The Home Practitioner’s Ashtanga Yoga Resource Guide
Ashtanga home practitioners are some of the most committed and devoted (not to mention, creative) group of students I’ve ever come across. I’m serious – they’re serious! And maybe that’s because practicing with no consistent, daily support forces them to develop an unusual tenacity, resilience, and adaptability.
Amongst this group are teachers themselves, mothers and fathers, working professionals, college students, and many others who enjoy the intimacy of a personal home practice.
Personally, I love being a home practitioner. It’s a huge responsibility for sure but with enormous benefits. And when I am fortunate (and privileged) enough to be with a teacher and a community, I value that time more than I ever had before.
You learn to be creative when you practice at home.
But here’s the thing – just because you practice solo doesn’t mean you’re forced to go it alone. And so luckily, there are many tools and teachers putting themselves out there to help along the way. I’m not saying there’s any book or video that can ever replace a nurturing and supportive relationship with an experienced teacher. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing our two outside of that.
Below is a growing library of resources – with links to the specific ones we either personally own, use, or follow as well. Please don’t forget to bookmark this page so you can revisit as your practice (and needs) change.
John Scott // Ashtanga Yoga :: The definitive step-by-step guide to dynamic yoga. This was the very first yoga book I ever bought. John and I talk about this book and how it came to be, our first podcast together.
David Swenson //Ashtanga Yoga :: A Practice Manual
Petri Räisänen // Ashtanga Yoga :: A Primary Series Practice Manual
+ INTERMEDIATE SERIES
💗 John Scott // The John Scott Yoga Apps:: Let John Scott lead you through your practice of both Ashtanga series of Primary and Intermediate – PLUS learn the vinyasa count!
💗Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor // The Art of Vinyasa:: Every chapter reads like poetry and every paragraph, a nugget of wisdom. Love, love, LOVE this book. Also so much more on their website – I encourage you to spend time going through and reading/listening.
Ashtanga Dispatch //The Magazines:: Each series uncovers another layer of practice – the physical, energetic, and the mind. Includes articles and instruction from your favorite teachers as well as a practice guide for the first, second, and third series.
💗 Sharmila Desai & Anna Wise // Yoga Sadhana for Mothers:: The first book dedicated to Ashtanga, pregnancy, birth, and motherhood.
💗 Jen René //Online Teachings:: Detailed instruction, including modifications for beginners to Ashtanga //Plus two other series focusing on Pilates and Foam Rolling // 🌟Save 15% on your first course by entering the code: ASHTANGADISPATCH
Jen René online teaching offers useful practice tools for all students.
💗 David Garrigues // The Asana Kitchen :: If anyone is the teacher for home practitioners, it’s David Garrigues. His Asana Kitchen is an amazing tool for anyone who has ever struggled with a posture – always offering something for everyone.
🌟 NEW! Peg Mulqueen //OM Practice:: The only LIVE and fully interactive class available online where I will take one posture and break it down in a 30 minute segment. Begins in November!
💗 Tara Brach // Tara Brach :: Tara Brach is a leading western teacher of Buddhist (mindfulness) meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. I adore her lectures and guided meditations.
Taylor Hunt // The Heartbreak Kids :: Interviews his students as to why they show up on their mat. Find on iTunes.
Stu Girling // The Ashtanga Yoga Podcast :: Interviews with teachers in Goa, India. Especially love the one with Joe Miles. Find on iTunes
Alan Watts // The Alan Watts Podcast :: Recorded seminars and lectures given by Allan Watts, one of my most favorite philosophers and spiritual teachers. Keep a notebook handy while you listen as he is certainly one to inspire questions and thoughts. Find on iTunes.
💗 David Keil // Functional Anatomy of Yoga:: The very best guide for practitioners and teachers. David also has wonderful online courses on his site so for those of you who enjoy geeking out a bit, check them out as well.
Eric Franklin // Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery :: How to use imaging techniques to improve posture and alignment.
Stu Girling // Love Yoga Anatomy :: The Yoga Anatomy Resource – but really also, so much more! Oh and check out The Asana Quickfix – you might recognized a past contributor there. 😉
💗 Sri K. Pattabhi Jois // Yoga Mala :: “garland of yoga” – this book is Guruji’s authoritative guide to Ashtanga. This is a must read!
Manju Jois // Yoga Chikitsa :: Healing techniques and Assistance
Eddie Stern & Robert Moses //Nāmarūpa :: A journal honors, illustrates and comments on the many systems of knowledge, both practical and theoretical, that have originated in India.
Hamish Hendry // Pushpam Magazine:: Lovely compilation of essays and information within these magazines.
Nicolai Bachman // The Yoga Sutras :: An essential guide to the heart of yoga philosophy. Get the full course with CDs. Nicolai explains the yoga sutras in a way that is easily understood and applicable.
Vyaas Houston M.A. // The Yoga Sūtra Workbook :: Best translation for the Yoga Sūtras with word for word translation, pronunciation guide and grammatical index. Purchase through the American Sanskrit Institute – and make sure you take a look at the collection of CDs with mantras and chants.
💗 Guruji :: Through the Eyes of His Students // I adore hearing stories from the teachers who spent so much time with this teacher, the father of the Ashtanga yoga method, Pattabhi Jois. It’s truly a heartwarming compilation and another, must read!
Just For Fun ::
💗 Ashtanga, NY :: A Yoga Documentary // Did you know that Guruji was in New York at the time of 911? It was his final North American tour and the film was really meant to be a celebration of Ashtanga yoga – but the terrorist attacks dramatically changed the meaning and purpose of the trip and this film.
Mysore Magic :: Yoga at the Source // I first watched the film before visiting Mysore, reviewing it back in the days I wrote for Yoga Journal. Somehow it made me feel a part of a culture and community I still felt quite outside of. I recently watched it again, this time after having made a few visits and this time, it felt more familiar and reminiscent. It’s a great documentary, either way and you’ll love!
Breath of the Gods :: A Journey to the Origins of Modern Yoga // A documentary focusing on the life and teachings of Krishnamacharya.
💗 Tim Miller // Tuesdays with Timji:: Always thoughtful, full of heart and wisdom – Tim is one of the few senior teachers who still teaches daily mysore. Here in North America, we think of him like dad as he has all those loving fatherly qualities as our steady guide.
Shanna Small // The Ashtanga Yoga Project :: Used to be The Ashtanga Picture Project and mostly asana images. Now Shanna’s more personal views and takes on the other aspects of the yoga practice.
Clint Griffiths // Ekam Inhale :: Interviews, insights, and musings – plus we love their tanks too!
Anthony Grimm Hall // Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga at Home :: Anthony’s blog is one of the originals in Ashtanga – which makes this blog almost a virtual research site. Plus Anthony always offers a unique perspective.
The Story of Us // Peg Mulqueen weaves together individual stories, exposing the richness andbeauty of our combined existence. Guruji // John Scott remembers his teacher. Pilates for Ashtanga // with Jen René :: A short practice. Sharath Jois // Practice, as We Mature Finding the Right Teacher // 3 important qualities to look for. A First-Timer’s Guide to Mysore // Prepare foryour first trip to India. Analog Asana // with Meghan Powell :: An essay with images
🌟 Advanced A Series // with Olivia Hsu