WHAT IS MYSORE-STYLE ASHTANGA YOGA?
The first thing to strike you when you walk into a Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga class is that it seems like total chaos. Here’s one student doing a headstand in the corner, while another is coming into the triangle posture and a third is struggling to balance on her arms. What is going on here? If you stay a while and watch closely, you start to notice a pattern emerging. Everyone seems to be on a path, following a precise choreography. Also, the silence is striking. Occasionally the teacher will whisper something to a student, but the dominant sound is the collective breath. You’ll notice the teacher move swiftly from student to student, giving adjustments as appropriate.
HOW TO START YOUR MYSORE STYLE PRACTICE
If you have an existing Mysore practice you are welcome to drop in for a morning class at YiY.
If you do not have an existing Mysore style practice but would like to start, we recommend one or the other of two options. The first option is to start by attending on of the intro to Mysore style workshop that we offer a few times each year (please check current listing) that will properly prepare you for attending this class.
The other option is to plan to come and observe the class any morning at 7:00 am or 800 am for 1/2 hour. This will give you a better sense of the class and how it works. After that you will feel more comfortable coming and starting your practice.
The teacher will give you a practice according to your ability. Since each posture is designed to prepare you for the rest of the series, beginners tend to have a much shorter practice than more experienced students. As they gain strength, stamina, flexibility and concentration, additional postures are given to the student.
If you get confused about the correct sequence of postures or need help with a particular posture, you should let your teacher know at any point during the practice. We are happy to help, no matter how many times you ask. If you are new to Ashtanga or accustomed to led classes, the Mysore-style setting can seem strange at first. But with commitment and a little patience, you will be amazed at how quickly you can learn to do yoga as a self-practice!
ABOUT COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRACTICE
The practice room is open between 5:30 am and 9:00 am during the week, however instruction starts at 6:00am. If your are new you can come any time between 6:00 am and 8:00 am.
The Ashtanga method is intended to be a daily practice and students are encouraged to make a commitment to practice at least 3 times a week for a month at a time. Traditionally, we practice every day except for Saturdays and Moon Days, which occur about twice monthly. It may be very difficult at first to commit to a daily practice, and it often takes one or two years to establish this. So don’t be discouraged if you’re “only” practicing twice a week at first.
If you have a diagram of the Ashtanga yoga postures, we encourage you to review and study the postures at home instead of bringing it to class. This allows you to focus more on your breathing without distraction during class, and also helps people to learn the order of the postures fairly quickly.
If you have any additional questions about starting a Mysore Ashtanga practice at yoga is youth email AnneFinstad at gmail dot com.
To see Moon Days (rest days) click on the schedule page for the pdf.