Here are some frequently asked questions about Mysore Practice:
Q: What is Mysore?
A: Mysore is a city in South India. Pattabhi Jois, the first student of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, and later the principal teacher of this style, began his school in Mysore. His style of teaching has become known as ‘Mysore style Asthanga yoga’. ‘Mysore style’ implies a one-on-one relationship between teacher and student, while students are practising in a group.
Q: What happens in a Mysore session?
A: Students can drop in at any time to suit them. Each person works through the Ashtanga series – a flowing sequence of asanas (poses) – at their own pace. I move around the room helping individuals verbally and with hands-on adjustments. The best way to understand how it works is to come and observe.
Q: Do I have to know the series in order to come to class?
A: No. Mysore sessions are suitable for everyone, from total beginners to experienced yoga practitioners. First, if you like, you can come and observe a class. You’ll be able to see how it works, meet me and see if the practice is for you. If you’re ready to get started, I’ll teach you the series, one move at a time. If you find it easy, you’ll progress more quickly; if you’re new to breath and movement or need to develop your strength and flexibility, we’ll progress more slowly. Your practice will increase from 20 minutes to the full practice which takes around 75-90 minutes.
If you’d like to learn the sequence more quickly, take my Level 1 and 2 beginners’ courses.
Q: What is Asthanga yoga?
A: ‘Asthanga’ means ‘eight limbs’ in Sanskit. Ashtanga yoga is an ‘eight-limbed’ path of self-realisation. In classes, we practice asanas, or poses/postures which is one ‘limb’ of the path – this helps us understand the other seven limbs.
‘Yoga’ means ‘union’, in particular of the mind and body. All the eight limbs are a method for bringing the mind and body into union, but in classes, we achieve this union by practising the asanas. Basically, because we’re concentrating on what our body is doing, our mind is ‘in’ our body rather than roaming around thinking about other things, so yoga functions as a sort of moving meditation.
Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic, breath-focused, and systematic style of yoga. All students learn to work with consistency, a balance of discipline, patience and dedication to better understanding themselves.
If you want to learn more about yoga, including the other seven limbs, I can recommend books for you.
Q: Where can I take part in a Mysore session?
A: I run Mysore sessions in Stratford-upon-Avon and Leamington. See the Timetable for full information. Hope to see you there!
Q: I have more questions!
A: Contact me or pop into a session to find out more.