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

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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

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My name is Angela Jamison. I have practiced ashtanga yoga without a break since April of 2003.

I have made five long trips to Mysore, India, to study with R. Sharath Jois. In 2011, he authorized me at Level 2. I subsequently committed to teaching ashtanga full time. I will continue to travel to India and elsewhere to study with Sharath.

I started practicing yoga regularly at YogaWorks Santa Monica in 2001, with Heather Radha Duplex, Joan Hyman, and their teachers Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty. When the ashtanga program there dissolved a few years later, I relied on the method itself and strong community support to continue with daily practice. 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 residential 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 of 7-10 days, and confer with him when necessary about my meditation practice.

I study the history and philosophy of yoga with M.A. Jayashree and M.A. Narasimhan of Mysore, India. 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.
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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.

Pranayama

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.

Psyche

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.

Spirit

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 Flint Jamison. Based in Portland, Paris and Marfa, he directs Yale Union and edits Veneer Magazine.