Mysore Style

Mysore Style is the traditional way Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga was taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and continues to be taught by his grandson R. Sharath Jois and R. Saraswathi  in Mysore, India.  Ashtanga Yoga is characterised by its therapeutic and progressive set sequences of postures.  In the Vinyasa method taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the postures are combined in Series which vary in difficulty and effect.  The Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa) is therapeutic, detoxifying and aligning the body.  The Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana – Nerve Cleansing) continues this but goes deeper, purifying the nervous system by opening and cleansing the energy channels (nadis).  The Advanced Series (Sthira Bhaga) works still deeper, integrating strength and grace through higher levels of flexibility and humility.

In a Mysore Style class each student is taught individually as part of a group and practices up to a point in the sequence according to their ability and experience. Advanced and beginner students practice side by side within the same class.  New poses are given by the teacher as the student becomes ready.  The teacher gives hands on adjustments to assist students with alignment and to move deeper into poses.  Mysore style classes give yoga practitioners the chance to focus on the rhythm of their own breath, synchronising it with movement and postures in a meditative way.

Beginners
Beginners are really encouraged and welcome to join Mysore Style yoga classes.  The traditional method for all students to begin Ashtanga Yoga is in a Mysore Style class – it is the optimal and safest way to learn Ashtanga Yoga as beginners are taught the foundations of yoga, ensuring good knowledge of the basics before advancing further.  Complete beginners are welcome to watch a class before commencing yoga practice and are encouraged to commit to 2-3 times per week in order learn the technique and sequence correctly and to maximise the benefits of the practice.

How Often Should We Practice?
When able and willing, it is best to practice every day [i.e. 5 – 6 days per week with the exception of ladies holiday]. However, for various reasons, this may not be possible. In which case, practice and non-practice days should be spaced as evenly as possible – e.g. practicing 2 – 3 days in a row before taking 1 – 2 days of rest rather than 4 days on followed by 3 days off. One may also consider doing a shorter practice rather than skipping practice entirely. There are no requirements as to how many āsanas must be practiced each day; sitting and breathing with bandhas and dṛṣṭi for 10 minutes, or doing sūrya namaskāra & standing āsanas, there are many great options. A years after years of continuous daily practice develops a strong and stable mind, and forms the foundation for deeper levels of concentration and spiritual growth. As for advancing sequentially in Ashtanga Yoga, it is important to rise enthusiastically to the occasion of daily practice.

“Only those who discard laziness find success from practicing yoga (Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, 1.64).” 

Traditionally there is no practice on New and Full Moon Days.

Ladies should take 3 days holiday from yoga practice at the beginning of menstruation.

Practice Notes
Please…
-do not eat for at least three and a half hours before practice
-bath or shower before practice
-mention any injuries or illness to your teacher
-inform your teacher if you become pregnant
More info in the “Tips for a good practice” page

Going to Mysore
All students are encouraged to go to Mysore to practice at the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute.
Please visit http://www.kpjayi.org for more details.