You’ve Got Questions?
We’ve Got Answers!
What is Yoga?
To practice yoga means to make efforts to better understand your self. Yoga is when you’re totally at peace with yourself and the world around you– and in order to do that, you gotta get to know yourself.
So how do I do that? By paying attention to your body and your breath, as well as your relationship to gravity. The body is a super-duper tool for observation, and that’s what ashtanga vinyasa yoga is all about.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga? What’s that?
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a physical practice (a moving mediation) designed to still the mind, bring ease to the body, and guide the practitioner to an awareness of their true self.
Ashtanga refers to a method of stilling the chatterings of the mind through an 8-fold path. In fact, this stilling of the mind is the essence of yoga— period.
Vinyasa refers the sequential order of things. Because we’re doing a movement practice, we’re sequencing breath and movement. “Vinyasa” in this context is the specificity of breath and movement.
Yoga, ultimately, is an appreciation of the world around you and your place in it. Seeing life as it actually is versus how we have been conditioned to experience it. The eight fold path is outlined in a book called “The Yoga Sutras” written by the Sage Patanjali. This stuff is pretty old and pretty awesome.
What Is Mysore? I guess firstly, the questions could be “where is Mysore?” Mysore is a city in southern India in the state of Karnataka. Two revolutionary yoga teachers, Krishnamacharya and Patthabi Jois, spent many years teaching here. “Mysore,” for our intents and purposes, refers to the style of teaching perfected in that southern city. Ashtanga yoga has been taught this way in Mysore for nearly 100 years!
What separates “mysore style” ashtanga yoga from other styles? Students are instructed individually in a group setting. Starting with a few sun salutations and a few closing postures, each student gradually learns their practice from their teacher piece-by-piece. Though most start somewhere around three days a week, a student is encouraged to work up to six-days a week of practice in order to best experience ashtanga yoga. As the student is able to memorize more-and-more of their practice, eventually they will hit a challenging posture that takes a bit more work than the ones before it. This is where the students and the teacher work together to make the impossible possible.
What if I can’t remember the sequence? That’s why the teacher is there! This is a practice that grows with student, and for many folks, choreography can be quite challenging! Not to worry, its why the mysore room is better than a DVD. A DVD won’t correct you. Because we are all growing a practice from the ground up—every day working— ashtanga vinyasa yoga, as taught in the mysore setting, is truly the only all-levels class out there. Appropriate for everyone, the practice is taught gradually, giving you time to memorize and explore.