What is Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga?

What is Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga?

Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga is a powerful practice that has been gaining in popularity in the yoga world for many years now. Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic, flowing and meditative practice that cultivates strength, flexibility and concentration. In fact, it is an excellent way to build strength and increase flexibility, while also calming the mind and the body.  In this blog post, we will take a look at the basics of Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga, to help you get a better understanding of what this type of practice…

Ashtanga Yoga and Acute and Chronic Pain

Ashtanga Yoga and Acute and Chronic Pain

One of the most brilliant aspects of the ashtanga vinyasa yoga physical practice lies in its adaptability. Not unlike the swiss army knife housing a blade, a toothpick, and a bottle opener, the ashtanga yoga practice works effectively across a spectrum of applications. Not confined to being solely a central axis meditation, one could also consider the vinyasa practice a kind of physical therapy. After all, Guruji referred to the primary series of ashtanga yoga as “yoga therapy” — yoga chitiksa. The premise here is that this practice, when done…

Don’t Be a Hater: On Selfies, Radical Self Acceptance, and Yoga on the Internet

Don’t Be a Hater: On Selfies, Radical Self Acceptance, and Yoga on the Internet

After I was assaulted and hospitalized in 2012, I became something of a media spectacle. We needed money for my surgery (titanium plates run about 14k a pop, and I needed a few), and my community rallied around me. From yogis to drag queens, so many people gave that we had to tell folks to stop. It was pretty amazing. There were even lots of news articles. I shouldn’t have read the comments in those articles. I know a lot about victim blaming now. Shortly after my recovery period, the…

The Paradox of Sharing: Unique Experience, Confirmation Bias, and Ashtanga Yoga

The Paradox of Sharing: Unique Experience, Confirmation Bias, and Ashtanga Yoga

Talking about ashtanga can make you crazy. Or not. Or both. “Whenever we practice, we quickly run into paradox… this is what happens when we start to cling to any one formula or any one technique. We quickly run into this sense that it isn’t complete– when we run into another viewpoint coming up in the background–  there is this sense of paradox.  And, whenever this happens, we know that the yoga is starting to work. Its considered to be a very auspicipous sign. “ — Richard Freeman “The Self-Reference Paradox”…

Ashtanga: What Matters? On Sports, Dispassion, and Practice

Ashtanga: What Matters? On Sports, Dispassion, and Practice

Every Sunday afternoon in Mysore, Sharath holds a conference. It’s a little bit of Q&A time, a little bit of lecture, and a whole lot of Ashtanga Family Time. The Boss’s kids often interrupt. It’s generally very crowded. And, its always really nice. Sharath has done enough of these now that he sometimes finds a deeper question hiding inside the banal. Conference would be much shorter, some might say for the better, if the bit of Q & A were to be removed. But. every so often a jewel gets…

What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga? What’s Mysore Style? And More!

What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga? What’s Mysore Style? And More!

Over the last few years, I’ve received all sorts of questions about the type of yoga I practice and teach. Since before my last trip to India, I’ve been teaching Sunday-Friday at Kali Yoga Studio in Columbia Heights in a traditional format called “Mysore Style” Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. We call this program “DC Ashtanga.” In my experience of both practicing and teaching, I have come across no system of yoga more effective, exacting, or straight-up powerful as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as it’s taught in Mysore. Right now, we have a…

When is it Appropriate to Take Rest?

When is it Appropriate to Take Rest?

adapted from the DC Ashtanga Newsletter for April Ashtanga yoga is practiced six days a week. So, when is it okay to take a day off from yoga… and when should we reconsider canceling? Inertia is a funny thing. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Objects in motion, when in a straight path with nothing slowing them down, tend to stay in motion. With this little bit o’ physics, we can say that getting up and doing your practice can become its own perpetual motion machine, right? Yoga + Science…

Transportation and Communication, pt 1

Transportation and Communication, pt 1

I couldn’t have been more frustrated. More people in India have mobile phones than running water– and yet, here we were stopped in front of Sandesh the Prince — another palace cum hotel, not a one of us with an address or telephone number for Sandhya’s. Did I mention that this was a group of people who, in general, didn’t much care for groups of people? Figuratively and literally, we’d been down this road before. A week prior, we had ended up at Sandesh, our driver having misheard our request…

On New Moons and Nose Rings

On New Moons and Nose Rings

My first full day in India fell on a new moon. One of my favorite things about following a lunar cycle is the tiny bit of joy I get turning my iphone’s little green “alarm” switch from it’s perpetual “on” to it’s quiet white off. There is a visceral unraveling of inverted anticipation. Prone to waking up a few moments before my alarm, this very rarely happens on a moonday. My body just *knows* what the deal is. My loving partner Michael is generally pretty glad that we ashtangi’s take…

Time Travel

Time Travel

Is it telling that I slept on the car ride from Bangalore to Mysore? The last two times, I was wide-eyed, heck, WILD-eyed, sitting on the edge of my seat. Not unlike my dear pooch Sebastian with his head out the window, I couldn’t help but marvel. Everything was so foreign! I had never seen anything like, well, anything I was seeing. It was all so new. It was all so different. How had some of it become a bit… pass the salt? I’ve brought a plethora of books to…