Mysore-style is the traditional way in which the practice of Ashtanga Yoga is taught in the city of Mysore, India. A set sequence of yoga postures is memorised by the student and each student moves through the sequence at their own pace. Individual instruction is given by the teacher as and when needed. A beginner will naturally be given more instruction than an advanced practitioner but both practise in the same class.
What if I’ve never practiced Yoga before?
Then the best way to start is in a Mysore Style class. Because there is no need to “keep up” with the other students in the class it can be a much safer and less stressful way to learn. You will be taught from the very beginning and the teacher won’t move on until he/she is sure that you have fully understood. Each student moves through the yoga practice at his or her own pace while the teacher keeps a watchful eye, instructing, correcting and encouraging as needed. It must be noted that the misconception that Mysore Style classes are only for students who have already established a regular yoga practice could not be further from the truth. On the contrary, the setting allows the student and teacher to work together at a much more personal level, which is ideal for beginners. So there is absolutely no need to be intimidated.
“Anyone can practise yoga… except for lazy people” – Sharath Jois
What if I forget the sequence?
You will be gently reminded what comes next and slowly you will begin to remember until the sequence becomes so natural that the yoga practice becomes like a moving meditation.
What if I’m really inflexible?
Once again, a Mysore Style class could be the ideal setting for you to learn. You move through the postures at your own pace and only when you have mastered each posture will you be given a more challenging one to try. Remember, yoga is not all about flexibility! In fact the more subtle aspects of yoga may become apparent more easily to those with stiffer bodies.
What if I have an injury?
Injuries can be accomodated much more easily in a Mysore Style class as you don’t have to keep up with the rest of the students and you can work with your yoga teacher on an individual basis. Let the teacher know at the beginning of class if you have any injuries or illnesses and we can take it from there.
Why are the morning classes so early?
In India it is considered auspicious to practise before sunrise and so traditionally the Ashtanga practice has always been done at this time by devotees. On a more practical level, the student shouldn’t have a heavy meal for three to four hours before starting their yoga practice. This can make it quite difficult to fit into your daily routine in the afternoon or evening. Many yoga students find that practising first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of their day and sets them up well to continue with whatever they have to do.
What if I can’t get there for the beginning of the class?
Then you can come later. If you are a beginner your practice won’t take as long as someone who has been practising yoga for a long time (they’ll have more postures to do!). The class is open for two and a half hours and, as long as your practice is over by the finish time, you can turn up when you like. As a guideline, beginners would usually spend between half an hour to an hour in their first few classes.
What if the class finishes too late for me to get to work on time?
Come at the start of the class and do what you have time for. Maybe at the weekend you can extend your practice time. Alternatively, come to the evening class.