If you’ve been following my blogs for a while you’ll know that last year I decided to have a go at running another Mysore program in Brighton and teach more classes. This didn’t work out for a number of reasons and I decided to let go of teaching altogether.
Leia and I got married in Sweden and we packed up all our possessions and moved out to Mysore. Originally planning to stay 4 months, we’ve since decided to extend our stay (not entirely sure for how long). This change in circumstance led me to re-evaluate Ashtanga Brighton.
I set up Ashtanga Brighton in 2007 to support the local Ashtanga community. Sarah Miles had just taken over the Mysore program at the BNHC from Russell Case and there was no dedicated Ashtanga shala in the city. My idea was to create an online community to support teachers and practitioners. I also wanted people to contribute to the blog so that the site would reflect the diversity of practitioners.
With these goals in mind I listed all the Ashtanga classes I could find – which turned out to be a very useful resource for people and drove traffic to the site. Next I added teacher profiles and started organising workshops in Brighton and hosted some great teachers like Joey Miles, Monica Marinoni and Dylan Bernstein. In 2009 I started teaching my own classes and added these to the site.
Since my first blog post back in October 2007, I’ve been writing blog posts about my own journey with the practice and also asking others to share their experiences. The blog soon became the most popular part of the site next to the list of classes.
Keeping the site going for 8 years as a labour of love has had its ebbs and flows. I reached a point back in 2013 when I didn’t have the energy and resources to take things to the next level. By early 2014 most teachers and studios had their own websites listing classes and with my decision to stop teaching I questioned if the site was still relevant. At that stage I felt a change was needed but I wasn’t sure which direction to go. So I kept the site ticking over while various big life changes came and went.
After a few months in Mysore and writing some well received blogs about life and practice here, I could see that there was a need for exploring and sharing topics of interest to the broader Ashtanga community in Mysore, Brighton and beyond.
But the key was finding collaborators to share the vision and keep the site growing and changing. My wife Leia and I run Wildheart Media together and Leia was keen to also get involved in Ashtanga Brighton. Now we needed someone with great organisational and editorial skills to focus on content strategy. So I approached Hannah Moss, a local Brightonian Ashtangi to see if she’d be interested in taking on the role of Editor for the site. Hannah and I have worked together in the past and I knew she would do a great job. Fortunately, she was up for the challenge.
Creating a new vision
Over the coming months we agreed on a new vision for Ashtanga Brighton:
As an online resource for the global Ashtanga community our mission is to inspire people to find freedom through practice.
Hannah recently returned to Brighton and Leia and I remain in Mysore for the the time being.
A new look
I’ve been wanting to update the design of Ashtanga Brighton for some time now – in fact the last design update was when I redesigned the homepage back in January 2010 – so it’s been just over 5 years. A lot has changed in the world of web design since then and people are using different devices like smart phones and tablets to browse the web. At the time of writing this post we’re still working on the mobile version of the site – so if you’re a smart phone user, hang in there!
All the content on our site is protected under Creative Commons License.
What’s changed on the site?
We decided to remove the classes section – despite generating traffic from our Brighton audience it doesn’t feel so relevant to our new vision and it’s easy enough to find Ashtanga classes in Brighton on other websites.
While the intention behind this was to raise the profile of local teachers, it was confusing for some people who thought that Ashtanga Brighton was an actual shala. So in the interests of clarity we decided to remove this section.
What, no workshops? We’re working on organising some workshops in Brighton in the future, but at the moment it’s not our primary focus.
Our focus is on creating high quality, relevant, challenging and inspiring content in the blog. This will be led and coordinated by our editor Hannah and we’ll be inviting guest bloggers to share their experiences on a range of different topics relating to Ashtanga practitioners around the world.
Personally I’d like to thank everyone who has kept coming back to the site and contributed over the years. If it wasn’t for the visitors I would have shut it down years ago. With a new vision and a great team, I hope that we can continue to share the journey of practice and support one another along the way for many years to come.
Staying in touch
The best way to stay in touch is by signing up to our email list. You can sign up by completing the form at the bottom of this page. We send out a monthly digest of our latest blog posts and we’ll also be polling our email list for content ideas and collaborators. Our email community will also be the first to know about upcoming workshops and new product releases.
We’d love feedback on the site. Do we need to reinstate any of the sections we’ve removed? Have we missed out anything that should be included? Please leave a comment below or contact us.
Guy, Leia and Hannah