A Practice of Devotion is a beautiful documentary on Ashtanga Yoga. It features Ashtanga Yoga Vancouver with insights and views from Fiona Stang (AYV director) and Greg Nardi, along with the students and practitioners who make up the AYV community.
The documentary gives a wonderful perspective on the Ashtanga Yoga practice. Fiona perfectly articulates how I think of the practice:
“…being individualised, being one-on-one instruction, with a set series of postures as your framework that you make work for the person.”
Greg uses the word ‘schematic’, which I feel is exactly right:
“… we take this practice, that we’re all doing the same thing in the room but we’re all doing it in such a unique way. We’re all expressing ourselves through this medium of Ashtanga Yoga.”
I was fortunate enough to study yoga philosophy with Greg as part of my training.
In March 2013, Stillpoint Yoga London published a short documentary about Ashtanga Yoga and the history of Stillpoint Yoga London, founded by Scott Johnson and Ozge Karabiyik. It includes interviews with my teachers: Scott Johnson, John Scott, Lucy Crawford and David Keil.
I was lucky enough to find Stillpoint Yoga London in 2009 on the day Scott and Oz first opened the doors, and in many ways it’s been the home of my practice ever since. I owe so much to Scott, to Oz, to their teachers, and to everyone who I have met there. In the documentary, Scott describes Ashtanga Yoga as being:
“about you creating a practice for yourself, that you own, that you can fit in your life. It’s not about anyone else. It’s about you becoming responsible for your own yoga practice. And that can be as dynamic as it needs to be.”
Ashtanga Yoga is sometimes thought of as a very rigid practice and a very physical form of yoga, but this is very far from where I feel it is and where I hope my own teaching comes from.