I am Patrick, and I've been offering classes in Ashtanga yoga since July 2007. Currently I can be found teaching at these times and locations:
Sunday: Mysore-style Ashtanga at Cityoga , 12:30 pm
Wednesday: The Rocket I at Peace Through Yoga Zionsville , 6:00-7:15 pm
Thursday: Modified Primary Series at O2 Spa in Brownsburg ): 6:45-8:00 pm (note that this class online is called simply "Yoga").
Saturday: Modified Primary at O2, at both 8:50 am and 10:30 am
(again, note that online these classes are called "Yoga" and "Intro to Yoga": I offer Modified Primary Series at a level suited to those students who show up)
What is Ashtanga yoga?
There are numerous online answers to this question: the official homepages of the practice are this one and that one but also see this marvelous page for more about Ashtanga, as well as Arjuna's site . In brief, Ashtanga yoga is a science of organizing poses according to breath, gazing points and bandhas (a word which is often translated as "energy locks").
What is this thing "the Rocket" that you teach? Is that Ashtanga yoga too?
The Rocket is the home practice of > It's Yoga , where I did 200 hours of teacher training in May 2007. It is not a traditional Ashtanga practice. Technically it is a vinyasa yoga practice, but it is made of Ashtanga poses and does use Ashtanga principles (breath, gazing points and bandhas). The Rocket was created by Larry Schultz, who was the on-tour yoga teacher for the Grateful Dead for three years. It is a fun and energetic practice, but no, it's not traditional Ashtanga (and depending on how traditional your practice is, you might see Larry as a "yoga criminal").
So how about "Mysore-style"? Is that Ashtanga? What's that all about?
Mysore-style is the traditional method by which Ashtanga yoga is taught. Mysore is the city in south India where Sri K Pattabhi Jois lives (the guru of Ashtanga yoga). In a Mysore-style class, students move through the practice at their own pace, depending on how much of the practice they are familiar with and/or have committed to memory. Even a raw beginner can come to a Mysore-style class, learn the opening sequence (sun salutations) and continue to return and develop and Ashtanga practice. This site has a running blog about its Mysore program, as well as the history of growing the program.
Mysore-style practice is typically done 6 days a week (Saturdays and days of the full and new moon off), at or before dawn. My Sunday class runs at 12:30 to invite students to sample Mysore-style; when the class has sufficient interest, I"ll see about opening dawn practices several days a week. There are 6/week established Mysore programs all around Indiana: they are running in Louisville, Chicago and even Columbus Ohio.
What's the difference between Ashtanga and the "Modified Primary Series"?
Ashtanga yoga traditionally comes in "series" of poses. The first of these is called the Primary Series, and that is the class you'll most often see on schedules for yoga studios. The Modified Primary classes are a selection of poses from the Full Primary, which is about 70 poses or so from beginning to end. Full Primary can be a very intense practice and can take over 2 hours to teach, depending on how rigidly the instructor adheres to the pace of the practice as traditionally taught (almost all poses after the sun salutations, up to the closing sequence are held for five breaths). Modified Primary is a shorter practice, an easier practice, and a less intense introduction to Ashtanga than a Full Primary.
Sun salutations? Closing sequence? Where can I actually see these poses in order?
Come to my Mysore-style class or someone else's, or hunt around on this page , or pick up a poster of the Full Primary from Matthew Sweeney's site .
What's your practice like?
I practice six days a week. My full practice is Primary series and the first ten or so poses of the second, or Intermediate, series. Some days that's too much yoga, so I'll do a modified practice or the "Minimum Daily Requirement," which is ten sun salutations and three finishing poses. I've been practicing Ashtanga for just over three years (as of September 2007)--for more, see the followup post to this one, called "What's your yoga story?"