The breath and Ashtanga

I know lots of people are reading and sharing Nancy Gilgoff’s quick set of thoughts we linked to this weekend. One thing, as I’ve been reflecting on it, particularly strikes me:

The perfect pose is without bad pain and without stress… only breath. The correct method is finding that in our own practice, and our role as “teacher” is to help others to find it. Once one finds it then how quickly or slowly we learn primary and intermediate will have little relevance. Keep practising, always coming back to the breath… and enjoy. This is Guruji’s system of yoga, I think.

Sound familiar? One of the revolving pieces on the Yoga Workshop home page says this:


If you’re new to yoga, that’s all you need to know how to do.

In both cases, it is breath that is fundamental. Everything else, as the saying goes, is just circus tricks.

Sort of a nice reminder.

Posted by Steve

Nancy Gilgoff on why ‘didn’t I “change” with the updates’

It’s relatively rare when Nancy Gilgoff puts something out there online, so her response to some comments in a post at the Ashtanga Brighton blog are worth a look:

Another thing to make mention of… While we were shown the primary and intermediate one after the other, Guruji told us that in our daily practice we should take primary one day and intermediate the next. We were not to continue practising both series in one go. The folks I see today are not following this method. They are doing all of both series almost daily and then they even add some third on to that too. So I’m not surprised they experience “burnout”.

In Mysore that is fine to do, but at home when we have “life” happening (jobs, families, school, etc.), we should take one series at a time or split them in the prescribed method. This comes directly from Guruji.

I don’t think there’s anything strikingly new there — no surprise, as she’s reiterating her rationale about teaching how Guruji taught her — but she does discuss what the “perfect” pose is in a terrifically succinct way.

Posted by Steve

Check your 2015 Ashtanga calendar: Nancy Gilgoff, Tim Miller, Sharath travel schedules

We’ve already noted Saraswati’s travel schedule for the year. Here’s three more.

Nancy Gilgoff earlier this week sent out her full schedule for 2015. You can find it online at this here link. A few highlights:


through MARCH 25th Nancy will be teaching on MAUI.


5 – 10 APRIL BALI Ashtanga Yoga Conference


5 – 6 SEPTEMBER, ASHBURTON, DEVON, Weekend Workshop

8 – 10 SEPTEMBER, PUTNEY, Mysore Classes


19 – 20 SEPTEMBER,  BRATISLAVA, Weekend Workshop

21 – 25  SEPTEMBER,  BRATISLAVA,  Primary Adjustment Clinic

29 SEPTEMBER – 3 OCTOBER,  BERLIN, Primary Adjustment Clinic

5 – 9 OCTOBER, BERLIN, Mysore Classes
these classes are open to those who have previously taken class with nancy.
space is limited. registration opens february 2015.


17 – 18 OCTOBER, ATHENS, Weekend Workshop

And then there’s Sharath’s slightly shorter one. You can see it at the Mysore site (along with Saraswati’s if you missed it):

Copenhagen, Denmark: August 8-13, 2015 (Register)
Stockholm, Sweden: August 15-20, 2015 (Register)
London, England: August 22-27, 2015

Since travel schedules were on my mind, I looked to see if Tim Miller has his up, and he does. Here are a couple of his farther ones:

July 17, 2015 – July 19, 2015

Air Yoga – Zurich,Switzerland

July 24, 2015 – July 26, 2015

Tri Yoga – London, UK

September 18, 2015 – September 25, 2015
Ashtanga Yoga Athens – Athens, GREECE

Our luck has been bad lately. He’s been at an out-of-town workshop twice, I think, on Sundays when we had managed to clear the time to get down to San Diego. I hope our luck improves after he returns from Tulum.

Posted by Steve

Nancy Gilgoff’s big message about the Ashtanga practice

Michelle Ryan at Florence Yoga just spent a few days (not for the first time) with Nancy Gilgoff, and she came away with a big, central message from Nancy. It goes like this:

“You have to do this practice every day, six days a week with moon days off (and menses off if you are a woman) in order for it to work.”

Michelle goes on to relate that Nancy also says you shouldn’t call yourself an Ashtanga practitioner if you don’t practice six days a week.

The caveat is what “practice” means. You’ll have to check out Michelle’s post to find out. (Although if you’ve been paying attention, here and elsewhere, you probably can guess.)

Posted by Steve

Nancy Gilgoff releases her 2014 teaching schedule

If you aren’t on Nancy Gilgoff’s email list, do yourself a favor and get to her contact page and sign up. (I think you will want to shoot her an email to the address listed.)

In the meantime, on Monday she sent out her 2014 teaching schedule. It is below, for those who may want to plan well in advance and work a workshop or clinic with Nancy into your year:


Nancy will be teaching on Maui from NOVEMBER 12th until 22nd of APRIL 2014.


25-29 NOVEMBER, MANJU JOIS, Intermediate Teachers training, contact: hyz0 @


1, 3-6 DECEMBER, MANJU JOIS, Mysore style class, contact: hyz0 @

During MANJU JOIS classes on Maui, Nancy will not be teaching. During 25-29 Nov, Casey will teach 7:30 am classes.


MAUI – Primary Series Adjustment Clinic with NANCY GILGOFF


NANCY GILGOFF, Primary Series Adjustment Clinic

During this week, Nancy will not be teaching the regular morning classes. Asst. Casey will teach the normal classes at 7:30 am. Except Sunday, which will start at the regular 8:15 time.

The adjustment clinic will begin with 9:30am Mysore practice (except Sunday’s clinic class will begin at 10 am). The afternoon will be from 1-4pm. (sunday afternoon will be 1:30-4:30).

contact: hyz0 @


26-27 APRIL 


Weekend Workshop

contact: gregorysimpson @

29 APRIL- 4 MAY 

MONTAUK, NY (Bristol Yoga)

Intermediate Adjustment Clinic


choar @


6-7 MAY 


Mysore classes

contact: kate.ashtangi @


10-11 MAY 


Weekend Workshop

contact: info @

12-16 MAY 


Intermediate Adjustment Clinic, 14th is a moon day so no a.m. practice

contact: info @

19-23, 25-27 MAY 


Mysore classes

contact: hyz0 @

This week is for a limited number of practitioners. Previous study with Nancy is required to participate.

31 MAY-1 JUNE 


Weekend Workshop

contact: @

3-5 JUNE 


contact: @

7-10 JUNE 

PORTUGAL, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Alentejo

4 days practice + discussions

contact: loveashtangayoga @

13-17 JUNE 


Primary Adjustment Clinic

contact: francesca.rosso @


21-22 JUNE 


Weekend Workshop

contact: admin @

28-29 JUNE 


Weekend Workshop

contact: info @



Nancy will be teaching on Maui.

SEPT-DEC to be announced.

I know. A long blockquote. (I’ve taken out the hotlink to try to avoid emails being spammed.) But a worthwhile one, I think.

Posted by Steve

Couch Potato Ashtanga

In addition to Steve’s disturbing Moon Day poem, I spotted these two videos posted on the Facebook by William Wilson as I tooled around with my extra Moon Day time. I met the wonderful William at an Adjustment Workshop Nancy did here in Los Angeles. Although just a week long, I never practice without thinking of Nancy and bringing something she taught me into play. “I can’t hear you breathing,” she announced one day, “They should be able to hear you outside!” One day, I’m going to go to Maui.

So on this Moon Day, kick back and watch Nancy’s Led Primary at the last Confluence. Thanks once again to SACTV8 for posting.

And part 2:

Posted by Bobbie

Some Ashtanga news via David Swenson and Nancy Gilgoff

Two quick pieces of news about two of the Confluence teachers, although one — Nancy Gilgoff — isn’t going to be featured next year. The other, David Swenson, will.

But I’ll start with Nancy, who sent out an updated schedule through April 2014 today. The long and short of it: She’ll be teaching on Maui from Nov. 12 until the end of April 2014. Included in that time is an intermediate teachers training with Manju from Nov. 25-29 and Mysore-style classes with him on Dec. 1 and from Dec. 3-6.

In 2014, she is doing a primary adjustment clinic from Jan. 25-29. After April, according to the email “is still being sorted out…..”

Nancy also highlights two February 2014 Costa Rica retreats with two of her long-time students, Christine Hoar and Kimberly Dahlmann. For more, go here.

And Nancy sent along the Namarupa effort to raise money for a flood-ravaged village in northern India. If you have’t donated… you still can.

David’s news is even shorter: He’s got practice cards and posters back in stock. Bobbie was just saying how his book helped her in her early Ashtanga days….

Posted by Steve