Two Ashtanga-related online things popped into my Google alert. Both give a sense of how Ashtanga is represented — probably by those not full-on committed.
The first is a Reddit:
I’ve practiced yoga on and off for about 7 years. I’m 27, in pretty good shape, fairly active and limber, and I’d classify myself as intermediate, yoga-wise. I’ve started getting interested in Ashtanga yoga after following Kino MacGregor on instagram.
[snip to replies]
I’d go with the Cody App course, I have it and it’s great. She goes through each pose in extremely thorough detail and includes instruction on even the most advanced transitions (that you will skip/modify at first) so that you will be able to use the course for years as you grow in your practice. She also includes a guided full length practice (the segmented videos are much more drawn out and detailed than a traditional primary series practice) which is awesome…
The better one is this, from something called myfitnesspal:
About a mile from my place is a wellness studio and they teach ashtanga yoga. I was wondering if anyone has tried this and if so, what was the experience like. I have thought about trying it for myself, but I’d like some feedback.
[snip again to answers]
Have you done any yoga before? If so, you’re probably fine. I love ashtanga yoga, kind of depends on the studio how seriously they take it. Most places I’ve experienced don’t do a super exact form, but rather just emphasize the vinyasas (movement from pose to pose), very “flowy.” But if it’s serious ashtanga there will be specific vinyasas on certain days, possibly even everyone at his/her own pace. But I feel that that’s not as usual.
Yeah, holding the poses for a while like that means it’s a form of hatha yoga, which emphasizes precision, getting into the pose and staying there. Ashtanga yoga emphasizes moving from pose to pose, usually with your breath. It could be a little overwhelming to jump right into ashtanga yoga–if they are basically just saying, “Inhale, upward facing dog! Exhale, downward facing dog!” and you don’t know how to flow from pose to pose, it could be a little difficult.
There’s a lot of movement in Ashtanga yoga. Yes, I would check the studio’s schedule and see what type of classes they offer. Like Allie said, if you can find one that says “Introduction”, that’s what you should try.
Sometimes Ashtanga yoga studios are heated to 90 degrees or so.
For more information, go here: http://www.ashtangayoga.info/practice/
Also, a side note regarding the term “Hatha Yoga” – all forms of the physical practice of yoga are Hatha Yoga – Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Viniyoga, Iyengar, Intergral are all a forms of Hatha Yoga. When studios or gyms mention something as “Hatha Yoga”, it usually means the class/instructor does not have a specific training in one of the types (Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga, etc) of Hatha Yoga. Hope that makes sense.
A little reminder from Richard Freeman:
Vinyasa means sequence—which is where the modern idea of “flow” comes from—but the word vinyasa does not mean a flowing kind of asana practice. More accurately, in terms of a yoga practice, vinyasa refers to the proper sequence of movement, form and alignment that creates safety and balance within a practice.
For what that’s worth.
Posted by Steve