Updated: Mar 12
Larry Schultz created the It's Yoga sequences during his time as the personal yoga teacher for the band The Grateful Dead, with the intention to make the full primary series more accessible to their physical need, and in the spirit of sharing his love of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice to everyone in a playful, compassionate and loving way. Traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga can be all of those, but what Larry offered was a way for people to listen with attention to what their bodies was communicating to them and to move and adjust to those messages accordingly. Larry's desire to share his love of this ancient practice gave birth to the It's Yoga system and a new philosophy which he referred to as a silent revolution: "To move away from what does not work towards what does". After his passing in 2011 the community he had built through It's Yoga kept going, practising and developing as a community and a system.
It's Yoga came into my life a little over a year ago when I jumped into the rocket ship with complete trust and began my 300hr training at It's Yoga Fuerteventura. After studying the foundations of the system in the 301 training I came back to Fuerteventura to attend the 302 training: Taking Flight. Its focus on arm balances, back bending and twisting invigorated my being inside and out; I was in love with the sequence. However, it is the Yin module of the course which made me fall in love with the quieter, more hidden part of my being. In between moving my body in all and every direction I came to settle and listen to my inner teacher in ways I had never done before. In stillness, I discovered new approaches to looking, seeing and being.
I had practised and shared Yin Yoga previously but the combination of both Yang and Yin within one training emphasized the many benefits of incorporating the two in my weekly routine. After the training ended I went back to Seville and began to practise and share both dynamic Yang sequences and gentle, slower paced Yin classes on a weekly basis. I had always been a very active, sporty, yang kind of person; The regular practice of Yin Yoga made me connect with myself and others softly and peacefully. I benefited both as a practitioner and a facilitator.
A year later I am back to Fuerteventura to co-learn and observe on the 302 training with Salla and Jari. Since Larry's passing It's Yoga International has evolved in many ways with the introduction of a 300hr training and the many facilitators and trainers around the world keeping Larry's living legacy alive. Jari Kauppi is one of those trainers and facilitators. He introduced Yin into the curriculum of It's Yoga for the first time in the first 302 training last year because of his own love and experience of such practice. It is still The Rocket but, just as Larry did when he switched the sequencing of the full primary series, Jari added on a new layer to this already very complete and rich system. Then, suddenly it hit me, last Sunday, in Jari's relax and restore Yin class that this new layer is the embodiment of the silent revolution that Larry set out to share.
A revolution, because sometimes it is about accepting that all the same benefits of the "full" pose are in the much loved modifications offered in every It's Yoga class and silent, because to understand what works for me is a journey inwards, spending time in each pose, as I do in Yin, so that I can deeply listen and move with attention and intention.