Want to Try Mysore-Style Classes?

Despite prior knowledge of the Primary Series and taking a few years worth of led classes and even though I knew the teachers I’d be practicing with quite well, I was still a little nervous about participating in the Mysore-style classes for the first time.

Mysore-style classes turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. If you’ve hesitated, I just want to take a brief moment to say, JUST DO IT!

The individual adjustments and the friendly community in the Mysore-style classes motivated me to attend regularly, and the regular practice and advances I made made me want to practice even more.

In Mysore-style class, each student starts the Ashtanga yoga sequence whenever she arrives and the teacher walks around adjusting students as needed. It’s a silent class and students practice at their own pace.

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a Mysore class at Yoga is Youthfulness, Mountain View, California

My main fear in trying a Mysore-style class was that I wouldn’t remember the sequence of postures. I did forget the sequence a few times, however Philippe has assured me that no one has ever been kicked out of a Mysore-style class for forgetting a posture.

Fortunately, the teachers at the Yoga Is Youthfulness studio in Mountain View, California have written a friendly and thorough description of Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga, which is just right for curious or apprehensive Ashtangis.

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Morning Mysore at YiY

The description is based on the following poem, written by a YiYer:

In Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga
Postures are given
One by one
By the teacher
In charge.

I recently started taking Mysore-style classes at the new YogaStudio San Francisco with Catherine Shaddix. If you have the opportunity to visit, do – it’s a stunningly beautiful studio and the class is great. More on that later.

Please share your thoughts on Mysore-style class for the benefit of hesitant Ashtangis by leaving a comment.

3 Comments »

  1. susan said,

    June 30, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    Mysore rocks.
    Led, not so much.

  2. Julie said,

    July 1, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Actually I was really scared to try Mysore at first too. I had had a bad experience very early in my ashtanga practice with a Mysore teacher and thought that all Mysore classes would be like that. It took me a good while and the encouragement of students at my studio that I was taking led classes with to finally get me to go. My first day I ended up with my mat between a 4th series practitioner and a 2nd series practitioner!!! Talk about intimidation… but, in the end, as is obvious by my practice now, the energy of the room, the sailing with your own breath, the beauty of the traditional practice has won me over.

    I truly believe that the practice is different if you are practicing Mysore… and, as the post says, JUST DO IT.

  3. Sue said,

    July 4, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    For me, Mysore-style practice rules. Being able to follow your own breath as opposed to the teacher’s count is what makes it so very good, no more complaining about the count being too fast, too slow or too irregular.

    You’re able to focus on your own practice more, rather than focus on listening to the teacher’s count and instructions and you can spend a little more time on the parts of practice that are your “weak points”.

    Mysore-style practice is all good. I can’t praise it enough!

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