Jois. Krishnamacharya worked very close with Pattabi Jois as his student. One time Krishnamacharya and Jois were asked to move into the Mysore Palace to help the Maharish's son walk. After sometime passed with the help of Jois and Krishnamacharya the boy walked again. Yoga instructors were seen as Medicine Men or healers. As vigorous as the Ashtanga Yoga practice may appear from the outside looking in, ultimately it awakens a spiritual fire which heals body and mind.

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Often people walk into It’s Yoga with worry, stress and tiredness written all over their faces but when they leave, they show the effects of Ashtanga Yoga: they feel better and look better, lighter, freer, more relaxed and energized. This is why to me, teaching Ashtanga Yoga is a kind of self-realization; every time I lead class I, as a teacher, grow and express the insights of my own yoga. I see people take in the practice from various angles and develop, change and transcend their limitations, realize their possibilities.

In Memoriam: Larry Schultz, YogaDragonden (1950-2011)