Among the many forms of modern yoga, the practitioner can discover a wide variety of dynamic yoga styles.
Rocket Yoga is a relatively new type of yoga practice that yoga enthusiasts may enjoy and this article will focus on everything you need to know about it.
We will explore:
- What is Rocket Yoga
- The 3 Categories of Rocket Yoga
- Rocket Yoga Benefits
- 5 Rocket Yoga Poses
What Is Rocket Yoga
Rocket Yoga, also known as the “Rocket” series, is a fast-paced style of yoga that was created by Larry Schultz in the 1980s. This innovative style of yoga combines traditional Ashtanga Yoga and dynamic sequences designed to test the body and mind.
It is suitable for those seeking an energetic and vigorous workout. Rocket Yoga is a popular choice for yoga practitioners looking to expand their physical and mental abilities.
The name ‘Rocket Yoga’ has an interesting origin. It is said that it was named by one of the guitar players from the band, The Grateful Dead, Bob Wier. Larry Schultz happened to be touring with the band and was teaching them yoga using a specific sequence.
After one of the classes, Bob asked Larry, “what is the name of this sequence? It’s great!” Larry replied stating that he did not have a name for this particular sequence. Wier took it upon himself to give it a name, calling it “The Rocket, because it gets you there faster!”
The 3 Categories of Rocket Yoga
Rocket Yoga is a fast-paced form of Vinyasa Yoga. It is an invigorating and dynamic style of yoga that is designed to challenge the body and mind.
The practice is divided into three main categories, each of which caters to different levels of yogis and builds upon the previous one.
The categories of Rocket Yoga include poses and sequences that are similar to what is practiced in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. This style of yoga was developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the early 20th century in Mysore, India.
It is a physically challenging, fluid, and contemplative practice that emphasizes synchronizing the breath with a dynamic series of postures.
The starting point for beginners and intermediate yogis, Rocket 1 is focused on building strength, flexibility, and endurance through sequences that ready the body for more challenging postures.
This series blends classic yoga postures with elements of Ashtanga and emphasizes proper alignment, breathing techniques, and safe transitions.
The goal is to establish a strong foundation for a yoga practice, including the development of physical and mental skills for future advancement.
Perfect for intermediate to advanced practitioners seeking a challenge, Rocket 2 elevates the skills learned in Rocket 1 with a greater emphasis on inversions, arm balances, and backbends.
This series cultivates a deeper connection between the body, breath, and mind, challenging practitioners to take their skills to the next level.
Only for the experienced, Rocket 3 is the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance. This series pushes the limits with advanced postures, including intricate arm balances and inversions, and demanding transitions.
Rocket 3 is a transformative practice, designed to take practitioners to new heights of strength, flexibility, and self-awareness.
Rocket Yoga Benefits
Rocket Yoga offers a wide range of benefits for both the body and mind, including:
- Improved strength and flexibility
- Increased physical & mental endurance
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Stress relief
- Improved balance & co-ordination
Improved Strength and Flexibility
Rocket Yoga includes a dynamic blend of strength, flexibility, and endurance-building sequences drawn from the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Practice.
The sequences are designed to work specific areas of the body, such as the hips, back, and arms, building strength in these areas and making it an ideal choice for those looking to boost their physical fitness.
Increased Physical & Mental Endurance
By keeping the body constantly moving, Rocket Yoga helps build physical endurance, as it demands a lot of energy from the practitioner. This fast-paced practice raises the heart rate, providing a cardiovascular workout that can improve heart health and circulation.
Moreover, Rocket Yoga also challenges mental endurance, as it demands a level of mental focus and determination to keep up with the sequences.
The fast-paced movements require yogis to stay present, in the moment, and maintain focus, even when the sequences become physically demanding.
This builds mental stamina and helps increase mental endurance, which can be useful in handling stress and staying focused on other aspects of life.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
The practice also offers a wealth of additional benefits, including improved cardiovascular health. The fast-paced sequences provide a high-energy workout that increases both physical and mental endurance, making it ideal for improving heart health and circulation.
Even though Rocket Yoga consists of fast-paced yoga sequences and dynamic movements, it also contributes to stress relief. The movements promote mindfulness, helping to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
This form of yoga practice can be a good source of exercise to improve your mental well-being.
Improved Balance and Coordination
Rocket Yoga is also great for improving balance and coordination. Inversions and arm balances challenge balance and coordination, helping to improve stability and poise.
While these postures may be challenging for beginners, with time and practice, practitioners will find that they can hold the postures for longer periods and that their balance and coordination have improved dramatically.
5 Rocket Yoga Poses
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, Rocket Yoga provides numerous physical and mental benefits. Try these five poses to build strength, flexibility, and endurance:
1. King Pigeon Pose
This is a deep hip opener that strengthens the hips and lower back. It may be practiced in the Rocket 1 series.
- Start in Downward Facing Dog and bring your right knee to the floor near your right wrist. Angle this leg so your right foot is pointing toward the left side of your yoga mat. Extend your left leg straight behind you.
- Place your hands on either side of your front leg. Press into the mat with your hands to lift your upper body creating a backbend posture.
- Ensure that your shoulders are aligned over your wrists. Keep your gaze forward. This posture will open your hips and lengthen your hip flexors.
- Practice the pose on both sides.
2. Boat Pose
This yoga pose will effectively strengthen your core.
- Come to a seated position on your mat with your legs extended out in front of you. Maintain a lengthen upper body and begin to lean back.
- Bend your knees then slowly lift your feet into the air. Flex your feet to keep your legs stable and strong. Make sure your shins remain parallel to the floor. Hold onto your bent knees to maintain control of your body in this position.
- For a more advanced version of Boat Pose, extend your legs and arms into the air. You will form the shape of the letter “v.” Breathe with intention: inhale completely to fill your lungs. Exhale through your mouth and feel your core muscles engage.
3. Crow Pose
This dynamic arm balance posture strengthens the arms, wrists, and core, and improves balance and coordination.
- Start in a squatting position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Shift your weight forward while bending your elbows.
- Rest your bent knees on your triceps. As you continue to lean forward, lift your feet both off the ground while balancing on your hands.
- Hold the pose for several breaths while keeping your gaze forward.
This challenging inversion yoga pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, and core, and improves stamina, coordination, and balance.
- Start in Downward Facing Dog near a wall if you are new to this inverted position. Raise one leg into the air while using the other planted foot to help kick up into a handstand. Let your feet touch the wall.
- Press firmly and strongly into your yoga mat to straighten your arms. Your shoulders should be aligned over your wrists. Keep your legs straight and point your toes. Maintain core engagement for several breaths.
5. Wheel Pose
This is a backbend that will strengthen your back and open your chest.
- Start lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands on the floor beside your head, and press into your hands and feet to lift your hips and chest off the ground.
- Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on stretching and opening the chest.
Rocket Yoga is a dynamic and challenging style of yoga that offers numerous physical and mental benefits.
Whether it’s your first time practicing yoga or you have a background of yoga experience, Rocket Yoga provides an energetic and fulfilling practice that will challenge your body and mind.
Check your community to see if Rocket Yoga is available in a studio or gym setting near you.
In the meantime, incorporate the five poses discussed in this article into your current yoga practice to build strength, flexibility, and endurance, and to improve overall health and well-being.
For more dynamic yoga styles and practices, take a look at some of these additional articles. You may be interested in ways to practice yoga as a trio or learning about the 26 yoga poses in Bikram Yoga.
Expand your yoga practice by exploring new and challenging ways to enhance your mind, body, and spirit.