Ashtanga new class additions for 2021

Ashtanga Yoga 2021 class additions.

Can you believe it’s almost 2021 already? We are adding some new styles of yoga to our timetable but also digging deep into the roots we have at the studio and allowing them to ground even more.

Our established Mysore programme will see some additions, these classes will be gateways for beginners, those who want to get to grips with the method in a deeper way that is more workshop like, and those dipping their toes into the waters of intermediate series.

These additional classes are a response to allow our programme to thrive, due to the pandemic hands on adjustments are a complete no go- and we’ve no idea how long for. Mysore is an amazing practice, but our students are missing the hands on guidance- so here is something else to keep you going!

Below I’m going to take you through the new weekly ashtanga timetable and list the new ashtanga classes. Explaining what will happen in them and which students they’ll be suitable for. Please remember, the work is done in the Mysore room- and Mysore will still run 6 mornings a week and is the backbone of you ashtanga yoga practice!

Monday

6-8.30am Mysore Ashtanga with Emma
6-7am Ashtanga beginners & improvers with Emma
7-8.20pm Full led Sanskrit counted primary series with Emma

  • Mysore, self practice. Students come to class anytime between 6-8.30am (last ‘slot’ to come is 7.45am to do their own practice. The teacher gives verbal cues, guides, watches, often demonstrates and takes 1:1 time with the student to help them with their practice. This is the ‘real’ work of the ashtanga yoga method and is a great place for absolute newbies to start as you get 1:1 attention that you would not get in any other class.
  • Ashtanga Beginners and Improvers. This class is aimed at those who perhaps find the full or half series of ashtanga too demanding and need assistance with props, slower cues and longer time to get in and out of the postures. For all ashtanga is stuck to a vinyasa count, it is very important to me that I make ashtanga accessible. This class is a “stepping stone” to give you time to get to grips with the method. Not an “ashtanga based or ashtanga inspired” class!! Expect to work through surya namaskar slower, with more options. Grounding into the standing postures and some work on seated and closing. Members on gold or platinum can try this class once for free if they’ve been thinking about adding ashtanga onto their membership.
  • Full led primary, Sanskrit counted. Exactly what it says on the tin, traditional counted primary series kept to the vinyasa count. suitable only for ashtanga students who’ve been practising at least half series in Mysore with either Emma, Martin or Damian. Please note new students should attend Mysore before full led.

Tuesday

6-8.30am Mysore Ashtanga with Martin
6-7am Half Counted Primary Ashtanga Series with Martin

Wednesday

6-8.30am Mysore Ashtanga with Martin
6-7am Ashtanga Gatekeepers with Emma

  • Ashtanga gatekeepers. This class will take an in depth ‘workshop’ look at key postures from primary that students often get stuck in. Such as marichyasana D, lotus, Supta kurmasana, bhujapindasana and of course the vinyasa that follow them. This will be the usual full surya namaskar and full standing part of the method- kept to the vinyasa count. Then once we are at seated we will work in a ‘workshop’ way focusing on one of the gatekeepers, then finish with the full finishing and closing sequence. For example if it was Supta kurmasana that we where working on, we would take time opening the hips and Emma would share her personal insights, tips and tricks of the posture focusing on what stops us and how to work around it. Using more time to practice the key pose to help us ground deeper into it. Please note this will also include the vinyasas, so for this one it would include work with lifting up from the floor after supta k, then transitioning to Titthibhasana- bakasana jump back. The posture that we focus on will change weekly and Emma would be very grateful for any suggestions.

This doesn’t always have to be focused on a posture. Perhaps one week we look more deeply at forward folding as a whole or how to jump back/jump through.

Thursday

6-8.30am Mysore Ashtanga with Emma
6-7am Half Led Intermediate Ashtanga series with Emma

  • half led Intermediate Ashtanga series. As you all know, Emma keeps the tradition of the ashtanga method running throughout her Mysore programme. So this class will only be available for students who are currently working up to eka pada sirsasana with her in the Mysore room. Ashtangis who are only just dipping their toes in the intermediate waters with drop backs and perhaps the first few postures of second series will unfortunately not be recommended to attend this class and instead keep plugging in the Mysore room. We hope this half second series class will motivate and inspire you to attend Mysore more- students practising intermediate series generally have at least a 4-6 day a week practice. So if you’re frustrated about your ‘progress’ in the primary moving to second series please speak to Emma and she will happily offer some support in the way of pointers to focus on in your own Mysore practice, words of encouragement and motivation. The half led intermediate series will finish at pinchamayurasana and then into the finishing sequence.

Friday
6-7.30am Full Led Primary Series with Emma
6-8.30am Mysore Ashtanga with Emma

Saturday- no ashtanga classes as per tradition.

Sunday
7.30-9.30am Mysore Ashtanga with Damian- please note this is one of the best Mysore classes to attend as a beginner as not only is Damian so very patient his Sunday class is generally the quieter Mysore which means you’ll get more 1:1 help and less ‘worry’ of a busy class!

You’ll notice Mysore runs at the same time as some of the 6-7am classes, this is because our studio is extremely big, so Mysore practitioners can come in whenever they want, go to the back and begin their practice without disturbing the other students. So if you’re working with certain areas of your practice or perhaps working intermediate you’re very welcome to come in for Mysore anytime without worry of disturbing the class. But please note if a 6-7am class is on then that’s Emmas priority, as you know she still keeps a watchful eye over her Mysore students but as she’s leading the 6-7am class she will focus on that till 7am. Then she’ll flock to your mat to see what you’re up to!!

So, that’s our three new ashtanga additions which makes up TWELVE ashtanga classes a week!!

We are so very excited for these additions, and hope it sparks excitement, interest and motivation for our current and new students. The ashtanga method is incredible when taught in an open and accessible way yet still maintaining the tradition. We hope our gold and platinum members come and try the beginners class and that, if you’ve been thinking about trying ashtanga yoga- that this will be a great gateway into it.

Our Mysore room is a celebration of students of all ages, from all backgrounds, with different practices, different body shapes, sizes, different energies- but together we unite to practice yoga.

As the Mysore director I do not stand for any guru and do promote this to my students, I talk about the lineage of Ashtanga Yoga from Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. You will not hear me repeat any Pattabhi Jois ‘quotes’ or push off your practice by telling you to just keep practising. I will offer you ways to deepen your practice physically that is personal to your own body and limitations. There are also no Guru pictures in my shala, YOU are your own guru- your teachers are simply your guides.