Dr. Ochester in Ashtanga style triangle pose
Dr. Ochester‘s preferred style of yoga for her personal practice is Ashtanga, although she has experience with several styles of Hatha yoga. In addition to earning her RYT-200 through Emily Darling & Christy Burnette at Darling Yoga, Dr. Ochester completed a 40 hour Ashtanga yoga teacher training program with Kathleen Kastner and an 18 hour internship with Lisa Ash at Maya Yoga.
Yoga has been my doorway into mindfulness and compassion, making stillness more accessible, opening my awareness into inner experience, expanding self-knowledge, and teaching me to love unconditionally. – Tracy Ochester, PsyD
Ashtanga is a system of yoga in which a set, progressive series of postures are coordinated with breath (ujjayi pranayama) and focused gaze (drishti). It is flowing and intense, producing internal heat and encouraging single pointed concentration.
Ashtanga yoga was engineered to be a system of healing encouraging physical health and spiritual growth – a path to the “true self” which is free from suffering. There is some preliminary research and effort at using ashtanga yoga to help people with all kinds of physical and emotional challenges. The Trini Foundation is using ashtanga yoga to help people in recovery from addictions. In a small study of twice weekly ashtanga yoga training in female college students, “participants were show to have increased upper body muscular endurance and increased trunk flexibility. There was additional evidence supporting positive effects on cardiovascular fitness, perceived stress, and mental health.” A study is presently underway at the University of Windsor in Canada about the beneficial effects of ashtanga yoga for breast cancer survivors.
Dr. Ochester offers yoga instruction and classes through her mindfulness coaching practice, Clear Mind Open Heart, LLC. Here are some helpful resources for those interested in learning more about Ashtanga yoga: