Ashtanga is an embodied tradition. Its transmission is person-to-person and mostly non-conceptual. Please, offer your presence if you'd like to draw upon its riches. We practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Quick Study

All practitioners must email the instructor before attending.

New students are welcome. No experience is required. A one-month commitment is requested to begin. There is a wait list. Please email to set a date to observe the morning practice.

We love visits from traditional practitioners who pass through town. If you practice daily, please check our calendar and email your proposed drop in dates. Mention your teacher’s name.

Otherwise, drop ins are not allowed.

Ashtanga Yoga: Ann Arbor
at The Phoenix Center
220 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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Angela Jamison

I began exploring ashtanga yoga in 2000, and have practiced daily without a break since April 2003.

I first met my teacher R. Sharath Jois on the led class tours he assisted in California in the early 2000s. For me, there was a strong recognition of him from this time. In 2009, I made the first of many 2-3 month trips to Mysore. In February 2011, he authorized me to teach. That spring, I committed to full-time Mysore style teaching, leaving a career as an economic and cultural sociologist. AY:A2 incorporated that summer. In December 2017, Sharath certified me to teach the advanced series. I will continue to travel to Mysore to practice, and to deepen my understanding of the roots of this method.

I got in to daily practice 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 to continue the practice.

In 2006, I met Dominic Corigliano. He taught me the subtler layers of ashtanga method. Then during 2007-08 he taught me to teach Mysore style. Dominic now visits our shala annually, inspiring me and mentoring my students. I assisted Jorgen Christiansson in 2009, and have assisted often Sharath in Mysore.

I learned formal pranayama from Rolf Naujokat in 2006, and have studied the breath systematically since that time. I now follow a gentle pranayama practice which supports the teaching work and restful states of being.

As a result of consistent pranayama, I fell in to daily sitting practice. This led to a strong desire to take silent retreat. After residential study in various traditions, I found Shinzen Young, whose understanding of the nature of consciousness integrates seamlessly with ashtanga yoga. This brings clarity to a 14-year sitting practice.

Upon moving from California to Michigan in 2009, I began experimenting with ayurveda to harmonize the climate's effects on my being. I have gradually habituated to an ayurvedic life style, and work closely with ayurvedic physicians to cultivate the vitality necessary for strong teaching practice.

Before grad school at UCLA, I studied history, philosophy and journalism at college in Oregon, and spent years doing social justice work and historical research around the world. Before that, I grew up on a ranch in rural Montana, learning from my family to value outdoor play as the most natural of all spiritual practices.

My teaching depends on the ongoing experience of being a student and explorer. I take annual silent retreat alone, in addition to study trips to India. Several accountability-partners and caregivers support the evolution of my work. And a small council of spiritual friends animate my playful inquiries into the nature of consciousness.
Sandra Allen

I began practicing Ashtanga yoga daily in 2013, but was introduced to the method in 2000 by Katrina Gavin (a dancer and Ashtanga practitioner). At the time, what I was learning was not labeled but I would later realize it to be the primary series of Ashtanga yoga. In 2006, I traveled to Ottawa to study with David Swenson. Although I have been teaching yoga since 2005, it was not until I dedicated myself to a daily practice that I considered myself a true teacher of yoga.

I met Angela in 2010 and became a dedicated practitioner through her guidance. This journey has taught me how strong the human spirit and body can be, regardless of age. Angela asked me to assist her in August of 2015, and the learning I have received from her in a Mysore style environment has been invaluable. This experience continues to strengthen me and my skills as a teacher.

I have been married to my husband Gary for almost 25 years. We live in Canton, MI, with our 16 year old daughter Rachel while our 20 year old daughter Avery attends Michigan State University. Prior to raising my family and discovering my passion for Ashtanga yoga, I worked in the world of marketing and advertising for 12 years.

Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for this practice, my teacher and our amazing community in Ann Arbor.
Rachel Garcia

I discovered Ashtanga Yoga in 2007, and have practiced daily, without fail, since April of 2011. 

Angela Jamison is my teacher. I closely witnessed the formation and growth of AY:A2, and it will always be my home. I have made four long trips to India, including one study trip at KPJAYI with Saraswati Jois, and two with R. Sharath Jois. I will return to India regularly for practice with Sharath. 

I grew up in the Southwest desert with close cousins and two hooligan brothers to play with. Surrounded by towering red cliffs, sunshine, and blue sky, I spent my early life hiking, camping, and indulging a great fondness for small creatures. I first encountered Ashtanga yoga while living in Reno, Nevada. I studied there with Lynne Ramsey, a student of David and Doug Swenson, and with her senior students at the Yoga Shack. The following year I moved to Michigan, and found myself in good company. Each week, I attended Jonathan Tyman’s Primary Series class and relied on the community there for support in my practice. It was in Jonathan’s class that I met Angela for the first time at the end of 2009. Her influence drew me eagerly into a traditional six day a week practice.

I worked for many years as a Massage Therapist before deciding to pursue higher education. As a non-traditional student, I studied Kinesiology at the University of Michigan. The emphasis on biological sciences and public health both nurtured and intensified my interest in people, and inspired my service-oriented heart. 

In April 2012, Angela invited me to her teaching apprenticeship. Between 2012 and 2017 I assisted Angela in the Mysore classroom 1-4 days per week, every week, with the exception of 5 two-month periods I spent teaching full time during Angela’s study trips to India, and the 3 two-month study trips of my own. I also maintained a seated meditation practice throughout this time. 

I believe that the enormous spiritual and practical support and guidance I have received so far on this path can be repaid only by continuing to practice daily, with devotion, and without fail; so I will. 

Currently, I am calling Florida home, and I am in a period of exploring solo self-practice. I devote 3 hours daily to asana and seated meditation. The rest of my waking hours are spent learning and relishing in relationship, working on and in my Massage Therapy business, and mining the gems of insight that constantly reveal themselves through my daily experiences and interactions. I continue to benefit from Angela’s guidance and friendship; I will return to AY:A2 regularly for renewal and inspiration.
Sara Walbridge

I was introduced to Ashtanga yoga in 2007 and have practiced daily without a break since March 2010. Angela Jamison is my teacher.

I got into Ashtanga through Wendy Gleckler's classes in Bloomington, IN, where I reside. Eventually a need for self care in the midst of an intense slate of work travel, coupled with an interest in Mysore-style practice, led me to a workshop in Chicago with Kino MacGregor. That weekend was the spark that ignited a traditional daily practice for me. Since there was no shala in my town and I was on the road so much for work, I started out as a home (or hotel) practitioner. The practice helped keep me grounded and focused. Later I met Patrick Kinsman and began traveling to Indianapolis every Sunday to study with him. He taught me as traditionally as possible within the Midwestern studio environment of the day, and it was through Patrick that I was introduced to Angela.

I met Angela in Encinitas in May 2013 and made my first trip to A2 later that summer. In July 2014, Angela invited me to her teaching apprenticeship. I continue to return to Ann Arbor to practice, study, and assist, as well as hold space while she is traveling. In 2016 I made my first three-month trip to Mysore, India, to study with R. Sharath Jois. When I am not in Ann Arbor or Mysore, I remain a home practitioner. Long stretches of solitary practice have taught me about dedication, determination, discipline, devotion, and the role of the internal teacher; time spent in Ann Arbor and Mysore has taught me just how brilliant the combination of teacher, community, and method can be. I am filled with gratitude for each of these experiences.

In addition to asana, pranayama, and sitting practice, I am deeply interested in Sanskrit and chanting. Outside of practice, the teaching practice, and study, I spend time with my husband and two large dogs and teach university-level computing classes.
Sign in and settle up before class. Not after.

Manage your own account religiously. Note how crude it would be to partake of the energy and expertise we offer without closing the loop. This is energy awareness.

Shower before class. It's best not to shower right after. Most people change and go straight to work.

Wear clean clothes that do not seek attention.

Take rest on new and full moon days. Or thereabouts.

Wash your mat often. Cotton rugs are good. Mats by manduka, uniquely, do not off-gas.

Drink water. Lots of water. After class. Not during. Not cold water. Warm water with lemon is nice.

Study the unguents. Ghee. Castor oil. Sesame oil. Coconut everything. Get them on and in the body, for joint health and inner fluidity.

Wear no scented products to practice. Detergent, shampoo, balms, soaps: unscented. Intermediate practitioners’ senses sometimes grow acute; if so, artificial scent can be disruptive.

During the heavy part of your menstrual cycle, do not practice mula or uddiyana bandhas. Or, accordingly, ashtanga yoga. Learn to send your energy toward the Earth as deliberately as you draw it up in ashtanga. Menstruation is a natural sedative that helps you restore vital energy each month. Take this opportunity, and if so moved, take chocolate too. You’re entitled to rest.

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 a fever, do not practice. If you're contagious, practice at home. Otherwise, if in doubt take gentle practice. After a few surya namaskara, you'll know how to proceed.

If you have an injury, practice in a healing manner. This is always possible, even if you simply sit on your mat, breathe, and feel your feelings. Practices that defy habitual desires and expectations tend to be those that burn samkaras. Show up in whatever body, and whatever mind, you have today.

If you go out Saturday night, come to Sunday practice anyway. If you drink alcohol, perhaps by accident, practicing the next morning is an experience not to be missed. No judgment here. Just run the experiment and see what data it provides.

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.

If you are my student and you visit another shala, be a quick study. Discern the local ways. Greet the teacher, and treat her with respect and empathy. Practice at most primary series, with extra care. Thank the teacher and take from the experience whatever is positive and inspiring.

House Recommendations Summer 2013

Regular students are welcome to borrow these and many other titles from the AY:A2 library. We have a formal check-out system: just ask me to bring an item to Mysore class. I'll check it out to you and ask that you return it within one month. If you would like to donate to the library, here are some possible titles.

Yama, Niyama and other useful virtues

The Heart of Yoga. TKV Desikachar.
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. BKS Iyengar.
Light on Yoga. BKS Iyengar.
Being Nobody, Going Nowhere. Ayya Khema.
Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Swami Satchidananda.
Yoga of Heart. Mark Whitwell.

Asana & the Body

Moola Bandha: The Master Key. Swami Buddhananda.
Anatomy of Movement. Blandine Calais-Germain.
Acupressure's Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care. Michael Reed Gach.
Yoga Mala. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Core Awareness: Enhancing Yoga, Plates, Exercise & Dance. Liz Koch.
The Endless Web: Fascial Anatomy and Physical Reality. Louis Schultz and Rosemary Feitis.


Anatomy of Breathing. Blandine Calais-Germain.
Light on Pranayama. BKS Iyengar.

Dharana, Dhyana, &c.

Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond. Ajahn Brahm.
Focused and Fearless. Shaila Catherine.
Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book. Daniel Ingram.
Yogasutrani of Patanjali and Chant the Yoga Sutras (Chanting CDs.) MA Jayashree.
Yoga Nidra Meditation. (Audio CD.) Dr. John Mumford.
Mind in the Balance. B. Alan Wallace.
Break Through Pain. Shinzen Young.


Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. David Allen.
Medititaions to Change Your Brain. (Audio CDs.) Rick Hanson.
Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects us from What Really Matters. Robert Augustus Masters.
Turning the Mind into an Ally. Sakyong Mipham.
No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth. Ken Wilber.


Ecstatic Confessions: The Heart of Mysticism. Martin Buber.
Teachings of the Hindu Mystics. Andrew Harvey.
The Varieties of Religious Experience. William James.
Out of Your Mind. (Audio CDs.) B. Alan Watts.
Sex, Ecology, Sprituality. Ken Wilber.

History & Philosophy

Ka. Roberto Calasso.
Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students. Eddie Stern and Guy Donahaye, eds.
Siva: The Erotic Ascetic. Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty.
Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. Mircea Eliade.
The Mirror of Yoga. Richard Freeman.
Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion. Jeffrey Kripal.
The Upanishads. Edited by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester.
Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings. AG Mohan.
The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Norman Sjoman.
Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Mark Singleton.
The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America. Stefanie Syman.
The Bhagavad Gita. Tripurari, Swami B. V. (and other versions).
The Mahabharata. Meera Uberoi.
The Mind of J. Krishnamurti. Luis Vas, editor.

We welcome visits from traditional, daily practitioners from around the world. Please check the calendar to confirm our schedule, and email Angela in advance to say you’re coming.

A good time to visit Ann Arbor is May - August, when when a large portion of the city’s residents (those connected with the University) are out of town. The shala holds various special events and informal gatherings in the summer: more information about this is available periodically in the newsletter.

Especially in summer, housing can be found on Craigslist, VRBO, or AirBNB. Here are three rentals visitors have enjoyed: 1, 2, 3.

These inns are within walking distance of the shala:1, 2, 3, 4.

Here is a 2014 New York Magazine article about things to do in Ann Arbor, including visiting the Arboretum and boating on the Huron River.

Ann Arbor is a good place for a writing or research retreat. The Rackham Building and Hatcher Graduate Library are two of several locations on campus to spend hours or days writing; act like a grad student and follow the house rules. Off campus, try (Espresso) Bar, Glassbox Cafe, Comet Coffee, or Sweetwaters.

This is also a center for Buddhist faith, and for a variety of esoteric traditions. Well developed energy workers, healing practices, and spiritual communities can be found here. The Crazy Wisdom bookstore, and their holistic resource guide, point to these resources. Nearby Troy and Novi are centers for Hindu religious and cultural practice.

Organic, small-farming culture is emerging in western and northern Michigan. For dinner featuring local and seasonal fare, see the options in the NY Mag article. For vegan and vegetarian food, start with The Lunch Room and Juicy Kitchen. For groceries, go to the Farmers Market or the Co-op grocery. Juice bars of note are Cafe Verde and Seva.

The AY:A2 art director is Aaron Jamison. Based in Portland, Seattle, and Paris, he directs Yale Union and edits Veneer Magazine.

It is the responsibility of a yoga teacher teacher to uphold the same professional boundaries as any professional care provider. It is never appropriate for a yoga teacher to have romantic or sexual relationship with a student, in any way whatsoever.

We live in times when many women are speaking out about the intimate violations that shaped their lives. In 2017, it was revealed that women who spoke out about inappropriate touch in ashtanga in the past were silenced.

Patthabi Jois (d. 2009) touched some female students in a sexual manner in the classroom, over the course of many years. Some of his senior students ignored or rationalized this, when their own students complained.

Acknowledging that this happened is a way to respect these individuals and their experiences now, long after the fact.

Communities can be judged by how they treat the most vulnerable among them. People who have experienced violating touch can be especially vulnerable. It is important to take extra steps to hear the voices of those who may be vulnerable or may have a violation to report. It is important to learn about past violations so that such events are not normalized or repeated.

Over the past 20 years, astanga has grown from a guru-based culture to one of self-care, autonomy and inner reflection. For the past decade, the teaching at this shala has been rooted in mutual respect, collaboration, exploration, consent and safety. Students are never treated as consumers, or blank slates. Monthly dues are on a sliding scale; and there are many who do service outside the shala instead of paying fees.

The few teachers here have a minimum of 10 years of practice before learning to teach; and they have strong accountability structures. Teachers always practice before teaching. To honor students’ privacy and autonomy, we host no commercial events, have no retail, and do not use cameras in the space. The program is capped so that each individual knows they are entitled to steady communication with career teachers who have high professional standards, and who are unselfishly dedicated to students’ wellbeing.