My picks for Ashtanga online live classes include: cordial Ashtanga Yoga – Modified with Helen G at the Lotus Yoga Wellbeing, accessible Ashtanga with Rachel at the Wild Wolf’s Yoga and insightful Ashtanga Yoga with Nicola Harpin at the Yoga at the Reach.
I started practising Ashtanga yoga two years ago when I enrolled in an Ashtanga based YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) where the regular personal practice was a requisite. What followed was an emotional roller coaster, periods of continuous ritual-like practices interrupted by periods of completely avoiding everything that would remind me of a yoga mat including carpets and large towels. Since Ashtanga is based on a fixed set of poses, some people struggle to develop consistency while others simply bloom in its preciseness. I was the former type. And I still am. But over time I’ve learned to find pleasure in Ashtanga’s rules and set sequence which allowed me to focus on a pose in the present moment and not think about anything else. Not the following poses, the shopping list or un-replied emails. Only the present challenges of a certain pose.
Ashtanga yoga is an energetic, physically demanding yoga style where the emphasis is on continuous improvement, the connection of the breath with every movement and new challenges on a daily basis. Ashtanga consists of six series with a predetermined sequence of postures (poses) created by K.P. Jois in the 20th century. The vast majority of Ashtanga yoga classes are based on the first of the sequences, the so-called Primary Series, since the following ones are considered advanced and therefore are not suitable for group classes.
If you’ve never encountered Ashtanga before, I wholeheartedly recommend the Ashtanga Yoga – Modified class with Helen. I was pleasantly surprised that the class followed basic Ashtanga rules but was beginner-friendly at the same time. Helen gave very precise cues and modifications, always noting what the difference is between the class sequence and the Primary Series while the slower pace of the class made it easy to catch up if needed. This class is a good introduction for anyone interested in trying out ashtanga style without it being too stressful and unfamiliar.
The price of a drop-in class with is Helen is £3.50. For all additional information about the teacher and available classes, visit the official website https://www.lotusyogawellbeing.com/home.html.
Ashtanga class with Rachel fully met my expectations for a complete yoga practice. The class followed the Ashtanga sequence, with only minor changes in the sitting poses (it was always noted what was supposed to be whenever something was skipped). The cues were very well timed and followed the average breathing pace. I really loved the specific tips and cautionary reminders regarding not overstressing the joints and muscles but progressing only to a point where there are no painful sensations. Modifications were offered throughout the practice making the poses obtainable to a variety of different bodies and abilities. I was also pleasantly surprised by the sliding pricing the Wild Wolf’s Yoga offers which ensure accessibility of their classes.
The price of an online class with Rachel ranges between £5 – £12. For all additional information about the teacher and available classes, visit the official website https://wildwolfsyoga.com/.
That brings us to my personal favourite class I’ve come across so far: Ashtanga Yoga with Nicola. This class exposes so many intricacies of Ashtanga practice that I felt like a complete beginner all over again, trying to soak up as much information from Nicola as I could. I highly recommend it to every Ashtangi looking to deepen their practice and all beginners wanting to learn the basics of Ashtanga in a very precise manner.
The price of a drop-in class with Nicola is £14. For all additional information about the teacher and available classes, visit the official website https://www.yogaatthereachsheffield.com/.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions! If you decide to try out some of the mentioned classes or if you know of other great Ashtanga classes available online, let me know in the ‘Comments’ section or send me an email.