Ashtanga Yoga Assisting Intensive with David Robson and Jelena Vesić



start: Oct 14, 2019
end: Oct 25, 2019





One of the most important aspects in learning and teaching the Ashtanga Yoga method comes in the form of assisting. In fact, in the Ashtanga Yoga system, the art of assisting is a craft in itself.  A skilled teacher’s assist can provide invaluable support in the practice of asana.  Knowledge of asana alignment and safe and effective adjustments are incredibly beneficial for developing a safe personal Yoga practie.  This knowledge  is also a fundamental skill of a quality Ashtanga Yoga teacher. 

If you are an Ashtanga Yoga teacher wanting to hone your teaching craft and improve your assisting skills; or a practitioner interested in advancing your practice you should definetely join David Robson, a KPJAYI Level 2 Authorized Teacher, and Jelena Vesić for this very rich 2 week intensive in Zagreb, Croatia! This is the first time David & Jelena offer this type of intensive outside of their home shala in Toronto!

Each student who enrolls in the whole intensive will also have an opportunity to assist David and Jelena in the Mysore shala on one of the practice mornings.

david robson assisting intensive


The goal of this 2 week program is to communicate a thorough knowledge of the Ashtanga Yoga technique and increase skill of Ashtanga Yoga adjustments and alignments. 

This course is built on David’s 20 years experience of practicing Ashtanga Yoga and teaching in a Mysore setting to 100s of students of different body types and their unique needs and challenges- offering an invaluable wisdom on how to make Ashtanga Yoga accessible to all.  

If you are a teacher or are in training to become a teacher, this course will provide you with invaluable skills in hands-on adjusting that will enable you to work with students through a safe, inspiring and precise method. 

If you are a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga, you will take your practice to a new level by practicing daily with David and Jelena through learning about key aspects of physical and energetic alignments in Ashtanga Yoga. 

Another important aspect of the course is the application of Ashtanga Yoga method therapeutically. We will explore how to better see and understand the mind-body connection, and listen to the needs of the practitioners.  

The focus of the course is on Primary and Intermediate Series of the Ashtanga Yoga system.

*This is NOT a teacher training course. David Robson will NOT provide any credentials or certificates that state you are a teacher. If you want to be Authorized to teach Ashtanga Yoga, you need to go and study with Sharath Jois at KPJAYI in Mysore, India.



The course is open to Ashtanga Yoga teachers, teacher trainees and dedicated Yoga students with at least 6 months of regular Ashtanga Yoga primary series practice (you are not required to do every asana in its fullest expression).

Also accepted are students who have attended a weekend workshop with David Robson and Jelena Vesic before.  


David Robson


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  David Robson is the director of the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto. With 100+ students each morning, he leads one of the world’s largest Mysore programs outside of India. After completing a degree…

Jelena Vesić


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After studying ballet for 16 years, Jelena made Yoga her sole focus in 2009. She has studied with her teacher, David Robson, since 2010, and is now leading the evening Mysore program at AYCT. She often…

Guests said:

"So this morning during Mysore class I did my first stand up from drop-back, and then I did it again and again.. This is barely a physical achievement for me, it's rather a mental one. For the first time in my life I felt the energy and the need to stand up for myself, to believe in me despite the thoughts, which tried to bring me down. It wasn't a fight with the gravity, it was to make peace with myself, to ask forgiveness for every time I put myself down, for every time I buried my feelings just to please others. Thank you Jelena and David,my teachers, for believing in me and giving me the trust!" EM

"For the third year in a row these two beautiful souls, amazing teachers and ashtangis, Jelena and David, visited Zagreb. Today our two week Ashtanga intensive is over. I learned a lot, sweated a lot, laughed a lot, and enjoyed immensely. Thank you Jelena and David" IJ 



WEEKEND INTENSIVE October 18-20, 2019


10 MORNING MYSORE STYLE CLASSES Monday to Friday (October 14-25, 2019)


4 3-hour AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS, October 15, 17, 22, 24 LIMITED SPOTS- Priority given to students who attend the whole intensive 

October 25 closing ceremony after Mysore class.


Weekend Workshop Program:  Friday-Sunday (18-20 October)

Friday, 18 October, 5.30pm-7.30pm  Breath and Bandhas

Ashtanga is fundamentally a meditation practice built around the observation of the breath. A key element of the special breath we do in Ashtanga Yoga is the use of physical and energetic contractions known as bandhas, or locks. The locks help us to control our breath and keep evenly flowing through the body. This workshop will provide information and exercises that will help you  to explore, understand and deepen your experience of the bandhas and the breath.

Saturday 19 October, 10-12.30pm   Led primary class

David & Jelena will lead the practitioners through Ashtanga's Primary Series with the traditional Sanskrit count, and include some detailed instruction along the way. As teachers you will learn about the correct method of leading a counted class. For practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga primary led class is an important aspect of the practice, helping to refine the flow of the practice, putting strong emphasis on breath and movement connection.

2-4.30pm Ashtanga’s gatekeepers

This session offers a detailed look at the “gatekeeper” poses- those most challenging and also most rewarding! These postures often challenge students through either their strength or flexibility requirement or both!  The session will look at postures such as Marychisana D, Supta Kurmasana, Pasasana amongst others and offer deeper insight into the various elements of these postures, making them more approachable individually.


Sunday, 20 October, 10-12pm  Integrating meditation & pranayama into Ashtanga Yoga practice

This session explores how to integrate meditation and pranayama into daily Yoga practice. By including a deeper understanding of the fourth limb of yoga, pranayama (breathing) and the seventh limb (meditation) and knowing how to integrate them into your Asana practice, you will take your practice and your teaching to a new level.

2-4.30pm Arm Balances

Arm balances are exciting, they require strength and focus and continued practice. This workshop explores how to develop the necessary strength for arm balances found throughout the different series of Ashtanga Yoga; and how to assist students in arm balances, taking into account alignment, and steps needed to build strength to approach arm balances safely.

4 AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS: October 15, 17, 22, 24th- 3 hours each, 17:00-20:00

Below are some of the areas generally covered by the afternoon workshops:

  • Key Asana alignment in Ashtanga Yoga primary and intermediate series
  • Adjustment Techniques – safe hands-on adjustments
  • Adjustments and common injuries & contra-indications (knee, back, hip etc)
  • Assisting in the Mysore room
  • Additional Skills in Listening and Helping – creating a safe space for practitioners and using listening techniques to create awareness of student’s needs
  • The traditional Sanskrit count of primary series

Specficially the workshops will focus on:

#1 WS: Assisting Techniques/The Fundamentals

  • The role of hands-on adjustments in the Mysore setting
  • Safe and effective touch
  • Distinguishing depth and alignment
  • Basic assists and cueing
  • Forward bends

 #2 WS: Binds and Twists

  • Understanding the joints
  • Modifications
  • Techniques for assisting binds
  • Safe approaches to Lotus Posture

#3 WS: Backbends

  • Anatomy of backbends
  • Supporting dropbacks
  • Kapotasana assists
  • Safe practices

#4 WS Complex Assisting

  • Leg-behind-the-head postures
  • Dynamic assists
  • Holding space/Directing effort


Daily Mysore 

Morning Mysore Monday-Friday each week

14-18 October and 21-25

There will be a daily Mysore style self- practice session from Monday to Friday both weeks. During these sessions students will be able to practically examine and apply alignment and adjustment skills in in their practice gained during the workshops. Each student who attends the whole intensive will have an opportunity to assist David and Jelena in the Mysore Shala.


WEEKEND WORKSHOP FRIDAY-SUNDAY: One spot available now! 220EUR/1650HRK

1. Two week intensive- full program (10 Mysore practices + Weekend Workshop + 4 afternoon workshops)

Cost: 550EUR or 3750HRK For Croatian Residents.  SOLD OUT

2. Weekend Workshop + 2 Weeks Mysore

Cost: 440EUR/ or 3000HRK for Croatian Residents SOLD OUT

3. Weekend Workshop only

Cost 240EUR or 1650HRK for Croatian Residents  SOLD OUT

4. Two weeks of Mysore (10 practices)

Cost: 220EUR/1500HRK for Croatians.



The Intensive will be held in the heart of the city of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Exact details of locations will be announced here in September 2019. 

If you are coming from abroad and looking for accommodation we recommend that you stay in the area of Cvijetni trg, and Tkalciceva Street in the heart of the city!

Zagreb is well positioned in Central Europe with easy access by car, and affordable prices for bus, trains or airplane transports. There are also lots of affordable travel and accommodation options in the central area. 

You may wish to check:



Can I book individual segments of the program?

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the whole Assisting Intensive.  Individual workshop sessions, one week Mysore, and drop-ins, will be only sold according to availability at a later date. 

Is my accommodation included?

You are responsible for finding your own accommodation. There are plenty of affordable Airbnbs in Zagreb as well as hostels and hotels in the area. Ask us if you need help! 

I just started practicing Ashtanga Yoga- can I come? 

It is recommende you have at least 6 months of previous Ashtanga Yoga experience.

What should I bring along? 

We recommend to bring your own Yoga mat, if you dont have one- please let us know. We also suggest to bring a bottle of water, practice towel and a notebook.

Meghan Currie's Spain Retreat Photos

"When all was done, I felt stronger, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. I felt a deep sense of connection to self and to all living things. I felt refreshed, revitalized, brighter, lighter, more whole and complete." -Sally


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