The Exeter yoga community

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga means 'eight limbs' and refers to the eighfold path of Yoga originally laid out by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. The ashtanga vinyasa method of asana (postural) yoga is a dynamic form of Hatha yoga that combines set sequences of postures (asanas) with connective movements (vinyasas), breath (pranayama), eye gaze (drishti) and internal physical locks (bandhas.)

This style of yoga was introduced to the modern world by T. Krishnamacharya, who taught the method to K. Pattabhi Jois. Jois dedicated the rest of his life to teaching and spreading the benefits of ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga is a vigorous and energizing form of physical yoga that is informed by the philosophy and teachings of the Yoga sutra by Patanjali. It has recently enjoyed widespread popularity having been enthusiastically endorsed by a number of celebrity practitioners including the likes of Madonna, Sting and Gwenith Paltrow.

There are a number of regular Ashtanga classes in Exeter and also courses and workshops.

Ashtanga teachers in Exeter:
Fran Allen
Andrea Durant
Chris Croft
Tania Rose Fox

What to expect in an Ashtanga class

Ashtanga Vinyasa is a dynamic form of physical yoga that utilises breath, energetic locks and focused eye gaze in conjunction with set sequences of postures. There are 6 set sequences called ‘series’ and most classes will focus on the first ‘primary series.’ So most ashtanga classes will follow the same set sequence of yoga postures. Ashtanga classes are either ‘led’ where the teacher leads the class to work through the sequence together, or can also be Mysore style:

Mysore Style classes

Mysore style is named after the home of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga: Mysore, in the south of India. In the tradition of Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, Ashtanga is taught in such a way that each student practices the sequence according to their own individual capacity. Beginner students will likely have a much shorter practice than more experienced ones, and then slowly, when the teacher sees that the student is ready, additional poses are added to the routine, building stamina, strength, flexibility and concentration but without overexertion or risk of injury. A teacher in a Mysore class is available to give each student individual attention and to make physical adjustments if and where appropriate. Mysore style classes are offered in Exeter by Chris Croft.

Ashtanga self practice

If you are already practising Ashtanga yoga and would like to practice with other committed Ashtangis, there are self-practice morning sessions at Derekthedog yoga studio on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These are not taught sessions and the group meet to practice the primary series together. A donation will help to pay the cost of the room hire.