Dead Heads and Yogis Unite

You might be wondering what the The Grateful Dead and yoga have in common. The answer- Larry Schultz. Larry Schultz, known as “The Bad Man of Ashtanga Yoga”, believed that students should have access to all poses. This, however, conflicted with the teachings of Mysore where students were only given a new pose after having gained mastery of the previous pose.

Because Schultz believed that students should have access to all poses, he created his own style of yoga. Rocket Yoga, or “The Rocket”, was developed by Schultz in the 1980’s. Modeled after the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice, Rocket Yoga is divided into three series: Rocket I, Rocket II, and Rocket III. Rocket I is modeled after the Modified Primary Ashtanga Series, while Rocket II is modeled after the Intermediate Ashtanga Series, and Rocket III is modeled after a combination of the Primary and Intermediate Ashtanga Series.

Why was Schultz’ style of yoga called “The Rocket”? In the 1990’s Schultz traveled with The Dead as their personal yoga teacher. When the band asked what his style of yoga was called, he told them he hadn’t yet named the practice. At this time Bob Weir suggested “it should be called Rocket Yoga, because it gets you there faster”. The name stuck, creating a lasting connection between The Grateful Dead and Yoga.

Being a fan of yoga and The Grateful Dead, I have created a flow that is loosely based on The Rocket. I will be teaching this sequence at my PodFlow classes this week (8/29-9/4/16) in coordination, of course, with a Grateful Dead playlist. Interested in listening to The Dead, but coming to one of my Gentle or Hot classes? No worries! We will still jam to some of The Dead's classic hits including Sugar Magnolia, Uncle John's Band, and Truckin'.

Tara Beattie

Waco, TX 76701