O yogi, do not do asana without vinyasa.
Mysore is the name of the city in India, where Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, the founders of modern Ashtanga Yoga, lived. When, the first student came to Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in 1970`, the yoga class was a bit different from the way which students get used to practice in the West. The unique practice within the Ashtanga Yoga Tradition is individual, one-on-one attention.
After 1980s Pattabhi Jois ‘invented’ the “Led Class”, because the number of students increased rapidly. Following the instruction by teacher, accept his authority and tempo of breathing brought the method to easiest way to teach the large group of people.
“The practice is just a metaphor for life and it shows us that changes in our bodies and in our minds are limitless”.
In India Mysore Classes are taken in the morning because it is the best time to practice asanas. During this time air is very fresh, environment is still peaceful and weather is still calm. In the morning our mind can remain focused more easily and our life still has not such a big impact for our attention. The body is clean, the stomach empty, thus the circumstances are ideal for practice. In the beginning the body may seem less flexible in the early morning hours, however, it quickly adapts to the new routine of Ashtanga Yoga.
This style embraces the benefits of group classes and individual yoga practice. In Mysore Room students practice in silence, they are practicing and progress through the asanas according to their own rhythm of breath, physical ability, mental and energetic preferences. It means that student can still feel independence and have their own influence on their practice. Each of the student can be on different level but still inside the Mysore Room every can feel the support of of the group setting.
In Mysore Class Teacher does not “lead”, the practice belongs to student. Nevertheless, teacher is always involved, provides a unique adjustment and personal alignment for student. In this sense, it is no problem if someone only practices a half sequence, while the others do even the Second Sequence of Ashtanga Yoga. Assisting creates physical experience of what a posture might feel like or how to work towards being able to do the posture respect the comfortability of each practitioner. Once that posture has been learned and understood, student can practice it correctly he/she will be taught the next asana in the Series.
Mysore Class are like meditation in movement it means student follow their ujjayi breath, “inhale and exhale”. This technique helps to open up the experience of getting air. Inhaling is associated with prana with lifting types of movements, exhaling is associated is apana. A smooth and soothing sound of Ujjayi Breath is almost like a whisper.
„During the Mysore Class I like to be in the silence, listening only my ujjayi breath and the sounds of others, is like repeating mantra which comes from inside.”
The more often you come to the practice, the better your relationship with the teacher is. At the beginning of Mysore Class let your teacher know about any injuries or your special request, but maintain the calm inside the room, no words and no clamor is preferred.
When you come to the Mysore Room you just roll out your mat and start practicing. During your practice teacher will support your individual practice. When the majority of students occur in the room the teacher sing the beginning mantras. For beginners to the practice who have not attended a beginners class before with the fundamentals of the sequence, the first few Mysore Classes can be shorter, sometimes it takes 45 minutes. When you finished your practice after relaxation just give a small nod to the teacher and leave the room with your mat.Traditional Style of Mysore involves weekly 6 practices (Sundays and Moon-days are rest days). This may seem very challenging at first but of course beginners build their practice up gradually, step by step.
People of all ages, experience and absolutely beginners are welcome to Mysore Room. The system of Ashtanga Yoga Practice can be adapted for every yoga student, only requirement is willingness to learn. Mysore class is not for advance student it is absolutely not true, teacher meet the students where they are.
For new beginner is the best way to learn Ashtanga Yoga Method because student is taught one asana at a time. They are able to work on what they needed to work on, and developing their practice.
The main elements of Mysore style are:
- individual practice on the classes under the supervision of an instructor, daily practice (with the exception of Sundays, full and new moon days and ladies holidays), early morning practice, preferably at the same time of the day, a weekly led class to help memorize vinyasa counting, and the importance of individual practice.
“For me being a Mysore Teacher is a very modest challenge. For helping students I prefer to use physical non-verbal adjustments. In a Mysore Class there is no space or even time for a long explanation , what`s why I like to use only touch to share ideas and give ta sense of orientation in a very clear way. I want to give more physical adjustment because it gives more encouraged and supported then trained feeling. Mysore Room Practice established long-term ongoing practice and building trust in relationships between student and teacher. The efforts you have invested in your practice will come back to you very soon”.