“Rocket was designed to awaken the nervous system and feed it with the precious prana it needs, while promoting a spirit of change and freedom in the practice.”
Larry Schultz (14/11/1950 – 27/2/2011)

Rocket Yoga Athens – Rocket Yoga Greece was founded by Angeliki Matopoulou in 2014, as an attempt to create the Rocket Vinyasa movement in Greece. At first the effort was difficult as few knew of Rocket’s practice until then and many viewed it with suspicion. Gradually, however, as she taught in various yoga studios and festivals, spreading this unique practice, the current became bigger and stronger and soon gained fanatical supporters. In July 2017 she hosted her teacher David C. Kyle to organize together the first teacher training program – 50h Rocket Vinyasa Teacher Training – ever held in Greece, in which she acted as her teacher’s assistant. Since then, she has been successfully training Rocket Vinyasa teachers every year. After various co-housing in Athens, in September 2018 Rocket Yoga Athens found its permanent home at the Pratyahara Yoga Center, in Agia Paraskevi. There, in addition to the daily practices of various styles of Yoga (Rocket, Hatha, Prenatal, etc.), there are also teacher trainings (Rocket & Hatha).

It gets you there faster

The Rocket Vinyasa system or otherwise “The Rocket” (a name given by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead because as he discovered: “It gets you there faster!”) consists of the Rocket 1, 2 & 3 series which have their roots in traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. These series are adaptations of the classic 1st (Primary) & 2nd (Intermediate) series of Ashtanga Vinyasa, including the key positions from the 3rd & 4th series. They are series that renew the energy and vitality of the body and mind.

Shaped so that each body can respond to its present state, Rocket gives the practitioner and teacher control and freedom for their own creative practice. A base on which to develop and experiment. Always respecting the core and traditional principles of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

The structure of the practice remains that of Ashtanga Vinyasa starting with sun salutations (Surya Namaskar A & B), continuing with standing poses (Standing Poses), then seated poses (Seated Poses) and concluding with the traditional closing (Finishing Sequence). Its pace is fast and requires the practitioner to focus on the constant changes of body alignment and center of gravity. Maintaining the flow of the breath (Ujjayi), the neuromuscular locks (Bandhas) and the stability of the gaze (Dristti).
A key feature of Rocket that we should not forget is its modifications, which is why it is called “The Art of Modifications”. Practitioners are encouraged to try variations and use aids when they feel unable to perform an asana, modifying the classic sequence and adapting it to their specific musculoskeletal needs. So they don’t stop the practice when they can’t perform an asana perfectly, but adapt it and continue avoiding injuries and enjoying the flow of the whole practice. This way they have access to all the postures, work on them and develop them thus reaping the benefits of the entire series, without interruption.

It is a rich practice that works on: pranayama, forward folds, back bends, spinal twists, hip openers, arm balances, standing balances, inversions, handstands and headstands, quickly increasing the endurance, strength, flexibility of the body, but and the connection to inner strength, patience, discipline and focus of mind.

If you haven’t tried it, don’t waste time!

rocket yoga
A few words about Rocket Vinyasa founder Larry Schultz (11/14/1950 – 2/27/2011)

Larry first came into contact with Yoga at the age of 29 and this experience completely changed his life. At the age of 31 he became a student of Pattabi Jois and his system, Ashtanga Vinyasa, which he followed faithfully for the next 8 years. Then in 1989, at his home in San Francisco, he began teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa from his own perspective to small groups. Larry believed that all students should have access to all postures, a logic opposed to P. Jois’ system of strict hierarchy in which the teacher gave the student a new posture after he had perfected the previous one. Instead, Larry taught a version of Ashtanga Vinyasa in which each class included poses from all three of its series. All students could try all poses! This, as well as the fact that Larry had not yet been authorized by Jois to teach the 2nd and 3rd series, resulted in P. Jois giving Larry the historical designation: “The Bad Man Of Ashtanga” (The Bad Man Of Ashtanga).

In 1991 (and until 2009) Larry founded IT’S Yoga Studio in San Francisco. A studio with great appeal and success, which made the practice of Yoga accessible to the general public as until then the practice was done in small groups at home. Schultz with his innovative Rocket was to lay the foundations for the later Power Yoga and all its offshoots!