Mysore Practice is Sunday 8:00—9:30am, and Monday—Friday 6:30—8:30am. Shala doors open about 2 hours before practice. Mysore Light (our only drop-in class) is Sunday 9:20—10:45am. Traditional led class convenes the first and third Sunday of each month. We rest on Saturdays, the new moon, and the full moon.
New students are welcome. We love extended visits from daily, traditional practitioners whose travels pass through here. Otherwise, drop ins are not allowed. All practitioners must contact the instructor for details before attending.
Ashtanga Yoga: Ann Arbor
at The Phoenix Center
220 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
My name is Angela Jamison. I have practiced ashtanga yoga continuously since April 2003.
I have made four long trips to Mysore to study with my teacher, R. Sharath Jois. In 2011, he authorized me at Level 2, and I subsequently committed to teaching ashtanga full time. I will continue to travel to India and elsewhere to be in Sharath's presence as often as possible.
I started my yoga training at YogaWorks Santa Monica in 2001, with Heather Radha Duplex, Joan Hyman, and their teachers Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty. When that ashtanga program dissolved a few years later, I relied on the method itself and strong community support in the absence of a single daily teacher. In 2006, I met Rolf Naujokat and, finally, Dominic Corigliano.
Rolf taught me the full ashtanga pranayama sequence, which I practiced until I began assisting Mysore class. I now maintain a more modest pranayama practice.
Dominic taught me the subtler layers of ashtanga method, advanced series, and, finally, how to teach Mysore style. I assisted him in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, I also assisted Jorgen Christiansson.
I fell in to daily sitting practice as a result of consistent pranayama. This led to a desire to take silent retreat. After retreats in the Zen, Vajrayana and Vipassana traditions, I found a teacher who could instruct me in a manner that furthered my traditional yoga practice. This gave me strength and direction for strong sitting practice at home. Shinzen Young's approach also helps me understand diverse historical, and contemporary, approaches to the refinement of consciousness. I take annual silent retreats, and confer with him whenever necessary about my meditation practice.
I study the history and philosophy of yoga with M.A. Jayashree and M.A. Narasimhan. Following their visit to Ann Arbor in 2012, local students organized regular web-based meetings to receive direct transmission of the Yoga Sutra and Bhagavad Gita. I participate in these sessions, and sit with Jayashree and Narasimhan in person in Mysore.
Sign in and settle up before class. Manage your own account religiously. This is the practice of energy awareness. Please note how unskillful it would be to partake of the space, energy, support and expertise we offer without doing your part to balance the scales.
Shower before class. It's best if you don't shower right after class. In fact, most people change clothes and go straight to work after practice.
Wear no scented products to practice. Wear clean clothes that do not seek for attention.
Take rest on new and full moon days, or thereabouts.
Wash your mat sometimes. We recommend cotton Mysore rugs and PRO or Prolite mats by Manduka. Unlike most mats, they do not off-gas.
If you have a fever, do not practice. If you're contagious, practice at home. Otherwise, come to practice. After a few surya namaskara, you'll be fine.
During the heavy part of your menstrual cycle (anywhere from 1-3 days), do not practice mula or uddiyana bandha. Or, accordingly, ashtanga yoga. Learn to send your energy toward the Earth as deliberately as you draw it up in ashtanga. Listen to your body and enjoy whatever rest or gentle movement seems right.
Whatever your gender or age, pay attention to your monthly and annual rhythms as well as to those of the moon, seasons, and the people around you. Cycles create meaning and beauty, and soothe our nervous systems.
If you have an injury, practice in a healing manner. This is always possible, even if you simply sit on your mat and breathe while feeling/imagining the movement.
If you're out late Saturday night, you may attend the 9:30 (late) class on Sunday. There's more talking and less concentration during this later class. But if you ever drink alcohol, perhaps by accident, practicing the next morning is an experience not to be missed. No judgment here. Just come practice.
Drink water. Lots and lots of water. After class. Not during. Not cold water. Warm water with lemon is nice.
Practice way more than you talk about practice. Show up twenty, or a hundred, times more often than you email. Avoid idle conversation about your or others' physical practices. A good guideline is 99% practice, 1% chitchat.
When you visit another shala, please do all of the above. Greet the teacher before practice. Practice primary series only on the first day. Be a quick study: pick up the local rules and respect them. Accept any instruction you are offered. Thank the teacher and take from the experience whatever is positive and inspiring for your life practice.