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Rocket yoga is a new style that combines traditional Ashtanga yoga with some elements of creative vinyasa yoga flow. It is also referred to as “The Rocket”. We can say that Rocket Yoga is a modified version of Ashtanga yoga and the main benefactors of this form are the ones who find traditional yoga difficult or may have a physical inability to practice it. Even though it has all the poses of traditional yoga, they can be changed at your convenience.
The Founder of Rocket Yoga
Pattabhi Jois is the founder of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. His student Larry Schultz is the founder of Rocket Yoga. He is also known as the father of Rocket Yoga. Larry began practicing the yoga in 1970s and was one of the most dedicated and accomplished students of Jois.
He began experimenting with yoga around the 1980’s by adding new poses and modifying already existing ones. Larry added the features of vinyasa flow which give more importance to breathing and the flow. This resulted in the formation of Rocket Yoga which is an adaptable and dynamic practice which attracted many new learners.
Why the Name “Rocket Yoga”?
Larry Schultz toured with the famous rock band “The Grateful Dead” as a personal yoga teacher for the band members during the 1990’s. The name “Rocket” was suggested by Bob Wier who is a guitar player from the band. According to him, “because it gets you there faster!!”.
Features of Rocket Yoga
Larry studied under K. Pattabhi Jois, the creator of Ashtanga Yoga, and engaged in seven years of traditional practice in Mysore, India. Later, in 1989, Larry returned to San Francisco and began instructing Ashtanga yoga. Nevertheless, his method of instruction was different from the traditional style since he encouraged every one of his pupils, regardless of experience or proficiency, to attempt to attain each pose. Some features of rocket yoga are discussed here.
One of Rocket Yoga’s distinguishing aspects is how it focuses on inversions such as headstands, handstands, and elbow stand. These enjoyable and demanding poses have numerous health benefits, including increased blood flow to the brain, enhanced circulation, and immune system strengthening.
Even though arm balances and inversions are difficult, beginners can still master them with some practice. The Rocket sequence’s charm lies in this. Arm balances can be performed by anyone with the right instruction and adaptations. Anyone can acquire the skills necessary to practice safely and efficiently with time and effort. Practitioners are even permitted to skip a pose or perform it differently if they feel stuck on some portion.
More Playful and Faster Tempo
While conventional Ashtanga Yoga focuses on long and steady ujjayi breath, Rocket Yoga is a little more energetic. While we maintain the Ujjayi Pranayama breathing and five breaths every pose, the count is a little faster. It makes the practice more enjoyable while maintaining the meditative quality of the breath. Rocket Yoga resembles a dance or a moving meditation. In comparison to vinyasa yoga, every pose performed in the Rocket yoga sequence is held for a longer period.
Music is another crucial component of Rocket Yoga. To set the right mood for a yoga session, music is a potent instrument. It promotes a lively, entertaining atmosphere that keeps people motivated and engaged. The music on the playlist will typically be more cheerful and energizing than what you would hear in a typical yoga class, mixing styles like rock, hip-hop, electronic, and world music. The music helps pupils maintain a consistent tempo throughout practice while also keeping the mood upbeat.
Another distinguishing feature of Rocket Yoga is the utilization of “flying” poses. This is a set of arm balances and transitions meant to improve upper-body strength, flexibility, and coordination. These flying stances are a lot of fun, and they can help you gain confidence and self-esteem.
Rocket Yoga Sequence
Rocket Yoga is more fluid and livelier than Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, which follows a strict sequence with each pose in a specific order. The Rocket Yoga Teacher can personalize the sequence by introducing new poses and variations. Each Rocket Yoga session will have a unique mood, keeping the practice intriguing and innovative.
The rocket sequence, also known as the rocket yoga sequence, is divided into three series: Rocket I, II, and III. These three series, which total 142 poses, start with a warm-up and are sometimes referred to as “MDR” or “minimum daily requirements” poses. They are followed by Sun salutations A and B and a brief seated meditation and repose. Following that are 66 standing, seated, and twisting postures. Finally, the exercise concludes with the standard closing series.
Rocket I series
The first series of rocket yoga is comparable to the first series of Ashtanga yoga in the following ways:
- They concentrate on enhancing core and leg strength.
- The hip-opening and forward-bending poses make up the majority of it.
- While performing Rocket I, you will learn how to do Navasana and Supta Konasana modifications.
- This group also includes unique arm balances and inversions.
Rocket II series
It is created by modifying the second series of Ashtanga Yoga, which includes:
- The second series is an energy booster which works complementary to the first series.
- A significant portion of the second series of The Rocket involves poses like Bakasana and Supta Vajrasana.
- Ashtanga yoga seated positions from the intermediate series, including backbend and spine twist techniques.
Rocket III series
The Rocket’s final series, which combines Rocket I and Rocket II, takes the following factors into account:
- Twists, folds, and balances are present in most of the poses.
- It includes poses designed to increase the practitioner’s flexibility and strength.
- This lively and fast-paced series is sometimes known as “The Happy Hour” because it provides a delightful transition from Ashtanga’s I through III series.
Benefits of Rocket Yoga
Several health benefits are obtained from practicing Rocket Yoga, making it worthwhile to try it and accept the fact that everyone can do it.
Assist in Weight Loss Journey
Because rocket yoga is such a fast-paced practice, it also acts as a powerful cardio workout. This helps to tone the muscles, shape the physique, and burn calories. As a result, doing rocket yoga is all you need to get back into shape and lose all that stubborn body fat.
Strength and Flexibility Training
The majority of its poses require balance, stability, and stretches. Stretching the joints and muscles increases flexibility and strength. The sequences are meant to target specific regions of the body, such as the hips, back, and arms, increasing strength in these areas and making it a great option for people wishing to improve their physical fitness.
Rocket Yoga, which requires a lot of energy from the practitioner, helps increase physical endurance by keeping the body constantly moving. This high-intensity exercise elevates the heart rate, delivering a cardiovascular workout that helps improve heart health and circulation.
Helps Attain Good Mental Health
The poses of the rocket yoga sequence, which include inversions, backbends, and balancing the body off the floor, promote mindfulness. Additionally, they encourage blood and oxygen flow to the brain, which is good for calming the brain. As a result, the rocket also fosters mental wellness and reduces conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression.
Helps with Focus and Attention
Rocket Yoga tests mental endurance by requiring a level of mental focus and a desire to keep up with the sequences. Even when the sequences get physically challenging, the quick motions demand that yogis remain focused, in the moment, and present. This improves mental stamina and endurance, which can help with stress management and keeping focused on other aspects of life.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
The rapid tempo of rocket yoga raises the heart rate, promotes improved circulation, and strengthens the cardiovascular system. Major cardiovascular risks including excessive blood pressure, heart attacks, and others can be eliminated by enhancing cardiovascular health. Additionally, it prevents diabetes, maintains a healthy cholesterol level, and strengthens the lungs.
Enhances Balance Coordination and Stability
The enhancement of motor abilities is another advantage of rocket yoga. The poses practised in the rocket yoga sequence are held for a longer period and are face-paced, which helps to improve both mind-body coordination and muscle strength. Arm balances and inversions exercise your coordination and balance while enhancing your poise and stability.
Rocket Yoga System
Larry Schultz’s revolutionary Rocket Yoga classes transformed the yoga industry in San Francisco. He introduced a unique class schedule, which he termed the “Rocket Yoga System.” These dynamic sequences, customized to each day of the week, were created to provide a genuinely holistic practice, addressing every component of the body while improving nervous system balance and mental cleansing. This novel approach immediately gained traction, enthralling a large number of students and propelling Rocket Yoga to popularity!
|No.||Day of the Week||Name of Practise||Benefits|
|1||Sunday||Full primary series||Honours tradition and focuses on overall physical health as well as meditation.|
|2||Monday||Rocket 1||Whole body strength training along with a focus on hamstring|
|3||Tuesday||Rocket 2||Nervous system balancing|
|4||Wednesday||Rocket 1 mix level||More light, meditative and easier version of Rocket 1|
|5||Thursday||Rocket 2||Arm balances and nervous system balancing|
|6||Friday||Rocket 3 BBQ Day||Full body training. 90 poses in 90 minutes|
|7||Saturday||Day off||Resting and reviving|
Tips for Rocket Yoga Beginners
Beginners need to understand a few things before beginning their rocket yoga journey. Some of them are listed below.
Begin your training with a qualified teacher who will help you choose or modify the poses according to your strength, fitness and flexibility levels.
Understand Your Level
Don’t be overconfident or overambitious in the beginning. Choose a beginner-friendly class (all-level class). Going into advanced classes directly will just lead you to being unable to keep up with classmates and even may cause injuries.
More emphasis should be given to breathing. You should concentrate on it as you practice and go from one pose to another. Focus on keeping your breath steady and smooth.
Listen to your Body.
As we discussed, rocket yoga is dynamic and fast-paced. But a person must progress at their own pace and not push themselves too hard. Do only the poses that feel comfortable for your body.
Modifications and Props
If you feel like a movement or pose is too difficult for you to achieve, please don’t be hesitant to ask for modifications or props from your trainer so that it will be more accessible for you. The trainer is always ready to offer you variations and modifications to help you achieve progress at a pace you can move.
Patience and Perseverance
Keep in mind that learning Rocket Yoga is a process, and it will take time and repetition to gain the flexibility and strength necessary to carry out the more difficult poses. Be kind to yourself and take pleasure in the trip. Your flexibility, strength, and balance will all increase with continued practice, along with your mental clarity and attention.
Rocket Yoga FAQs
- What exactly is Rockets Yoga?
Rocket Yoga is a more approachable variation created by Pattabhi Jois by modifying the Ashtanga Vinyasa method. It has a set structure, but the offered steps can be changed and adjusted depending on the skill level of the user. It has a lively, quick-paced flow that is accompanied by music to make practice enjoyable.
- What is the aim of Rocket Yoga?
Rocket improves balance and body strength. This can also improve cardiovascular health because of its quick speed and frequent reputation for being more intensive (though still accessible to all levels) than Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga. The practice of Rocket Yoga improves focus and eases tension.