Ashtanga Yoga + Elements = Progress

A YEAR-AROUND Yoga Practice. One focus per term

Term 1: earth

Term one runs Monday 22 January – Friday 28 March, 2024. Members get unlimited access to all classes; new students and non-members can join by committing to term one classes, themed by the earth element.

We lose connection with the earth by spending lots of time on devices, indoors, driving cars, making us feel too much “in our heads”, disconnected from embodiment and feeling. Reconnecting to the earth element enables us to feel a sense of belonging and connection with the world and each other, reducing stress, loneliness and depression. 

Term one yoga classes, themed for the earth element, enable us to simplify and let go, grounding our bodies and minds and focusing on the back of our body, hamstrings, legs, feet, hands and our physical connection to the Earth. 

Our focus for the term will also include the Muladhara chakra, also called the Root Chakra. Balancing the Root Chakra creates a solid foundation for opening all the other chakras. When the Muladhara Chakra is balanced, the person experiences stability, confidence, energy, and strength. Our physical practise in term one will focus on balance and stability to lay the foundation for the year ahead.

Term 2: fire

Term two runs Monday 15 April – Friday 21 June, 2024. Members get unlimited access to all classes; new students and non-members are invited to join by committing to term two classes, themed by the fire element.

The fire element is powerful, enabling us to transform ourselves. Transformation is both physical and spiritual, essential in transforming food into energy, ideas into action, and offerings into the fire to deliver change and new beginnings. Fire can be the catalyst for energy and dynamism, willpower and perseverance, but it can also be destructive if we don’t know how to manage it. Fire has been revered since the tradition of yoga began more than 5000 years ago, as well as being an important element of many cultures.  From physical fire used in rituals, to the internal flame of the heart, and the digestive fire or agni, fire is associated with transformation. 

The third chakra is our energetic fire centre, known as Manipura (commonly viewed as the solar plexus). When this chakra is balanced, we feel confident, focused, powerful, and discerning. 

Our physical practise in term two will focus on strength with dynamic, warming flow, focussing on the abdominals and flanks of the body with side bends and twisting postures and longer holds in postures to fire up our practice to increase energy within the fire chakra.

Term 3: water

Term three runs Monday 8 July – Friday 13 September, 2024. Members get unlimited access to all classes; new students and non-members are invited to join by committing to term three classes, themed by the water element.

The water element is fluidity, femininity, courage, joy, an ability to ‘go with the flow’, freedom, as well as the power of creativity. Wherever water flows, life seems to spring up within and around it. In ancient cultures, water was considered the centre of life, used in bathing, drinking, fishing, travelling as well as worship, mystery and power. 

In the Chinese Taoist tradition, water represents the feminine or ‘yin’ energy, intelligence and wisdom, softness and flexibility, while also symbolising the transitions of birth and death. In yoga, water is linked to the Svadhisthana chakra (the sacral chakra). Water covers around 70 per cent of our planet, and 60 per cent of our bodies; when we raise the energy of water within us, we enhance its qualities of adaptability, courage, joy, freedom, and creativity.

Our physical practise in term three will focus on hip-opening postures, flowing yoga sequences with circular movements, mobilisation and the release of tension or tightness in your body.

Term 4: air

Term four runs Monday 30 September – Sunday  December 20, 2023. Members get unlimited access to all classes; new students and non-members are invited to join by committing to term four classes, themed by the air element.

Within our bodies are subtle energetic winds – known as the Vayus – that correspond to our physical and emotional actions. Yogic texts say that keeping these winds moving properly is crucial to our health. 

These movements of air include Udana Vayu: the upward-and-outward movements of speech, singing, exhaling, and thinking, Prana Vayu: the movement of subtle life-force energy around the heart and lungs; Samana Vayu: the air energy governing digestion in the centre of the body; Vyana vayu, which pervades the whole body; and Apana Vayu, governing down-and-out energy like the ability to feel connected to the earth, elimination, and menstruation. Our yoga practice is designed to ensure prana is moving freely in all directions without constriction (leading to tightness and injury). 

The element of air represents communication, breath and life. It is linked to Anahata (the heart chakra) and the sense of touch. The heart space is often considered to be the abode of the soul, or life spirit. 

Our physical practise in term four will focus on heart-opening, front of body poses that stimulate the lungs. Postures and sequences will stimulate energetic or pranic flow throughout the whole body in all directions radiating from the heart. These include restorative, supported backbends and light, playful movements that facilitate calm, steady breathing.

A Healing Journey

We offer many different styles of yoga to suit individual preferences, but pay homage to our lineage as an Ashtanga Yoga studio. Allison, our principal teacher has been practicing Ashtanga yoga for 23 years, having studied at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore India on several long term trips. She deeply revers Ashtanga as paramount to her healing from a serious car accident in her teens, and Ashtanga is the foundation of her extensive yoga knowledge.

Adapting the ashtanga yoga practice to suit her students’ varying needs and using her extensive yoga therapy knowledge, Allison noticed that by breaking down the fixed sequences into the four elements was a unique yet practical way to serve her students and help them progress safely. Ashtanga yoga by the elements was born and has been highly popular with members.

Experience Ashtanga: Dynamic Strength and Flexibility

Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic style with an equal emphasis on strength as well as flexibility that’s designed to heat the body, so be prepared to sweat! Ashtanga offers set sequences of postures that, over time, allow the body to become supple and strong. The flowing nature of the practice becomes a moving meditation, calming the mind.  

Beyond Ashtanga Yoga

To compliment the dynamic nature of the ashtanga yoga practice we offer restorative yoga, meditation and pranayama breathwork to bring balance and help with down regulation of the nervous system.

Progress, not Perfection, is our Philosophy

We are not about perfection but progress, and the only way we can progress is through practice. With classes seven days a week, and each school term focused on an elements (air, fire, water, and earth) we have created a holistic and inclusive program for curious yogis seeking balance within the challenge.

New to yoga?

If you’re a new student at Live and Breathe Yoga, we invite you to take advantage of our Intro Pass, where you can enjoy two weeks of unlimited classes! Dip your toes into our virtual, online studio, and roll out your mat in our central Townsville studio.

Membership or single class?

You can ‘pay as you go’ with a single class or you can join us for a term with a ten class pass. But the best value? And the real juice behind Live and Breathe Yoga? Our memberships.

Our timetable

Explore our diverse class schedule tailored to accommodate your preferences. Immerse yourself in the timeless practice of yoga, guided by our seasoned instructors who are attuned to the distinct needs of beginners.