More ON Ashtanga Yoga & Mysore Style

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Mysore is open to all levels, from absolute beginners to more experienced students. The practice is not led and all instruction can be given on an individual basis. As you gain strength, stamina, flexibility and focus, poses will be added on to your sequence, its recommended to begin by fallowing the half primary series and from there move on to the the full primary series. Enjoy the journey, don’t force anything, focus primarily on your breathing, let your mind body and soul connect in order to surrender and feel the joy in recharging energy from every pose and the full practice.

More benefits of a Mysore Practice:

  • You can doit on your house or show up and join in when it suits you. As long as you  finish your practice, you can come to Mysore class at any point.
  • You can develop your meditation practice by following your own breath: Ashtanga is intended to be a moving meditation. Led classes are a fantastic way to learn about the breath and the vinyasa, but Mysore-style is where you follow your own breath and deepen your focus and meditation skills.
  • Mysore style is for everyone. Its great to see families and couples who wish to practice together, but had different levels of experience. With everyone in the room doing their own practice, the Mysore practice is a great way to work at your full capacity.

Post by: Francisco Neri Bonilla


What is Mysore practice? 

Mysore is a place in Southern India where Ashtanga yoga developed. Ashtanga means eight limbs in Sanskrit, an ancient language from India. Its greatest exponent was Pattabhi Jois who was the main teacher to those that teach this form of yoga in the world today. He passed away in 2009. The term “Mysore style” refers to the method of Ashtanga that he taught in his home in Mysore.
The method
The method, which constantly evolves, includes guiding the student through set asana sequences over time. This allows the student to develop a self practice using the Ashtanga Yoga method. This means independence from having to practice with a teacher every time one does yoga practice, and is one of the many benefits of this form. The students start with surya namaskar, the sun salutation, which forms the basis of the practice, and from there postures are added one by one to allow the student to properly learn and integrate a posture before moving onto the next one.
This process can be frustratingly slow at times, with the benefit of teaching patience and contentment, two highly sought after qualities on the path of yoga. It might also be fast so that a student can experience the benefits of coming to a place where they will be challenged with their physical prowess, or meet their “edge”. This slope is precarious, but can teach humility and non-attachment to the physical, or help develop an inflated ego. Thus the practice becomes individually oriented and each student can work without the guidelines of their own needs while following a set sequence.
The sequencing in the Ashtanga system allows for 6 series to be taught, each with a different emphasis. The postures are strung along a sun salutation like the beads in a mala, or rosary. The first sequence is called yoga chikitsa (yoga therapy).
Together with nadi shodana (the “nerve cleansing” second sequence) they form the two main sequences that are taught to practitioners.
Working on the asanas, or postures, forms a solid foundation upon which one can build. It provided one with a healthy constitution, as well as the energy and strength necessary to practice the higher limbs leading up to meditation.
It is usually assumed that students practice the asanas as a way to prepare for meditation, and therefore do not see the asana practice as an end in itself, but as a means to a higher end, which is to practice meditation.
Important to remember that the artificial restriction of a set sequence creates boundaries and this is essential in the creation of tension, or the inner heat (tapas) necessary for the process of purification, which forms part of the growth and progress needed to attain a higher consciousness

Post by: Francisco Neri Bonilla