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City #1: Up until summer 2016, I mainly practiced Vinyasa-style yoga with many great teachers, locally in Miami, and during my travels. I had only attended Ashtanga led classes occasionally at Corpo Yoga Studio.
City #2: Last summer, in Copenhagen, a new acquaintance asked me, two days in a row, if I was going to practice Ashtanga at a local yoga studio (Hamsa Yoga Studio), to which I replied, both times, that I was going to practice Hatha yoga (you can read about my experiences Part I and Part II) as I found Ashtanga to be too "intense". Later, reflecting upon my responses, I realized that I wanted to get rid of this hesitation about Ashtanga and explore this practice more deeply.
As life would have it, my trip was shortened unexpectedly and when I returned to Miami, there was a workshop for Ashtanga Basics that weekend (that I would have otherwise missed) at Corpo Yoga Studio, which I attended with the goal of diving deeper into this practice. As a result of the workshop, I was drawn in by the intense challenge of the practice, and with a bit more confidence, I decided to replace some Vinyasa classes with Ashtanga led classes (with a few Mysore Style classes here and there, although they were still very challenging for me).
City #3: Last fall, I attended Kino MacGregor's weekend workshop in Seattle, Washington. It was so great to practice with about 100 other students and benefit from Kino's vast experience and great energy!
City #4: Last winter in Athens, Greece, I attended the Ashtanga Red Edition class at Ashtanga Yoga Athens which was a great experience (my second class ever in Greece... my first was on the island of Ikaria). It was so beautiful to practice with about 40 other students and follow the class led in Greek (of which I understood virtually zero, yet I was able to follow the fixed sequence) by our teacher who provided me with some great adjustments.
City #5: This spring, I had the pleasure of practicing Ashtanga in Madrid, Spain, at two yoga studios. (1) A Mysore practice at Ashtanga Yoga Moncloa with a great teacher and her students. This experience really deepened my appreciation of the Mysore Style self-practice of Ashtanga which requires more self-motivation, with the great benefit of getting to know oneself better, with individual guidance from the teacher, and autonomy and ownership of one's own practice. Plus, I was able to practice my Spanish! (2) An Ashtanga led class at Mysore Ashtanga Yoga House Madrid. This beautiful practice, led in Spanish, was also a great experience, with helpful adjustments by our teacher and the gift of observing how other students respect where they are in their personal practice by waiting on their mats for the rest of the class to finish the more advanced poses, and then we all joined in together for the finishing poses.
Now, this summer, after a year of avoiding a deeper dive into a Mysore Style practice, I'm happy to say that I'm diving into my Mysore Style classes with both feet, and I'm feeling a big improvement in my personal practice, even within a short time already!
Check out some of our favorite Ashtanga/Mysore sources...
Namaste and gratitude to all of the teachers and students with whom I practiced in these 5 cities and beyond!
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