There is a long history or a lineage of people who have devoted their lives to the study of yoga. To be involved in a study of yoga is called sadhana or spiritual training. Sadhana is based on experiential learning and centers in using specific techniques to train body, mind and senses to remain steady and rooted in NOW, the present moment. There are many benefits to be had from undertaking a sadhana, but the ultimate purpose is to help the aspirant realize the sacred nature of consciousness, and to learn to resolve inner and outer conflicts constructively, consciously and peacefully.  

Many records (in the form of sacred texts) of the past teachings have been preserved and handed down in a long chain between teacher and student. These texts and teachings form the basis of a great tradition of yoga study that spans from the past to now. Within the yoga tradition there has always been great fluidity in the study and practice of the techniques. Teachers and students draw upon knowledge from multiple sources. They borrow techniques and synthesize philosophies to arrive at their methods of practice. Through the course of time, different teachers have founded schools, communities have sprung up around these teachers and they practice the techniques or view the nature of yoga in specific ways.  As strong teachers come and go, schools, techniques, ways of thinking and practicing change, grow and evolve. An amazing intertwining of knowledge and methodology takes place, a melding of ideas, philosophies, and practices. The complexity of the weave of this yoga study makes it virtually impossible to come to an exhaustive or authoritative genealogy of yoga, and the further back you go the more obscure and untraceable the roots become. However certain texts from great, distant past have stood the test of time, the knowledge they offer has retained relevance and forms the basis of today’s study of yoga. These texts include the Upanishads, Tantra’s, stories from the great epics The Mahabharata and The Ramayana, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s, The Shiva Samhita, Gheranda Samhita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Rahasya, Yoga Yajnavalkya and others. 

The study of ashtanga yoga emerged from the legacy of the tradition of yoga study that utilized these texts as sources for creating effective yoga practices. The roots of ashtanga can be traced to the legendary, “Father of Modern Yoga”, T Krishnamacharya. He along with his student Sri K Pattabhi Jois brought forth the ashtanga method from material they found in an obscure, lost text known as the Yoga Korunta. They used this text in combination with knowledge from the sacred texts mentioned above to formulate the ashtanga system.
Ashtanga incorporates many of the most classic and foundational of the hatha yoga techniques that are found in the more recent texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (15th century). Ashtanga uses a concentrated synthesis of asana (Posture), Pranayama(breathing), Mudra’s (internal seals such as bandha’s), Dhyana (meditation), and Vinyasa (rhythm, sequence, uninterrupted flow) to create a complete practice that is suitable for the average “householder” to do on a daily basis.
David Garrigues teachings are devoted to honoring and furthering this same living lineage that began way back before recorded time with some unknown seeker whose intuition compelled him/her to quest after sacred knowledge. It is with the same spirit of love, intense curiosity, openness and conscious inquiry that David aims to help students dive into their own sadhana.

Writing provided by and honorably credited to David Garrigues
Photo: Sri T Krishnamacharya 

David Garrigues is one of the few teachers in the US certified to teach Ashtanga yoga by the late, world renowned master Sri K Pattabhi Jois.  Katie Kanak, owner of AYSOKC, studies under David Garrigues.  She is a teacher and student of the ashtanga lineage. She shares her fire, passion, and integrity with students in hopes to empower them to continue developing and exploring their own practice.