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Media: Floating

Watch (and hear) David Robson demonstrate the intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga with a special commentary. A ten part series filmed at Purple Valley in Goa. His practice is graceful and almost zen like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIYGbh2FqTY&index=1&list=PLpfKu0U8zxt6JlDoVdyc3MUwUIavSgHtI

Anatomy master Stu Girling interviews David Robson as they speak about the Ashtanga Tradition and philosophy.

Yesterday I got up early to head to DC for mysore practice with a special visiting teacher, David Robson, who heads the world’s largest mysore program at the Ashtanga Yoga Center of Toronto; he is also known for his highly-regarded “Learn to Float” DVDs.

I was really excited to go. So excited I didn’t even inwardly groan as I set may alarm for 5am and change on the Sunday of a holiday weekend. So excited I didn’t mind the 45- minute drive to the studio.

And then I walked into the room …

 The only spots left were in the back, by the door. I put down my mat, dissatisfied already. I feel isolated, and, I realize, cold. Very cold. Way too cold.

I look around. People are in the thick of their practice, some wearing mere sports bras and shorts! I know I hate being cold, but do all these people not notice how cold it is? Is something wrong with me? I leave my sweatpants and long shirt on over my yoga clothes. I start to practice.

Come on JM, man up,” I tell myself. Breath, bandhas, dristi.

But I can’t help myself. Inhale my arms lift, palms press, my gaze lifts…and then my gaze floats around the room– it’s fucking cold!!” … I wonder if maybe the front of the room isn’t as cold, noticing with great displeasure that I am smack next to a door that is drowning me in drafts from the cold wintry morning. Exhaling into revolved triangle, my internal thoughts come tumbling out with unstoppable force.

David Robson: Living life, light.

I first came across David Robson, the director of the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Toronto, when Yoga Journal asked me to review his video:  Learn to Float.  Almost one year later, Yoga Journal sent me his next,  Learn to Float:  Jump Back and Jump Through, to review.

(And yes, I love my job)

Both of these videos left me smitten.  Not only were they incredibly practical and accessible, but it was hard to resist the charm of the teacher, himself.

Apparently, I’m not alone.  David runs one of the largest Mysore programs in the world – with anywhere between 120-140 students a day, coming to practice.  In true form, when I asked David about this, he was quick to talk up his community and the teachers who assist him at his shala (including his adorable wife, Miss Stan) – but never himself.

When practiced consistently and for a long period of time, yoga can make the seemingly impossible possible, right?

Have you ever witnessed a yogi demonstrate a jump back or a jump through? They make it look so simple and graceful (maybe you’ve experienced a few “crash and burn” attempts yourself—I know I have). For those of us who haven’t given up and are still working on this transition, the road tends to seem long and steep—and from time to time our toes and egos may get a little bruised.

Level-2 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher and co-owner and director of the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto, David Robson, has recently released the second series of Learn to Float. This DVD is an instructional video on jumping back and jumping through.