Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Ashtanga yoga was founded by the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India. The physical practice includes powerful sequences of postures in a set order, linked by ‘vinyasa’, the breath-movement synchronisation which is the heart of the Ashtanga system.

The Primary Series of Ashtanga yoga, also called Yoga Chikitsa (yoga therapy) is designed for grounding the body and mind, establishing a strong foundation that we can then grow from – physically, emotionally and mentally.

Assisted Self-practice (“Mysore”)

This is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga yoga, as it was taught by Pattabhi Jois. Rather than the whole class following the instructions of a teacher, each student practises at their own pace while the teacher gives individual verbal and physical adjustments as needed.

The Ashtanga sequences are learned pose by pose, one by one. Therefore, your practice will be relatively short at the beginning, getting longer over time as your strength and stamina increase. When the student is ready, the next pose is added. Typically, a class will have students of different abilities and levels with beginners practising alongside more experienced practitioners.

This approach creates a beautiful, focused atmosphere with a unique intensity that will encourage you to practise in a more self-responsible way and to go deeper into your own personal yoga journey.

Ashtanga Yoga Cambridge

Ashtanga Yoga Cambridge was set up in 2015 by Rachel McCarthy and Kati Schubert.

We offer assisted self-practice (“Mysore”) Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga classes in Cambridge and Hauxton (South Cambs), in small group settings to ensure that we can attend to each individual student. We also offer weekly teacher-led Ashtanga Yoga classes, private one-to-one yoga tuition, and workshops and intensives with senior yoga teachers. Our aim is to help and encourage our students to develop a safe yoga practice that will help them to thrive in their chosen pursuits as well as deal with the challenges of modern life.

Rachel McCarthy

Rachel has been practising yoga since 2003, initially discovering the benefits of Bikram Yoga while recovering from a sports-related knee injury, and then exploring a variety of yoga styles, including Jivamukti, Vinyasa Flow and Acroyoga as well as Ashtanga Yoga. She was first introduced to the Ashtanga Mysore (assisted self-practice) approach by Cambridge-based teacher Howard Daly, and was increasingly drawn to the structure and discipline of the system as a daily practice to connect breath, body and mind.

She has completed an Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teacher training (200 hr) with John Scott Yoga (John Scott, Lucy Crawford, Greg Nardi, and David Keil), in addition to teacher training intensives with David Swenson (Primary and Second Series), and Manju Jois. These followed a general yoga teacher training with Camyoga. Rachel also practises and teaches Hot Yoga, having trained with Jozef Wiewel at Camyoga.