The Mysore method is the traditional way of learning and practising Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It is named after the village where Sri Pattabhi Jois started teaching this method in India.
If you haven’t tried this method before it may feel a bit different at first because it’s explained as “self-practice” but this doesn’t mean you are left alone to do whatever you like or even without knowing what to do. You are always supported and guided at all times. Depending on the size of the group at least one teacher would be present in the room. Each teacher’s approach may be a little different but I will explain my own approach here.
Ashtanga Yoga is mainly known to be very strong and dynamic which doesn’t allow the use of yoga props. Although this might be true for some teachers (as well as an old-fashion approach) I always encourage students to enjoy their practice and most of the time this means we need to slow it down and use some props. I have been very lucky to have practised with some amazing teachers over the past years and they were always very understanding and helpful when I needed modifications or to use some props. My aim is to help people in the same way.
Long story short, what can you expect when you enter a Mysore Yoga class?
Most of the time there is a designated time slot for these classes, it may vary from 1,5 hrs to 3 hrs depending on the size of the group however your practice time would be shorter, around 1 hr to1,5 hrs again depending on your level. So feel free to arrive at the studio whenever you like within the mentioned time slot and do not wait for others to finish your practice.
So when you arrive you might see others who have already started practising or people leaving the studio whilst others carry on with their practice.
If you are a beginner, first we will have a little chat about your background, expectations, and so on. Then I will show you simple breathing techniques to help you to be grounded and some simple warm-ups before getting started with the Ashtanga yoga primary sequence.
After this I will demonstrate Surya Namaskara A and B for you and explain them step by step, we will practise them together and you will be given some time to practise on your own. Once you have felt comfortable the first standing poses of the sequence will be introduced. Additionally, you will learn the last 3 finishing poses from the beginning. This whole process is in fact how things work in a Mysore room. The new poses are always demonstrated and explained first and then you have the time to practice and memorize them.
Some people think memorizing the sequence would be too difficult, even though I understand why they are worried I can assure you it is possible. It may take a little longer for some but the more you practice the sequence the easier and quicker it gets into your brain. So the key is to keep practising!
If you have some Yoga experience or an Ashtanga background, things would be easier. After having a little chat about your practice and background you can get started right away.
Although I love reminding everyone not to rush your practice and the whole process, please feel free to talk to me about your practice and expectations, ask questions and let’s see if we need to change something for you so that you can enjoy your practice more.
I’m so grateful to everyone who has chosen to practise with me also so glad you came to Ashtanga Yoga and we are able to share this practice with you.
Ezgi (22 Sept 2022)