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Ashtanga is accessible to everyone of all ages from individuals new to yoga to those who have been practicing for years. Instruction is given from teacher to student on an individual bases. Poses are added to an individuals practice as they gain strength and flexibility.
Mysore is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga yoga, named after the city in India where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the guru of Ashtanga Yoga, lived. The lineage is now held by Jois’ grandson, Sharath Jois.
Mysore is for everyone who is willing and eager to start their own yoga practice. In the beginning you get a small portion of the Ashtanga Yoga sequence, adding poses as you and your teacher see fit.
Mysore times are open practice sessions. You can arrive anytime as long as you have time to finish prior to the end of session.
No, Mysore class is where you learn the poses from the teacher. You will learn the sequence and commit it to memory as you progress through the practice, developing your own personal spiritual practice.
Mysore Classes are the best place to start. As a beginner you are the most important person in the room. The teacher helps guide you safely through the Ashtanga Yoga sequence. Taking pieces of the practice a little at a time to aid you in building the strength and flexibility you need to continue your Ashtanga journey.
The Mysore style of yoga asana practice is a particular way of teaching yoga within the Ashtanga Yoga tradition as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois in the southern Indian city of Mysore at WWW.KPJAYI.ORG. There are some differences in this method from the usual modern way in which yoga is taught:
In Mysore style students learn the fixed order of asanas using a specific movement-breathing technique called vinyasa. Through vinyasa, there is continuity via the breath from asana to asana. In the Ashtanga sequence, each asana builds from the previous – and prepares for successive – asanas.
Each student is given their yoga routine according to their ability. Newer and beginner students tend to have a much shorter practice than do those with more experience. As one gains more strength, stamina, flexibility and concentration, additional asanas are given to the student. The sense of the word "given" in this context comes from how the practice is taught in India, where a yoga practice is something that a teacher gives to a student as a spiritual practice. In the West, people are accustomed to learning a lot of asanas all at once – such as in a typical modern "led" yoga class.
Asanas are given, one by one in a sequential order. One by one also means that once a student is given a new asana, they practice their sequence up to that asana, then do backbends if applicable, and then wind down with the finishing sequence. In general, the next asana in the sequence should be added/taught/learned only after obtaining stability in one's last asana.
The Ashtanga vinyasa method – as is any hatha yoga practice – is intended to be a daily practice. Traditionally, practice takes place every day except for Saturdays and full & new moon days which occur about twice monthly.
Here are some fun links to get an idea of what a Mysore Practice is like: