What is Mysore Class?

img_7072The Mysore style of yoga practice is a particular way of teaching yoga within the Ashtanga Yoga tradition as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the southern Indian city of Mysore. The class is not «led» as a whole. Students practice their portion of the Ashtanga sequence of asanas at their own pace and breath rhythm. The teacher assists each student individually by giving physical adjustments & verbal instruction.

In Mysore style students learn the fixed order of asanas combining movement with sound breathing.
Every asana is built from the previous and prepares for the following ones.

Newer and beginner students tend to have a much shorter practice than do those with more experience. As one gains more strength, stamina, flexibility and concentration, additional asanas are given to the student. The sense of the word «given» in this context comes from how the practice is taught in India, where a yoga practice is something that a teacher gives to a student as a spiritual practice. In the West, people are accustomed to learning a lot of asanas all at once – such as in a typical modern «led» yoga class.

The structure of the class depends on the teacher being able to keep track of what every student is doing. If a student has trouble with a particular asana, the teacher can offer a modification that is consistent with the intention of the practice. As a student is given a new asana, he practices his sequence up to that asana, then does backbends if applicable (backbending is the climax, not a part of the finishing sequence), and then goes to the finishing sequence. In general, the next asana in the sequence should be added/taught/learned only after obtaining stability in the previous one.

The Ashtanga vinyasa method is intended to be a daily practice. Traditionally, practice takes place every day except for Saturdays and full & new moon days which usually occur twice a month.