About Mysore Class

Mysore style yoga is the traditional way to learn and practice Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and R. Sharath Jois.

In a Mysore style room each student practices only up to the place that is appropriate for their ability and experience.  The teacher teaches each student individually and new asanas are given one by one the traditional sequence as the student builds strength, flexibility, concentration and stamina.  Hands-on adjustments are often given for correction, to facilitate awareness and to guide a student beyond their perceived limitations. Advanced and beginner students practice together in the same space side by side. Mysore style practice ultimately enables students grow and progress at a pace that is safe and ideal for their unique abilities.
From day one students learn how to practice on their own while being guided and supported by the teacher.  A student left to their own devices will often plateau or conversely in a led class will become dependent.  Mysore style is self practice under the watchful gaze of the teacher, adjusting when needed, advising as necessary, and advancing when ready. Students ideally learn discipline, concentration and how to practice in a way that is ideal for their unique nature.
The Ashtanga vinyasa method is intended to be a daily practice. The practice takes place every day except for Saturdays and Moon Days.

Beginners

The best way to learn Ashtanga yoga as a beginner is in a Mysore class. In this context beginners are taught individually and can be guided at a pace that is ideal for each student. In Mysore classes all students receive one to one attention from the teacher. Students are taught new asanas and progress through the series appropriate to their unique condition and abilities. In this way the teacher can facilitate the ideal practice for each student.  Usually the first week we will start with Surynamaskara A and then we progress at an appropriate pace. For people new to Ashtanga yoga we require a one month commitment of at least 3 times a week.  New students are also welcome to come watch a class for before joining Mysore Tokyo classes.

The Mysore System

Asanas are taught usually one by one, and in a fixed sequence. If you have trouble with a particular posture, the teacher can offer you a modification or support that is consistent with the intention of the practice. Students always practice until their last given asana and then wind down with backbends and (if appropriate)  finishing sequence. The teacher will give you the next posture in the sequence when they feels you are ready. When in doubt it is ok to ask the teacher.

    • By the teacher
      When you practice yoga in the Mysore class, it is important to wait for the teacher to teach you new asanas. The act of waiting gives your teacher the opportunity to teach you the posture correctly, specifically for you and to provide support. Waiting also is an opportunity to express respect for your teacher and the practice.
    • Adjustments
      In a Mysore class students can expect to receive hands-on adjustments from the teacher. If you prefer not to receive adjustments please do not hesitate to inform the teacher. Generally as a student advances the need and desire for adjustments decreases and in fact most advanced students begin to find them a distraction. Adjustments are meant to correct alignment, form, overcome preconceived limitations, facilitate awareness and send students in the right direction physically and energetically. Students should not expect to receive adjustments everyday because this can foster over-dependence on the teacher. In the event that you receive an adjustment that is painful or uncomfortable you should always immediately inform the teacher. If you need help with a particular asana it is encourage to ask for help. Please do not wait too long to receive an adjustment, there is always tomorrow and it is usually better to continue your practice than waiting too long and losing your concentration, energy, heat and flow.
    • Progress
      In India, a student has only one teacher or guru, so there is no issue of which teacher is in charge. Here and in other countries, visiting teachers are often invited for workshops which provide a glimpse of what’s ahead and often inspiration. A visiting teacher may allow you to progress farther in the series than you have in your daily practice with your main teacher. However, your main teacher is usually the more accurate judge of the dedication and intention of your practice. It is usually better to follow their instruction when you return to your daily practice.
    • Commitment to the practice
      The practice room is open between 6:00am and 9:45am Monday-Friday, however instruction starts at 6:30am. The Ashtanga method is intended to be a daily practice and students are encouraged to make a commitment to practice at least 3 times a week for a month at a time. Traditionally, we practice every day except for Saturdays and Moon Days. It may be very difficult at first to commit to a daily practice, and it often takes time to establish this. Regular attendance is encouraged, although a few times a week combined with a self-practice at home is sufficient. Drop-ins are fine for out-of-town visitors or others with an established practice.
    • Cheat Sheets and Memorizing the sequence
      Knowledge of the correct sequence of vinyasas and asanas is as much part of the practice as doing the proper asanas. If you do not know the sequence it is still ok to attend a Mysore class and rest assured that it will not take you long to learn. In Mysore class it is expected and ok at anytime to ask for assistance or help from the teacher, especially if you are not sure or clear about the next asana or correct vinyasa. It is better to wait and ask then continue by guessing. If you have a diagram of the Ashtanga yoga postures, we encourage you to review and study the postures at home instead of bringing it to class. Over time, you will memorize the flow of postures by doing them regularly in class under the guidance of your teacher. You will be surprised how quickly you can learn the sequence on you own and how quickly you will establish a practice that is truly your own.

Practice Notes

  • Please do not eat 3 hours before practice.
  • Please bathe or shower before practice.
  • Please do not wear perfumes or scented deodorent, oils (these can cause allergic reactions for others.)
  • Please take 3 days holiday during menstruation.
  • Please Mention any injuries or illness to your teacher or if you become pregnant.
  • Please enjoy your practice!
  • Please feel free to ask questions after practice or before.

Should I go to Mysore?

All students are encourage to go to Mysore to practice directly with R. Sharath Jois. As of 2015 in order to practice with practice at the main shala you must have at least 3 months of practice experience with a certified or authorized teacher.  If you are planning on going please see a following before you go.

        • If you’d like to attend classes at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore please register online at the following link.
        • You can book up to 3 months before your arrival. Space is very limited so it is necessary to book exactly to the minute when registration opens. Please inquire with your teacher about how to best register.
        • All students (old and new) are to fill out an application form before coming to KPJAYI.
        • If you are absolutely new student to Ashtanga yoga you will probably need to join Saraswati’s class. For those who know the practice you have the option to choose either Sharath or Saraswati.
        • Students are expected to stay for a minimum of one month and for no longer than three months of study per trip. There must be a minimum 6 month gap between the conclusion of one trip of study and the commencement of the next, regardless of the the duration of your stay (e.g., a stay 1 month or 3 months)
          • Please check with the embassy to find out depending on your nationality what kind of visa you need. Tourist visa is recommended and simplest to obtain.

Registration in Mysore

Once in Mysore, please register in person at the Shala. You can inquire with Prakash or at the shala for registration timings.

              • When registering please make sure to bring a copy of your passport, your Indian visa as well as passport size photo and a copy of your confirmation letter from the shala.
              • For more information please visit www.kpjayi.org or ask Tarik directly.