Ashtanga Yoga is best known as the inspiration and roots of American-based “Power Yoga.”
Ashtanga literally means “eight-limbed” yoga. This does not mean this type of yoga has anything to do with spiders! The eight limbs are a reference to the eight-fold path to enlightenment, as taught by Patanjali. Do not worry, as this yoga practice is still compatible with other religious and philosophical belief systems.
The eight-fold path is the following spiritual practices (www.ashtanga.com):
1. Yama = moral codes
2. Niyama = self-purification and study
3. Asana = posture
4. Pranayama = control of the breath
5. Pratyahara = control of the senses
6. Dharana = concentration
7. Dhyana = meditation
8. Samadhi =contemplation
In practice, Ashtanga Yoga is a vigorous yoga workout of postures connected by flowing movement and accompanied by breathing in and out at specific moments.
Acara Yoga Studio
11 Main Street
Southborough, Massachusetts 01772
The Acara Yoga Studio offers three different levels of Ashtanga Yoga classes, including Ashtanga Primary, Beginning Ashtanga/Big Guy Yoga
and Second Series Ashtanga. Drop-in to try a class or buy a class pass.
Amherst Yoga Center
17 Kellogg Avenue
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
Ashtanga-based yoga classes at the Amherst Yoga center consist of a challenging Ashtanga Vinyasa system of Sir K. Pattabhi Jois and employs elements of Embodyoga. Expect a vigorous and detoxifying work out.
Back Bay Yoga Studio
1112 Boylston Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
The Ashtanga Primary Series at Back Bay Yoga Studio has at its heart the Vinyasa tradition of poses flowing into one another. Another variant offered here is the Mysore Style Ashtanga yoga classes which are appropriate for all levels of students and begins with a half hour of practice.
Heartsong Yoga Studio
264 North Main Street
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts 01028
Ashtanga Yoga Classes at Heartsong are for the athletic yoga student. Beginners will want to start with Astanga I. Next move on to Astanga I/II and then to Astanga II which focuses on twist and back bend poses. There is also an Astanga Open Class which is for more advanced students, as no verbal guidance is provided.
Maha Yoga Studio
4 Central Square, Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02324
Maha Yoga Studio offers a powerful Ashtanga Yoga classes incorporating standing and other poses. Different levels offered include Ashtanga Short Form and Ashtanga Flow.
Smiling Circle Yoga
Fiskdale, Massachusetts 01518
Smiling Circle Yoga offers an Intro to Ashtanga Yoga class for any beginning yoga students who are also seeking a cardiovascular work out. The introductory class introduces students to the primary series of poses.
Students who enjoy Ashtanga Yoga will also want to try the American derivative, Power Yoga.