We ♥ Anne Nuotio: Ashtanga Yoga Practice Videos (Primary Series)

When you aren’t lucky enough to practice near a teacher, with other students, in need of some inspiration, or just like to watch, here is a list of Ashtanga yoga practice videos listed in alphabetical order.  By all means, if you know of a video that you think should be mentioned, let us know.

  • ANNE NUOTIO
    Title: Anne Nuotio Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

    Thoughts
    This video is amazing!  Anne demonstrates the evolution of her practice with commentary.  You can watch her practice 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.  This is perhaps more for observation than for practice.  What is amazing is that you watch a body move through the different series and also that it is *gasp* a woman!  Her commentary is thoughtful and inspiring.  Check out Anne’s article over at Living Mysore
    PS- Anne is currently authorized by the KPJAYI.

    Buy
    You can purchase the video at Anne’s website.

    Preview

  • DAVID SWENSON
    Title: First Series

    Thoughts:
    This is a bit of a cult classic.  That said, there are many things in this video that differ from how ashtanga is currently being taught in Mysore by the KPJAYI.  It is definitely instructional.
    PS- David is authorized and listed on ashtanga.com, but is not listed at KPJAYI.

    Buy:
    Click here to purchase at our Amazon store

    Preview:

  • JOHN SCOTT
    Title: Ashtanga Yoga the Primary Series

    Thoughts:
    People really enjoy this dvd.  It is instructional and inspirational and his accent is adorable.
    PS-  John is certified to teach by the KPJAYI.

    Buy:
    At our Amazon store

    Preview:

  • KINO MACGREGOR
    Title: Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series with Kino MacGregor

    Thoughts:
    We haven’t seen it, but the fact that it features a woman, and a fierce one at that, is enough to convince us.  It is our understanding that the video is instructional.  Be sure not to confuse this with her “A Journey, A Workshop”.
    PS-  Kino is currently listed as a certified teacher with the KPJAYI.

    Buy:
    You can purchase both DVD’s at Kino’s website

    Preview:

  • LINO MIELE
    Title: Primary Series with Lino Miele

    Thoughts: From the trailer, it looks good…  This is probably great for guys who are intimidated by taking instructions from men who look like they have a lifetime of dance experience.  Not sure if this is more instructional or demonstration as we haven’t seen it.  But we agree that this is probably a good choice as Lino is the “correct vinyasa” man.
    PS-  Lino is certified by the KPJAYI

    Buy:
    Check Lino’s site under “resources” or purchase at ashtanga.com

    Preview:

  • MARK DARBY
    Title:
    Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series

    Thoughts:
    We’ve heard nothing but good things.  Mostly instructional.
    PS- KPJAYI certified

    Buy:
    At the Elephantbeans store

    Preview:
    None available

  • MELANIE FAWER
    Title: Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga:  Primary Series with Melanie Fawer Certified by Sri K.  Pattabhi Jois

    Thoughts:
    …Tumbleweeds…  Maybe you can help us out with this one?
    PS- KPJAYI Certified

    Buy:
    In our store

    Preview:
    None available

  • NICKI DOANE
    Title: There are 2 videos available “Beginners class” and “Introductory poses”

    Thoughts:
    Great for yoga newbies.  Can’t remember the difference between the two.
    PS-  Nick is authorized and listed on ashtanga.com but not KPJAYI

    Buy:
    You can purchase either video here

    Preview:

  • PATTABHI JOIS
    Title: Ashtanga Yoga with K.  Pattabhi Jois – First Series from Yoga Works Productions

    Thoughts:
    Whether you plan on practicing with the video or simply watching, it doesn’t get much more authentic than this.  Guruji counts a full led primary for a class of “big name” yoga teachers  My how yoga clothes have changed!
    PS- Guruji is Guruji

    Buy:
    In our Amazon store

    Preview:

  • RICHARD FREEMAN
    Title: Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series & Introduction

    Thoughts:
    He kind of sounds like a robot but that aside, tons of useful information.  Rumor has it that when asked which western student “gets it”, Guruji repled, “Richard Freeman”.  It is hard to argue with that kind of endorsement!  Mostly instructional.
    PS-  Richard is KPJAYI certified

    Buy:
    Both videos by clicking here

    Preview:

  • SHARATH RANGASWAMY
    Title: Primary Series
    Thoughts:
    If Sharath had a fan club on facebook, we’d join. Oh wait, he does.  And for good reason!  Sharath is the grandson of Guruji and has taken over KPJAYI.  If you can’t study with the source in India, this is the next best thing.  Sharath leads himself through a led primary class.  Read more at Ashtanganews
    PS- Totally certified and come on, it is Sharath!

    Buy:
    Purchase the DVD at the Ashtanga Productions website.

    Preview:

    Do you practice with any of these videos? Which do you like the best?


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11 responses to “We ♥ Anne Nuotio: Ashtanga Yoga Practice Videos (Primary Series)

  1. The Anne Nuotio DVD looks great, but £60! bit steep. At least with the others you can just buy the series your working on.
    I started with the The Mark Darby one and still think it’s the best for starting out. Sharath’s was a revelation, in that following it I realised I could do all of primary in an hour a llowing me to practice the full series before work. Still getting a lot out of Kino’s, her beginner options at the end are great. Swenson is just essential. Lino’ old DVD and John Scott are probably a bit off putting for the beginner but John Scotts made me fall in love with primary all over again and all it’s possibilities. Lino’s new primary DVD above looks interesting. Never got on with Richard Freeman’s primary but really into his Intermediate series at the moment.

  2. wow, thanks for commenting! it is steep. the thing is that you get to see 1, 2, and 3rd series… but still — expensive. that said, when i ordered the kino dvd (the first one) it was nearly $40. i think they have since lowered the price.

  3. Pingback: Surya namaskar B

  4. James White

    To provide you with some thoughts on Melanie Fawer’s DVD. It is broken up into two DVDs. One is the straight Primary Series from opening prayer to final rest. This DVD is a little under an hour and half. The second DVD is an instructional DVD of every pose in the series it’s 3+ hours long. It discusses and demonstrates how to build up to a full primary series daily practice, and provides some instruction on every pose in the primary series. Fawer’s Ashtanga is very clean and straight forward (e.g. no hand stands between vinyasas). Overall, it is the kind of DVD you may want if you either wanted a few pointers trying to teach an Ashtanga class, or wanted something to augment/substitute for a teacher. Yeah I know you should always try and find a teacher, but certified Ashtanga instructors are not exactly a dime a dozen, so this DVD works pretty well.

  5. Thanks, James!

    -ebean

  6. Hi ebean, thanks for visiting my blog and linking to it. I’d be happy to comment here–in fact, this post is where I first heard of Anne Nuotio’s dvd. Here are my beginner’s experiences with some of these dvds:
    Anne Nuotio, see my review mentioned in the comment above, but basically, I loved it.

    Swenson is great for practicing to, lots of support and encouragement to beginners and lots of variations. Smooth, friendly, plus funny white spandex shorts.

    John Scott has perfect poses, no variations, full vinyasa, beautiful but overwhelming and a bit intimidating to me. I don’t like this one to practice to, but I got a lot of great info from the voice over. I’ll probably return to it when I’m further along.

    Kino is awesome because she’s this tiny chica doing powerhouse yoga, I love her. Good variation section at the end, although not as much as Swenson and not integrated in. Quick pace, a little too fast for me now, but I like it sometimes. Pretty to watch, and it feels friendly and not intimidating, even though she throws down on the fancy handstands at a moments notice. I’m not sure why that is, but it is.

    Melanie Fawer’s is nice, a complete treatment. Her style is very functional feeling, clean. 90 minutes, lots of breaths in the finishing sequence. Doesn’t dazzle, more of a workhorse primary depiction. Valuable info.

    Nicki has the gorgeous production values–ah, Hawaii!–but it only goes up to part of the standing. Great place to start if a few surys leave you winded and you need time building up (that’s what I used it for). Gets left behind pretty quickly, though.

    Sharath is FAST. He counts to 5 but I’d be hyperventilating if I really tried to breath to that count. I get two or maybe three breaths in there per pose, but you can do the whole primary in less than an hour that way. Instead of practicing to this one, just watching it is valuable–his primary feels sort of…humble? Like he’s just doing this thing, even though you know he can do yoga miracles if he chooses to, probably can balance on his left earlobe or some such. But there’s no drama here, not an ego feeling in the accomplishment. I really really like that. Less like a performance. Watching it has helped me iron out the transitions and the breaths. He does not talk you through the poses, just gives the sanskrit name and the counting, so the info is all in the watching, not the listening. Some weird camera angle transitions, like the director had to try out all the filters on his movie software.

    Okay, I’m out. Thanks again for this post, ebean, it helped me when I was starting out.

  7. “even though you know he can do yoga miracles if he chooses to…”

    amazing

  8. Asthanga Vinyasa Yoga is truly very effective. I wish there was a workshop in my area too.

  9. Ok. After ages of research, I finally got Mark Darby’s & Melanie Fawer’s videos as well as David Swenson’s practice book.

    By way of background, I have zero athletic or dance background, and started yoga in 2006, eventually committing myself to ashtanga, which I mostly studied in half-primary led classes. Eventually, I came to live in a place where the nearest ashtanga studios are 1 1/2 hrs away. And anyhow, I”m broke. :) So, this meant that my home practice was to become my only practice, and I thought I could use some additional resources to guide me along.

    First, Melanie Fawer’s video. Boy, did I want to like this. She’s a woman! Everything I read about the video seemed so well-thought out, and conscious! Sadly, the structure of the instructional video (3 hrs) and level at which the practice video (1 1/2 hrs) is taught makes it almost useless. She does have a beautiful practice, though, so it really pains me to continue. The practice video breaks asanas down into “chunks”, so some of them are in their own segment, some of them are lumped together. The idea is that you learn each chunk, then practice up to that point on your own, then take the next lesson. What’s the problem with this? THERE’S NO MENU! In order to get to the menu, you have to start the DVD from the beginning (including the copyright warnings, and a very nice tribute to Guruji and the people of Mysore) , or remember where the menu is on the DVD, and forward to that particular timestamp. That’s the only way to find the pose you’re looking for. Another problem with this approach? All of the alternatives she suggests for the less flexible are embedded in just one of these segments, and that is the ONLY time they are discussed. So, if you’re not quite up to the jump through, or want to double-check the closing sequence, your only opportunity in the instruction / practice video is to find it the one time she demonstrates it, and revisit that. Otherwise, all of her demos show the full jumpthrough every time, and she doesn’t mention the alternatives ever again…and they all assume that once you memorize the closing sequence, you’ll never need to find it again. (hah!) One other problem with the instructional video–sometimes, for the alternatives, she only demos the advanced/full pose, and gives *only verbal* demos for the “working up to it” options! One notable example of that flaw is sirsasana, which actually shows her in full headstand, while the soundtrack verbally walks you through options…with no demo! Who needs the demonstration more, the person who’s already in the pose, or the student who needs to be guided through the alternatives? One final thing–she really could spend a lot more time with on alternate options. For instance, she might tell you what to do if you can’t reach past your feet in pachimottasana, but not how to modify it if you can’t make the bind to your toe in the half-bound version. Omissions like that make it very difficult to build a practice…unless you are also using this video with David Swenson’s practice book next to you, which I can’t recommend more highly.

    As for her practice video, it’s ok, but really assumes you’ve mastered the whole series. Seriously, how many people who can do the tittibasana transitional poses and their own drop-backs need a video to accompany their practice??? I mean, it’s nice to see how it’s done, and maybe that’s the intent, but the problem is that her timing is all geared to the “final” version of the poses. She does have a beautiful practice, however, and it is nice to watch. Also, I like her breath count. I’ve read reviews that said it was slow, but I found it thoughtful. One of the few “tips” she gives is to work up to having the same even-ness in upttithi as all the poses prior, and as if to emphasize that, the count for padmasama just before it is extra-slow. Nice.

    Anyway, I respect the intent of Melanie Fawer’s video, because I think she’s making an honest attempt to model the way that poses are given to you one by one when working with the teacher, but the execution is so messed up that it doesn’t really work. I am so sorry about that.

    Ok. Mark Darby’s video. On one hand, the backdrop and sound are a little cheesy, but it’s pretty easy to look past it. It’s not that bad, really. He does the practice with an assistant next to him, who demonstrates alternatives and gives options for those who can’t do full poses here and there. In some places, it mentions the broad objective of the pose, which I found very helpful in being mindful of the “big picture” of the poses I do modified versions of, and this helped *a lot* in making the modified versions more sure and complete. The video is practice-only, with the only instruction given alongside the particular poses. There is a separate segment for a couple of short forms and also one for sun salutations. I think it would be hard/impossible to learn ashtanga “from scratch” from this video, although, wouldn’t that be the case for almost any video? However, if you have some basis in ashtanga, or classes aren’t available as often as you’d like to practice (6 days a week, baby!), this video is great. He and his partner, Nicole, give lots of helpful hints in moving through the asanas. Many of them are the kind of verbal adjustments a teacher gives in led primary classes, and are often *exactly* what one needs to hear. The alternative postures are demonstrated and discussed alongside the demonstration of the full asanas. They also give reassurance about the validity of the practice even if you can’t “do it all”, but they don’t dumb it down. This way, you can learn what the full practice would look like, while you’re still “on the road”. It is super easy to follow. I wish he had another one, with different verbal cues, so that I could alternate and not get too rote with this one. It does help to use a book alongside if you tend to get a little confused (like me!) and need to pause the video to figure out a strategy for certain tricky asanas. (have I mentioned David Swenson enough times yet?) I only have a couple of…very minor…issues. First, the “shorter time” options are too short. A 45 minute one would be more helpful. Another issue is that Darby’s practice involves bringing the hands to the heart in prayer fairly often…I’ve never seen that in Ashtanga practice, except at opening and closing prayers, and I don’t know what that’s about. The other (again..MINOR) issue was that in the full 1 1/2 hrs practice, there are a few tiny ‘shortcuts’, like not having 5 each of Surya Namaskara A & B, or skipping revolved side angle. However, if you know the full series, it’s not hard to anticipate this, & keep the video where you can pause it and do what you need to do in the very, very few instances where this occurs. I only needed to pause this a couple of times, which is no big deal. Having to pause the Melanie Fawer video constantly, and not being able to find what I was looking for, well…that was a little much. Oh, also…the Darby video also has a French track! I don’t know French well enough to comment on it, but I think that’s worth mentioning!

    Sorry this was so long, but I promised myself that having benefited from reading the reviews on this site, once I finally made a decision, I would contribute by providing my own comments.

  10. I have a question for you how did Mark Darby explain how to do Badhha Konasana? what do u press down with? the big toes the little toes. I can’t afford the dvd I had bought melanies and am stuck on this pose. Could it be that you can give me the cues.

    Namaste

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