What is Rocket Yoga?


Where did Rocket Yoga

come from?

Rocket yoga is a playful and flowing style of yoga based on the traditional Ashtanga yoga Primary and Intermediate series. It was created in the 1990s in America by Larry Schultz, who studied the Ashtanga system with its founder Sri K Patthabhi Jois in Texas.


Jois dubbed him the ‘bad man’ of yoga, telling the then 30-year-old Schultz that while it would take others five of ten years to ‘get’ yoga, for Larry ‘all is coming’ in 25 years.

In 1991, he set up one of the first Ashtanga studios in the US, It’s Yoga, San Francisco. 

Larry had been practising the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series for seven years when he was introduced to a posed called ‘hanumanasana’ or splits. “His hips were three feet off the ground and he thought to himself ‘why wasn’t I shown this pose seven years ago?’” says Amber Jean Marie (pictured, right with Larry), who studied with Larry from 2000 until he died in 2011. “This was the beginning of The Rocket.”

From 1990-1993 Schultz toured with rock band The Grateful Dead as their resident yoga teacher. The story goes that because singer Sting had an Ashtanga Yoga teacher with him on tour, they wanted one too and engaged Larry.

Larry began regrouping the set Ashtanga sequences around the joints of the body. “As Larry began instructing Ashtanga yoga in the West, he noticed a need to make this ancient system of practice more accessible to his students,” says Amber.

Grateful Dead guitarist Bobby Weir loved the new format and Larry asked him what they should call it. “The Rocket,” came the immediate reply. “Why?” asked Larry. “Because it gets you there faster.”

What to expect in a

Rocket Yoga class

In Rocket Yoga you’ll find strong nods to traditional Ashtanga – the warm up is the same with sun salutations A and B - but with deep stretches Pilates-inspired core drills (essential for holding handstands, as well as for good posture) and some fun ‘signature’ transitions from one pose to the next.

The Rocket sequences

You’ll also find lots of modifications and options so you can make it easier or make it more challenging. In this way, newer practitioners and seasoned yogis can practise together. It also means that you can match your practice to your energy levels - your practice should always be therapeutic. The emphasis is on consistency – doing something most days - rather than intensity.

There are three Rocket sequences which Larry designed to be practised on different days of the week alongside his modified version of the Ashtanga Primary series. If you did them all you’d get to experience more than 140 different poses. Each sequence starts with sun salutations and traditional Ashtanga-inspired standing poses, plus Larry’s favourite splits pose.

Rocket 1: Known as the ‘long and strong’ series with focus on the legs. The seated poses focus on forward bends

Rocket 2: Focus on backbends, twists, core and arm balances

Rocket 3: A longer sequence combining Rocket 1 and Rocket 2


MDR: Larry also created ‘Minimum Daily Requirement’, a 20 minute practice. When time pressed, this sequence can be done in around 20 minutes and consists of sun salutations, one forward bend, one backbend, meditation and relaxation.


Bottle Rocket: a 45-minute ‘Rocket essentials’ practice. This is a modified Rocket 1 practice that’s beginner friendly, but also offers deeper variations for seasoned yogis. It was created by Larry’s student and my teacher Amber Jean Marie.

Rocket Yoga with Victoria

In our 45-minute open-level classes, we always start with sun salutations and end in restorative finishing poses and savansa (relaxation).


Each class has a focus such as hips, legs, core, shoulders, backs, inversions, so over time students get to explore the full range of Rocket poses. Depending on the focus, the class will be either Rocket 1 or Rocket 2 or Primary series-inspired with modifications for all levels and often breathwork.


My Professional Qualifications

Quantum Yoga teacher training

My first 200-hour professional yoga qualification was with my Ashtanga yoga teacher Lara Baumann, who also founded the Quantum Yoga. I also learned to teach her Quantum Yoga method, a dynamic style based on balancing the Ayurvedic doshas.

Yoga with Positive Psychology teacher training

In 2019, I completed a second 200-hour teacher training with Mercedes Sieff, combining dynamic yoga and positive psychology (a great combination for finding your flow state).

Yoga Body Breathing Coach Training

In 2021 I sought to deepen my knowledge of how breath affects the nervous system and how we can use breathing techniques for specific effects such to increase alertness, focus and performance, to feel balanced, to aid digestion, relaxation and sleep.

Rocket Yoga teacher training

I’ve been practising Rocket Yoga since 2011 with Amme Poulton, and latterly with Amber Jean Marie, both direct students of Rocket Yoga founder Larry Schulz. I completed Amber’s Rocket Yoga teacher trainings at triyoga and am certified to teach all three Rocket Yoga sequences.


Rocket Yoga

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