A Conversation with Jagadisha About Our Sequenced Classes
We are blessed to live in a community with an abundance of choices. Wonderful restaurants, excellent schools, several movie houses, more coffee than one can imagine – and yes, many yoga studios. Prospective yogis often ask us what makes ZURA so special. How are we different from all the other studios nearby?
We think the answer is twofold: our varied class offerings as well as our focus on alignment, steadiness and building a foundation in all our yoga classes -- whether in the hot studio or the non-hot studio. We offer varied vinyasa flow classes in the non-hot space for practitioners who want to explore a broader vocabulary of postures (including arm balances and inversions), but the set sequence of our hot yoga offerings is one of our hallmarks.
In the hot studio at ZURA, the vocabulary of our classes is structured in a set sequence. As the student becomes familiar with the sequence, the practice becomes more ingrained in the body and the heat encourages the muscles to open; space is created in the body and the postures, over time and with repetition, become more accessible. In the beginning, the heat can be a challenge for practitioners, but as they become more seasoned, the heat fades into the background and the strengthening and meditative qualities of the hot practice take over.
Jagadisha, one of our master teachers, who trained with Bikram and has led the sequenced series for more than twelve years, offers his thoughts on the benefits of a sequenced hot yoga practice. “Our lives can be filled with demands coming at us and so much to get done that it’s easy to feel spun around, spread thin, and pulled in many directions. How do we move through it all with presence, grace, and a sense of connection to the person we feel we truly are? To find and maintain that connection to ourselves,” Jagadisha advises, “we can lean on the supportive steadiness of our yoga practice. Taking on a practice that is consistent in structure helps us to cultivate and feel the quality of steadiness within so that we are moving from our core and acting with authenticity. In this way, we use the repeated structure of the practice inside the studio to enhance our ability to land firmly and authentically each time we are confronted with the fullness of life outside the studio.”
Jagadisha further explains, “Against the background of the consistency of our practice, we are able to recognize what works or doesn’t work for us and we can mark our growth. Some days we’ll be stronger or weaker, we will feel more energized or less so, more supple or stiff.” Jagadisha offers this analogy: “It’s like seeing a place in which you spent your childhood again as an adult. The place remained the same, but you changed. By being in the same place again, seeing ourselves relative to something so familiar, we are better able to recognize how we’ve grown and changed. The sequenced classes are basically the same each time we take the class, but we change day to day. We start to see the impact of our practice by coming to the same practice repeatedly.”
Students often tell us there’s a “vibe” they feel instantly at ZURA, which sets us apart as well. They sense kindness and acceptance. Even new yogis, walking into the studio for the first time, comment on the warmth they feel. There’s no secret inner circle here. Each one of us is sharing and receiving the gift of yoga in some way, and as Jagadisha reminds us, each time we practice yoga and work our bodies through the sequences, we are slowly building a strong foundation that will carry us through the changes and challenges of life.
We can’t wait to see you on the mat and, of course, we’ll be speaking with you about alignment and building your strong foundation the first chance we get.
Yours in peace and grace,
Cassie & Rebecca