Where isn’t Ashtanga?

A couple years back, I wondered about the huge number of Ashtanga teachers in Helsinki. And got a few answers.

It struck me, then and still, as being a city where the number of Ashtanga teachers (if not studios, since that doesn’t always translate) was way out of wack compared to other cities.

And then yesterday I saw word that one of the teachers at the Encinitas Jois Yoga studio is/has moved up to Long Beach, where she (we’re taking Aimee Echo) has started Ashtanga Yoga Long Beach. (Another teacher, David Miliotis, also is leaving. That may leave just one or two teachers. It is still at its temporary location while work is being done on the downtown Encinitas store/studio. Today is both of their last days in Encinitas.)

Long Beach, for those who aren’t SoCal literate, is LA County’s second largest city, but like much else here it exists in the huge shadow that is the city of Los Angeles. But it is the sixth or seventh largest city in the state (neck and neck with our capitol, Sacramento) and in the mid-30s in the U.S.

So it makes sense that Long Beach would have an Ashtanga teacher. (For the purpose of this argument, I’m going to use the Mysore list of teachers, with a few additions of teachers that we — Bobbie and I — know to have legitimate skills.) But she’s it. One Ashtanga teacher for about 450,000 people.

And that got me thinking of places that are underserved when it comes to Ashtanga. Or: “Where Ashtanga isn’t.” (Oakland, which is slightly smaller than Long Beach, has a teacher by comparison.) A few places that jump out at me:

  • Dallas
  • Phoenix
  • San Antonio (and, really, Texas in general. Austin has just one Mysore-listed teacher, Shelley Washington [we know David Swenson is home-based there, too]. But, Austin? You’d think it would have Ashtanga via Yoga Truck; and Houston has just one)
  • Chicago (which has two listed, or one for every 1.4 million people)
  • Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming all have zero. That means major cities including Memphis, Indianapolis, Nashville and Baltimore don’t have any Ashtanga.

Now, it’s likely there’s some Ashtanga being taught there — and it could be very good and/or very traditional, just not listed by Mysore. So this isn’t scientific or anything.

But I’m wondering if there are other places you’ve come across (maybe in travels, when trying to visit a new shala) that surprised you by the lack or dearth of Ashtanga — especially worldwide.

Posted by Steve

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theconfluencecountdown

Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

13 thoughts on “Where isn’t Ashtanga?”

  1. Connecticut. I know about the shala in Greenwich and it opened relatively recently.

    It would take many hours to get down to Greenwich from cities like New Haven and Hartford, which are large cities.

  2. My home in Labrador, northern Canada could really use an Ashtanga instructor. As far as I know, it’s just little ol’ me…at home…probably in need of a lot of corrections 😉

  3. I don’t think you can use the list as a definitive guide. I travel around a lot for work, and though it sometimes takes a lot of Googling, Facebook stalking and actually calling people to beat the bushes, you find Ashtanga studios in rock-climbing gyms, solo Mysore practitioners, small practice groups, etc. For example, there IS Ashtanga in Dallas, but you have to look for it.

      1. Yes! I didn’t mean to sound critical. It just often takes a lot of detective work to find Ashtanga in places where at first glance it doesn’t exist. But it’s frequently worth it because you stumble on wonderful communities in unexpected places.

      2. Good points. I also didn’t mean to sound critical, just wanted to make sure that little caveat hadn’t gotten missed. This is definitely a “rough” estimate. And I’m sure there are cases where the better Ashtanga may be the one you have to dig up.

        S

  4. See here for ashtanga in Arizona (including “the greater Phoenix area”):

    http://www.ashtangaarizona.com/p/blog-page.html

    Ashtanga Classes
    Note: This page was last updated May 2014

    CLASSES IN THE GREATER PHOENIX AREA:

    MONDAY
    5:00am Mysore – Yogalution Downtown (Scott Page)
    6:30am Mysore – A Mindfulness Life Center (Danielle Godfrey)
    6:00pm Ashtanga Mix – Camelback Village (Michelle Notrica)
    6:00pm Primary Series – Dave’s (Dave Oliver)
    6:00pm Gentle Ashtanga – Hegel (Tish Hegel)
    6:00pm Ashtanga Vinyasa – Gilbert Yoga (Carrie)
    7:00pm Primary Series – Mindful Ascension Chandler (Sean Shelton)

    TUESDAY
    5:00am Mysore – A Mindfulness Life Center (Scott Page)
    5:00am Mysore Self Practice (no teacher) – 5th Row Dance Studio (Roosevelt and 5th St)
    7:30am Ashtanga Mixology – Yoga Hangout (Katelyn Danger Tiwald)
    11:00am Primary Series Abbreviated – YMCA DT (Cindy Hrnicek)
    4:45pm Primary Series – Hegel (Tish)
    6:00pm Ashtanga Mix – LifePower Pima Crossing (Scott Page)
    6:00pm Primary Series – Urban Yoga (Danielle Godfrey)
    6:30pm Primary Series – Living Stone Yoga Gilbert (Sean Shelton)

    WEDNESDAY
    5:00am Mysore – Yogalution Downtown (Scott Page)
    6:30am Mysore – A Mindfulness Life Center (Danielle Godfrey
    12:00pm Ashtanga Mix – Dave’s (Danielle Godfrey)
    6:00pm Primary Series – Dave’s (Dave Oliver)

    THURSDAY
    5:00am Mysore – A Mindfulness Life Center (Scott Page)
    5:00am Mysore Self Practice (no teacher) – 5th Row Dance Studio (Roosevelt and 5th St)
    12:00pm Primary Abbreviated – DT YMCA (Cindy)
    4:45pm Primary Series Abbreviated – Hegel (Tish)
    6:00pm Primary Series – LifePower Pima Crossing (Cheryl Oliver)
    6:00pm Primary Series – Urban Yoga (Danielle Godfrey)
    6:00pm Intro to Ashtanga – Dave’s (Matt Ruilli)
    6:30pm Ashtanga – Floating LotusYoga Mesa (Sean Shelton)
    6:45pm Intro to Second Series – Hegel Yoga (Anusha Moore)

    FRIDAY
    5:00am Mysore – Yogalution Downtown (Scott Page)
    6:30am Mysore – A Mindfulness Life Center (Danielle Godfrey)
    9:00am Ashtanga Mix – Metta (Lorilee Gillmore)
    9:00am Ashtanga Mix – Camelback Village (Lisa Cohen)
    9:00am Ashtanga – Floating Lotus Yoga Mesa (Sean Shelton)
    10:00am Gentle Ashtanga – Hegel (Tish)
    4:30pm Primary Series – Urban Yoga (Anusha Moore)
    6:00pm Mysore – Dave’s (Barbara R-K)
    6:00pm Ashtanga – Hegel Yoga (Sean Shelton)

    SATURDAY
    7:30am Ashtanga Mixology – Yoga Hangout (Katelyn Danger Tiwald)
    8:30am Second Series – Urban Yoga (Danielle Godfrey)
    8:30am Primary Series Mix – Civic Space Park, A.E. England Building (Tim Cothron)
    9:00am Ashtanga Improv – Yoga Nirvana (Jim Keegan)
    9:00am Ashtanga Workshop (Ongoing) – Hegel Yoga (Sean Shelton)
    10:00am Primary Series – Dave’s (Dave Oliver)
    10:00am Primary Series – LifePower Pima Crossing (Stephanie Herf)
    10:30am Primary Series – Hegel (Rachel Grayczyk)

    SUNDAY
    7:00 – 9:00am Mysore Self Practice (no teacher) – Dave’s
    10:15am Led Primary Series – 15 E. Jackson St. Phoenix (Scott Page)
    NOTE: First Sunday of each month, Led Primary Series is replaced by Mysore with Lisa Shrempp
    10:30am Gentle Ashtanga – Hegel (Kelly Barrett)

    CLASSES IN FLAGSTAFF:
    Daily Mysore practice at 6:00am – (Dhruva Corrigan) Ashtanga Yoga Flagstaff
    Daily Mysore practice at 5:30pm – (Jackie Corrigan) Ashtanga Yoga Flagstaff
    Primary Series Led on Sundays at 7am and 9am – Ashtanga Yoga Flagstaff

    CLASSES IN TUCSON:
    Authorized teacher Lisa Schrempp teaches at The Movement Shala
    Click here for her schedule.

    1. Solo Mysore practitioner here in Columbia, SC.
      I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in this entire city/county practicing Ashtanga haha

  5. My sweetheart and I are headed to AYLB for the Thanksgiving holiday (and weekend following). I am looking forward to practicing with Aimee and the rest of the mysoreans in Long Beach.

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