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The traditional way of practicing Ashtanga Yoga is in a class setting called 'Mysore’ or ‘Mysore style' this gives you the chance to practice the sequence at your own pace, with the assistance and guidance of a teacher who can help each student individually. Each student is taught individually according to their needs in a Mysore style class.
Our classes takes place 5 days a week. Mysore classes take place from Monday to Friday 07:00 - 09:30, we teach a Led class on the last Friday of the month 07:15 - 08:45.
There is no class on the days of the New Moon and Full Moon and on the days of the Spring + Autumn Equinox and Summer + Winter Solstice, click here for dates.
In Ashtanga Yoga Mysore style we follow a set of rules that we call the shala or Mysore Etiquette. When you come to practice in our Mysore room, we kindly ask you to follow these guidelines for your own good and for your fellow practitioners, thank you!
What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga?
According to Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a method of Hatha Yoga that harmonizes movement and breath. This happens in a sequence of yoga asanas (postures). Every asana has its unique designed number of movements in and out of the asana. Practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga gives you flexibility, strength, stamina, and ultimately a focused and tranquil mind.
In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, the asanas follow each other in order and every asana is held for five breaths. Then you transition out of the asana through a particular sequence of movements (vinyasa) into the ensuing asana. This shows the importance of practicing the asanas correctly and avoiding rushing before being ready for the next asana in the sequence. Your yoga teacher will give you the asanas one-by-one.
Practicing these asanas in a sequence helps to open and reprogram energy channels and patterns in your body. Each asana prepares your body and mind for the next asanas in the sequence. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga can benefit anyone who practices it regularly regardless of his or her age or physical fitness level. However, beginners in this style should not force or rush the practice. It is important to respect any injuries or physical weakness and continue working with your body and breath.
When practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa, you should concentrate on practicing yoga, and not the end result. Practicing yoga poses regularly and sensibly will ultimately lead to flexibility and strength.
What is Mysore style?
Mysore refers to the town South of India where this style originated from. Mysore style is best described as a guided self practice in a group setting, Mysore style is the traditional way that the Ashtanga system of yoga is taught and learned.
Students come to class and practice the Ashtanga series at their own pace, level and capacity with the individual support from teachers and the energy of a group practice. This guided self practice method allows the student to work at their own pace while still receiving individual adjustments and personal attention and instructions from the teacher. The teacher teaches the asanas (postures) to each student, making unique recommendations based on individual needs. Asanas are given one-by-one, time is taken to master each asana before progressing to the next.
Yoga was traditionally taught one-to-one, knowledge was transmitted directly from teacher to student and physical practice was adapted to one's personal needs and this is exactly what we do in our Mysore classes.
Mysore classes help students to develop a consistent self practice. This class is open to everyone and is appropriate for both beginner and experienced students.
Why a Regular Attendance?
The real benefits of Yoga come with consistency, so it is best to make your practice a habit. We recommend you read our page on perseverance and detachment, Abhyasa and Vairagya
You may wish to start a Yoga practice for several reasons; out of interest or out of the will to take responsibility for your mental and physical health. Yoga has rightfully gained a lot of attention in the past decade; the science behind the practice of breath and movement has been clinically proven to change your brain and body. With a consistent practice we direct ourselves towards a more healthier and happier lifestyle.
At our shala we recommend you come to practice at least 3 to 4 times a week.
Why Do We Practice Early in the Morning?
In Yoga Philosophy, they correlate the sunrise with expansion (principle of prana) and the sunset with involution or contraction (principle of āpana). This principle is also connected to the equinox and the solstice. All of these times are seen as auspicious moments to engage in spiritual practice. There are quite a few differences, however, between the two times of day when it comes to a Yoga practice.
From the Yogic perspective the sunrise is when energy is increasing. This is why many people find it easier to be productive earlier in the morning. Practicing as the sun rises connects you to the energetic side of Ashtanga. The sunset is when energy starts to wind down. Practicing as the sun sets naturally connects you to the softer side of Ashtanga. It is easier to connect to the meditative qualities because it is a natural time for inward reflection.
We practice first thing in the morning because our bodies get into the flow of the sequence before our minds have properly woken up, before all the distractions of the day. Focusing on the breath, waking up the body and directing your focus inwards is a great way to start the day, calm lingers and it's harder for stress to take hold of you throughout the day.
Moon Days and Women's Health
We do not practice on Moon Days; the days of the new moon and the full moon.
Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong. The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.
A note for the ladies; it is recommended not to do an Ashtanga practice on the heavy days of your menstrual cycle. It is recommended to take rest on the first three days of your cycle, otherwise known as 'ladies holiday' or practice some gentle or restorative asanas instead. Menstruation is an apanic (downward moving) process. Everytime we engage the bandhas we are messing with the apanic (downward moving) energy which can easily disturb your cycle. We recommend Menstrual Cycle Awareness to all female practitioners.
General Guidelines for Beginners
* There is this common misconception that you need to be experienced with Ashtanga or the sequence before joining a Mysore class but this isn't true. You don't need to know the postures or the sequence beforehand, in fact you don't need to know anything or have done any yoga before. If you're coming to our shala as a beginner or with some experience but a little unsure then we'll definitely take the time to work with you a little more at first, you're in good hands! If you already have some experience with Ashtanga or Mysore then we usually take a step back at first to observe your practice before giving assistance
* Drishti, the gazing or focal point. You will be asked to look at a specific point, this channels the mental energy; the mind learns how to concentrate
* Bandhas, the Sanskrit word for 'energy locks' it involves the contraction or squeezing of muscles in order to 'close' or move the energy in a conscious way. Bandhas or muscular contractions lift you in postures from the inside, this is in opposition to the overuse of muscles
* The most important aspect of the practice; the breath. It is the key to achieve tranquility and power in the practice. Ujjayi breath (aka Ocean Breath) is a breathing technique applied throughout the practice which helps generate heat in the body. It is breathing with sound. You create a hissing, ocean like sound which comes from the back of the throat. Focusing on the sound of your breath turns your attention inwards
* Yoga is best done on an empty stomach so do not eat just before class
* Try not to drink too much before class or during the practice, it's best to wait until after Savasana
* Let your teacher know before class in the case of pregnancy, injuries or health issues. Yoga can be adapted to work with pregnancy or injury, please contact us if you'd like to arrange to talk in private
* In the beginning, the Ashtanga Yoga session is for approximately 30-45 mins teaching the basics of breathing and movements. Later, the practice extends as more asanas are added. With the added asanas, practitioners start building more strength and stamina which prepares their body to breathe more deeply and comfortably while also increasing the focus which helps to balance the mind body connection
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