More than Meets the Eye: Mysore Style Book Review

A few weeks ago we mentioned that a new book Mysore Style had just come out and was being sold at the World Tour 2006.

I’ve had the opportunity to buy it (not cheap at $70, but profits go to the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Charitable Trust) and read it.

At first glance, Mysore Style seems to be a big book with beautiful photos of yogis practicing interspersed with beautiful photos of India by professional photographer, Graeme Montgomery. But after a while, a pattern emerges which gives it an entirely new dimension.

The photos of the postures appear in the same order as they are in the practice, and all aspects of the practice are represented: Sun Salutations, standing postures, Primary, Intermediate and Advanced Series, backbends, finishing postures and savasana.

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David Roche in Samakonasana

The back of the book has some real gems: 3 short articles on Mysore Style, Ashtanga and Guruji. If your friends and relatives are perplexed at your commitment to early morning practice, you’ll do worse than getting them to read these summaries: these are some of the best I have read.

Also at the back is a series of wonderful portraits of all the book’s models and of newer students who were in Mysore at the time the photo shoot took place. Under each portrait are the Ashtangi’s vital information: Name, Age, Nationality, First Visit to Mysore, Number of visits. The answer to the last ranges from 1 to Home.

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Happy yogis, not prison shots

It’s evident that a lot of thought has been put into the choice of “cultural”, non-yoga photos. The series of Guruji’s 90th birthday celebrations bring the event to life. Some of the other photos evoke the essence of the Mysore experience – for example the shot of the Swami in the cave of Chamundi Hill on page 100. Anne has often talked and blogged about him, and it’s a blessing to be able to see him.

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Guruji’s 90th Birthday Celebration

If you’ve been practicing for any length of time, this is a book you’ll enjoy. And I reckon that your appreciation of it will grow along with your practice.

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Olaf Kalfas in Parsva Dandasana (scratching the edge of impossibility)

One thought on “More than Meets the Eye: Mysore Style Book Review

  1. Pingback: AshtangaNews » 2006: The Year in Ashtanga Yoga - Ashtanga Yoga Matters (as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois)

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