I was recently fortunate enough to spend a week with other Ashtangis studying yoga with the amazing Tim Miller. While we were there, the topic of Ashtanga resources came up (books, DVDs, etc.). As we were discussing it, a couple of things occurred to me. 1) Many of us do some form of self-practice and 2) People who are serious about their practice are likely to develop an interest in teaching others. Below is a list of resources that were discussed at the retreat as useful, Ashtanga specific educational tools. Please feel free to add others- part of the cooperative experience is learning from each other.
Gregor Maehle, “Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy.” Everyone agreed this was an excellent overview of Ashtanga yoga. It discusses the asanas of the primary series, as well as the philosophy behind the 8 limbs. While I have not read his second book, “Ashtanga Yoga the Intermediate Series,” I understand it is an excellent resource for the student exploring second series.
Brian Cooper, “The Art of Adjusting.” This slim little gem covers adjustments for all of the asanas in the primary series. The explanation of proper alignment, coupled with variations on appropriate adjustments, makes it a great tool for both teachers and students wanting to understand the physical aspects of the postures.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, “Yoga Mala.” The classic commentary by the Guru.
David Swenson, “Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual.” More on the physical nature of the asanas, there are also several short forms included for those who don’t always have 90 minutes to devote to the entire practice.
“Kino MacGregor: Ashtanga Yoga Intermediate Series.” This DVD is great for people learning the intermediate series without the strict guidance of a teacher. She breaks down the more challenging poses and offers preparatory work as well as modifications. Plus, it is always fun to see what the full expression of the series is supposed to look like.
There are many other Ashtanga books and DVDs out there. These are simply the ones we all agreed were worthwhile. All of the items discussed above are available on amazon.com. I look forward to reading others suggestions. You can either post them on our Facebook page or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on the mat!
“Yoga is possible for anyone who really wants it. Yoga is universal.” Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois.
Yours in health and wellness,