What is Rocket Yoga?
… so many of you have asked this question leaving me in a dilemma as to how best (or truthfully) I should reply! Should I mention that it’s been dubbed the “enfant terrible” of the yoga world or just stick to the facts?
Okay facts! Rocket Yoga was developed by Larry Schultz in San Francisco during the 1980s. Larry had been practising Ashtanga for many years and had been a dedicated student of Pattabhi Jois before he started developing his own, more accessible, style of yoga. He started restructuring the Ashtanga primary series and threw in some intermediate poses to create powerful sequences. Schultz’s worked with members of the rock band, The Grateful Dead, who needed a shorter sequence to fit into their busy “rockstar” lives and so Schultz created a pithy little sequence that most definitely packed a yogic punch! Consequently band member, Bob Weir, named this style “the rocket” because, Weir said, “it gets you there faster!”
But how hard is it? I hear you ask. Well it’s a fast-paced class that includes arm-balances, inversions and hip-opening postures but the emphasis is on practising to the best of your ability and doing what you can. Plus, when you find that MC Hammer has sneaked his way onto the playlist it’s impossible to take things too seriously!
How does it differ from Ashtanga? A Rocket class starts off with Sun Salutations, so initially the main difference is there’s music. But ten-minutes in you’ll be led through a sequence of standing poses all focusing on the right leg. The right quads will start to heat up, then you’ll feel a burning sensation and eventually, in panic, you’ll be checking that your favourite LuluLemon legging are not on fire. Just at this point you’ll switch legs, phew! But, only go through the whole sequence again on the left side! Once the legs are tired, it’s time to work the rest, a few crow poses are thrown in as transitions in between twists, rotations, more arm balances, hip openers and “thorough” core!
What’s the feedback like? Well, those who attended the summer sessions complained bitterly of aching thighs and screaming abs but they all “high-fived” each other after every session before heading off chattering excitedly and leaving me to mop up the sweat!
Whose it most suited too? Rocket is possibly not going to suit people who hate music or are VERY serious but if you love the power of Ashtanga and feel you’d like to “let your hair down” and have some fun then Rocket Yoga maybe worth a try.