The founder of It's Yoga & the creator of The Rocket® Larry Schultz was known as the Yogaman. After studying with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois for seven years, he was the first to liberate the hierarchy of the Ashtanga Vinyasa sequences as taught by the master.
Larry was lovingly also called as the "bad man of Ashtanga" by Pattabhi Jois:
"Pattabhi Jois had predicted for him, “all is coming in 25 years.” Pattabhi believed there were 3 kinds of students. One, all is coming in 7 years – very good student, practices daily and is advanced. Second, medium student, all is coming in 12 years. And then he looked at Larry, and said, “That man is bad man. All is coming for him in 25 years.” Larry took it as a blessing, he said he knew if he kept practicing, he would receive all that was coming his way in 25 years. What he wanted was love and health. We met in his 25th year of practice." - Marie Russel It’s Yoga International (Meet the Founder - full text from here)
The story of The Rocket® is just inspiring and wonderful as the practice itself!
The Rocket® I, II and III routines incorporate poses from the Ashtanga Primary and Intermediate sequences. Larry’s intention behind creating the Rocket® routines was to renew energy and revitalise the body and the Being. In Larry’s words, “The Rocket® is designed to wake up the nervous system and feed it the precious prana it craves while promoting a spirit of change and freedom in the practice.” The Rocket® is known for its ‘freedom with alignment’. All Rocket® routines provide the practitioner with the opportunity to let their creativity flow while remaining true to the core sequence that reflects the Ashtanga heritage.
Back in the early days of 1990's
Larry was on tour with the rock band the Grateful Dead as a yoga teacher. In an attempt to offer the rock stars a yoga practice that was healing, yet playful and entertaining, Larry created what would become The Rocket® routines. It was Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead that announced that the yoga routines they were practicing, should call “The Rocket”. Upon being questioned by Larry as to why, Bob Weir replied, “because it gets you there faster!” - "That's all I needed to know" said Larry later and the living legacy was born in those very moments.
"Keep hearing your BREATH"
The Rocket® works through the entire body and all major joints by incorporating forward folds, backbends, spinal twists, inversions and arm balances. Despite being a dynamic practice, the Rocket® honours the most basic principles of It’s Yoga that all poses are equal. By offering modifications for all poses, the principles of ‘Function over Form’ and ‘Creativity’ are honoured. It’s Yoga constantly and foremost reminds all practitioners to stay tuned to their breath, bandhas (the energy locks) and drishti (the eye gaze), as well as to quieten the inner critic and listening more consciously to their Inner Teacher; the voice within that speaks always & all ways with a kind & loving voice.
"We modify because we love Ashtanga so much"
One of the It’s Yoga sequences, the Modified Primary Series (MPS) is based on the Full Primary Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It's shortened, condensed and modified, so as to make it available for a 60 minute practice and like all It's Yoga routines; accessible to all levels of practitioners. MPS keeps all the standing asanas and main forward folds that also form the basis for the Rocket® I.
It's Yoga & The Rocket® is about finding freedom on and off the mat. It is about alignment as much as it is about playfulness. It is about relaxing and breathing and going with the flow. It is about acceptance and gratitude and surrender. It is about honouring our Truth, on and off the mat. It is about "learning to love ourselves, so that we can love others more".
Relax and breathe and go with the flow ~ Larry Schultz
Namasté Yogaman & "each and every one of you"
We are learning so much each day.