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.
Pattabhi Jois often talked about the importance of mental training in yoga and how the asanas will lead to a strong mind as well as a strong body. In March 2013 I attended a workshop with Greg Nardi at Stillpoint Yoga London that explored the practice of Ashtanga Yoga as a mindfulness technique: how the right attitude and focus are key to fulfilling the deeper wisdom of yoga and how the physical practice becomes a moving meditation.
Greg taught yoga philosophy and Sanskrit on my Teacher Training and he spent years of dedicated practice under the guidance of Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. Greg also participates in Georg Feuerstein’s Traditional Yoga Studies course and has studied with Vyaas Houston of the American Sanskrit Institute.
In March 2013 I completed the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teacher training with John Scott, in the lineage of Sri K Pattabi Jois.
This was an amazing experience and deeply humbling. During this training I met so many amazing practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga and learnt so much. John Scott, Lucy Crawford, David Keil and Greg Nardi will always have my gratitude, as will everyone who went through the experience with me.
“It’s just a simple question” will never be the same again!
Each year, Yoga Stops Traffick is a worldwide yoga event to raise awareness about human trafficking, bringing together thousands of people all over the world. In 2013 it fell on Saturday 9 March, right in the middle of my teacher training with John Scott, so we decided to mark the occasion with 108 sun salutations. YST raised over £30,000 for the Indian organization Odanadi Seva Trust, to give survivors of human trafficking the chance of a better future.