John Scott workshops in Oxford, November 2015

John Scott workshops in Oxford, November 2015

In November 2015, I was fortunate to attend a weekend of Ashtanga Yoga workshops with John Scott in Oxford, organised by Ian Macdonald (who has been organising Ashtanga Yoga workshops in Oxford for over 25 years). I did teacher training with John in 2012–13 but first met John in 2009, the first time he taught at Stillpoint Yoga London.

On Friday evening and Sunday morning John led a counted Primary Series practice. When John guides a led practice class he holds the group with a clarity of focus that is amazing. For me, it really lets the simplicity of the Ashtanga Yoga method shine through and creates a space for the group to practice together with one breath, one body, one thought.

On Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon there was technique work including counting the vinyasa movements in the Primary Series, with the group counting the vinyasa together out loud, practicing counting twelve breaths, looking at the movement and anatomical patterns in some of the primary and intermediate series asana, breath work and chanting, and plenty of philosophy and stories from John’s time with Pattabhi Jois.

‘The History of Modern Yoga’ lecture by Mark Singleton

‘The History of Modern Yoga’ lecture by Mark Singleton

In August 2011, Dr Mark Singleton gave a lecture on “The History of Modern Yoga” based on his book ‘Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice‘. His lecture summarised the development of modern modes of postural yoga practice from c.1875 to c.1940, highlighting the influences of modern Indian nationalism and western gymnastic traditions. It is interesting how what is, for many, a very spiritual practice can be challenged by an academic perspective on its development.

Workshop with Brian Cooper

Workshop with Brian Cooper

In February 2009 I attended a weekend workshop with Brian Cooper in Oxford, organised by Ian Macdonald (who has been organising Ashtanga Yoga workshops in Oxford for 25 years!). Part of the workshop focussed on backbending technique, and especially some of the internal support necessary for protect and access the full range of motion within the spine. Learnt a lot this weekend, including Brian’s sense of humour!

Workshop with Russell Case and Sally Evans

Workshop with Russell Case and Sally Evans

In December 2008 I attended a weekend workshop with Russell Case and Sally Evans in Oxford, organised by Ian Macdonald (who has been organising Ashtanga Yoga workshops in Oxford for 25 years!). I found Russell’s teaching to be one of the deepest and most influential I have ever experienced. Really one of those teachers who feels like they see into your soul and inspire you to be everything that you can be.