Our curriculum is based on the prolific work of yoga pioneer, T. Krishnamacharya,
and his world renowned students B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, and TKV Desikachar.
One of the themes applied by Krishnamacharya so masterfully was his ability to work with each student on an individual basis, thereby meeting people at their own specific level of need, and consistently helping people heal and deepen through yoga.
His truly riveting depth and brilliance cannot be given justice here, yet is directly evidenced in the giant accomplishments of a handful of his students.
Mr. Iyengar, Mr. Jois, and Mr. Desikachar, among others, have all been able to take what was shown to them and literally affect the entire world, passing on a culture of human transformation. That said, our curriculum is rooted in the tireless work of these yogis. We teach as our teachers have taught us, and to the best of our ability, we research and explore in our own personal practices to offer you a foundation in yoga that is sustainable and forged from direct experience.
The delineations in systems taught described below are to guide the student toward finding the kind of approach that is best suited to their interests. Westside Yoga Studio has developed a graduated curriculum among B.K.S. Iyengar’s, K. Pattabhi Jois’, and T.K.V. Desikachar’s methods of yoga, along with a handful of yoga classes that are more open, outside of these systems.
Please inquire about rates for private instruction at the studio, teachers maintain different rates for privates.
Private instruction becomes important and/or necessary for students with health challenges, chronic pain, psychological and emotional challenges, and any other specialized needs. They can also allow students to create one~one immersions with their teacher. They are also a great idea for beginning students as a way of familiarizing themselves to yoga practices in a private context.
Yoga Systems: Ashtanga • Viniyoga • Iyengar • General Yoga Classes
Ashtanga Yoga as taught by K. Pattabhi Jois and family
– Program Director is Johnny Smith
These classes are designed for students who are new to yoga and students who are interested in starting to learn the traditional vinyasa system of yoga. The classes will build a foundation in the movements of Suryanamaskar A, (which is the first Sun Salutation in the practice), and go on to cover the introductory poses in the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga.
These classes are a jump from the Introductory/Level I classes, where students will progress in the dynamics of the vinyasa method of yoga. Suryanamaskar A will be taught at the start of class, and Suryanamaskar B will be broken down for students to start to learn the classical progression of the Primary Series.
Johnny Smith counts the entire Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga once a week for students who are in a regular practice of this method. This is a vigorous class, it is counted in the way that Johnny learned directly from his master, K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore. It is not recommended for beginning students and those who do not practice yoga regularly.
The traditional method of learning and practicing Ashtanga Yoga, as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, is called Mysore practice. In this method, each student in the class moves at his or her own pace, and receives the support and guidance of the teacher in a highly individualized way.
Read About the Theory Behind Ashtanga Yoga
Viniyoga as taught by TKV Desikachar
– Program Director is Mirka Kraftsow
At this level of the Viniyoga curriculum, the focus in these classes is on the therapeutic approach to yoga, self care and healing. Students work with bringing awareness to different parts of the body by paying attention, breathing, and learning to coordinate with movement. This is the place where students in Viniyoga start to develop strength, flexibility, stability and balance. The teacher will regularly adapt postures to suit individual needs, with a focus on the structural level.
All the foundation learned from the Introductory level will be built upon here. These are classes for students who are already working regularly with a Viniyoga teacher. These classes are where the teacher will focus on evolution of asana, and expand the movement practices of Viniyoga. These classes integrate chanting, pranayama, and meditation. Also the teaching of the Yoga Sutra is brought into the learning sphere more regularly.
Viniyoga is an integrated practice that includes the use of sound and meditation to incorporate body, heart, and mind. In the mixed level classes, the focus is on the exploration of the evolution of asana, moving from simple to complex postures in a group setting. Mirka Kraftsow has a gift for working with those who show up, on an individual level. She respects and meets students where they are in the moment. Students will begin in a simple posture in order to prepare the body to move to the next level. The postures will be adapted to the level of each practitioner in the yoga room, and modifications will be given as necessary.
In Viniyoga workshops and trainings, Mirka will work with students using the technology of yoga to open to new spectrums of themselves. She will encourage students with personalized tools for self care, and transformation, giving them a way to embark on and deepen their personal practice, and to embody the precepts of yoga in all aspects of their lives
Viniyoga practice is designed for each person’s unique body and mind. Workshops and trainings are designed for both students and teachers to generate a deeper, more sensitized understanding of exploring yoga for well-being.
Read About the Theory Behind Viniyoga
Iyengar Yoga as taught by B.K.S. Iyengar and family
Level I classes are best suited to students coming out of an Introductory Course and those who are interested in learning the preliminaries for a yoga practice. Classes will cover the beginning standing poses, arm and shoulder work, seats, forward and back extensions, twisting, inversions. Students will be introduced to the groundwork of Iyengar Yoga where they will be challenged to develop the beginning ability to increase the communication of various parts to work together in a coordinated effort. Themes covered here will build students to move into Level I/II classes.
Level I/II classes are built to support students who are “getting their legs.” More of everything will be opened to the students here, they will be introduced to a continuing increase in the depth of content to learn and absorb in their personal practice. Students coming to Level I/II classes will be learning the tools for a basic, very well rounded self-practice and be encouraged to take what is learned in class home to unfold further.
Level II classes are for students who are steady in Level I/II classes. In these classes, we will move further in inversions, back-extensions, and deeper into the concepts that build stronger, more steady, conscientious minds. Pranayama (breath work) will be explored, as well as jumping in and out of postures, Suryanamaskar, inversion variations, and more complex movements and actions that guide the practice.
Read About the Theory Behind Iyengar
General Yoga Classes
This is a 1-3 month course in the foundational principles of yoga for people who are new to yoga or anyone who wishes to learn the beginning precepts. Class meets twice a week to begin the process of developing a regularity and rhythm of practice.
These are designed and sequenced for beginning students and students interested in working on foundational principles. It is recommended to spend at least 1 year in Level I classes before going onward to Level II.
Designed and sequenced for students who have 1-2 years of consistent training, those who are in again out again with yoga practice, and those who are interested in learning and expanding, but not diving into Level II/III classes.
These classes are designed and sequenced for students who have atleast 2 years of consistent yoga training and practice. These classes are a jump from Level I/II classes and will feel noticeably stronger and more involved for the student.
These are taught for students & teachers who are committed to this practice. These timeslots are meant to drive students deeper into yoga science by opening out more intricate precepts.