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What is the Mysore method? Am I ready to join a self-practice class at all?

Hello Friends,

This blog post was originally published on the Ashtanga Yoga Canterbury website in December 2022. We believe this subject is still relevant if you are curious about the Ashtanga Yoga Mysore method but are reluctant to join a class. We currently offer 2 weekly Mysore classes at Yoga Shala Canterbury.

Tuesday 7-8:45 am

Wednesday 5:30-7:15 pm

Other Ashtanga Yoga classes you may find in our timetable are;

  • Led Primary Series Ashtanga Yoga – runs once a month (mostly on Mondays or Saturdays, pls check the booking page or get in touch) and suitable for experience practitioners as it’s not aimed to teach you the sequence.
  • Guided Ashtanga Yoga – Thursday 6-7pm, suitable for beginners and more experienced practitioners

Here is the original blog post, enjoy! Feel free to contact if you have any questions.

Ezg, Yoga Shala Canterbury

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“The Mysore method is the traditional way of learning and practising Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It is named after the village where Sri Pattabhi Jois began teaching this method in India.

If you haven’t tried this method before, it might feel a bit different at first because it’s described as “self-practice.” However, this doesn’t mean you are left alone to do whatever you like or that you won’t know what to do. You are always supported and guided. Depending on the size of the group, at least one teacher will be present in the room. Each teacher’s approach may be a little different, but I’ll explain my own approach here.

Ashtanga Yoga is mainly known for being strong and dynamic, traditionally not allowing the use of yoga props. While this might be true for some teachers (as well as an old-fashioned approach), I always encourage students to enjoy their practice, which often means we need to slow it down and use some props. I’ve been very fortunate to practise with some amazing teachers over the past years, and they were always understanding and helpful when I needed modifications or props. My aim is to help people in the same way.

Ashtanga Yoga Mysore Yoga Class
this is how a Mysore room looks like, everyone practices at their own pace, beginners and experienced practitioners practising side by side

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, varying from 1.5 hours to 3 hours depending on the group size. However, your practice time will be shorter, around 1 to 1.5 hours depending on your level. So feel free to arrive at the studio any time within the mentioned time slot, and don’t wait for others to finish your practice.

When you arrive, you might see others already practising or people leaving the studio while others continue 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 ground yourself 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 then you will have some time to practise on your own. Once you feel comfortable, the first standing poses of the sequence will be introduced. Additionally, you will learn the last three finishing poses from the beginning. This whole process is how things work in a Mysore room. New poses are always demonstrated and explained first, and then you have the time to practise and memorise them.

Some people think memorising the sequence is too difficult. While I understand why they worry, I can assure you it is possible. It may take a little longer for some, but the more you practise 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 will be easier. After having a little chat about your practice and background, you can get started right away.

I always remind everyone not to rush their 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. I’m also so glad you came to Ashtanga Yoga, and we can share this practice with you.

Namaste”

*****

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