Yoga By Mercedes Aspland / January 23, 2014 So I have begun my exploration into different types of yoga and different teachers and the first class I am writing about is an Astanga class taught by Alex Thomas that I attended at the North London Buddhist Centre. I think I need to clarify that this is not the first time that I have done Astanga yoga and in fact my first year of practise was solely Astanga but taught by the lovely Rebecca who mainly teaches Hatha and brings a bit of that to her Astanga. The plan with all my classes was to observe them and get an overall opinion of how they went from an outsiders point of view, however not all teachers like this and that is what I experienced with this class and so a little bit unprepared I embarked on my first Astanga class for about 8 months and is my body wishing I hadn’t, but that is another matter. Alex Thomas is quite a traditional Astanga teacher and keeps things very formal, although the class does relax as you get into the seated poses. A word of warning if you are used to classes with a bit of banter and a light hearted feel then this is not the class for you. If you want something very focused that will allow you to develop your practise quickly then you will get a lot out of this class. So, back to Alex Thomas, he is probably one of the most capable teachers I have come across and when he does explain this does so very clearly and concisely. During the class he demonstrated how to do shoulder stand properly and after years of practise I finally got it and knew what I was trying to achieve I am still undecided as to whether I liked this class or not, I know that it has caused the tendonitis in my shoulder to slightly flare up again and so maybe I should hold of from it for a little while but I can see the benefits of it and see how my practise could develop very quickly by adding this class to my schedule. If you are in the area give it a go on Wednesday afternoons from5pm-6.10pm.