FAQs ABOUT MYSORE PRACTICE
Do I need to know the Primary Series to begin?
No. New students will be taught the series from the beginning, starting with sun salutations and moving in small increments of poses that are repeated until they become familiar and memorized.
What is the difference between Intro to Ashtanga and Intro to Mysore?
Intro to Ashtanga is taught in a series format where each class builds upon the previous one. Students are taught the Ashtanga system in a group setting, with the potential to transition into a self practice (Mysore.) Intro to Mysore includes a one time lecture covering the logistics and etiquette of the Mysore room and 8 Intro to Mysore classes. These classes provide students individualized guidance and attention as they learn the Ashtanga system.
If I am new to Mysore, can I just show up?
We ask that students new to Mysore begin with our Intro to Mysore Workshop which is held on the first Sunday of each month (registration is required.) The workshop includes 8 Intro to Mysore classes which are offered at specific times in which the teacher can give the most individualized attention to new students. There are only 2 spaces available during each Intro to Mysore class so students should reserve their space ahead of time to guarantee a space. If you are not able to attend the workshop due to scheduling, please to discuss other options for getting started.
If there is no teacher leading the class, how do students know what to do?
Ashtanga yoga is a specific series of postures that are practiced on a regular basis and learned over the course of time. New students are taught individually in small increments so that they can memorize the sequence slowly. As time and practice progress, less one on one attention is needed. Students DO NOT need to have the series memorized before attending mysore.
Why are Mysore classes so long?
Mysore classes are longer than guided classes because it is a window of time in which students may come (and go) to do their individual practice. Beginners will generally have a shorter practice (45 min) which will increase overtime to upwards of 1 1/2 hours . We ask that students are finished, including savasana (resting pose) and out of the practice room by the end time listed on the schedule.
How often should I practice?
Traditionally, Ashtanga yoga is practiced 6 days a week, leaving one day for rest. We also take off the days of the new and full moon. Women should also take off 2-3 days during their menstrual cycle. We understand that most of our students have busy lives and are juggling many commitments. Ashtanga yoga has a cumulative effect on the body and should be practiced a minimum of 2-3 days per week. As your schedule permits, more days can gradually be added. It is when we are practicing in the traditional manner that we receive the greatest benefit. Please note, we do not offer drop-in classes for Mysore unless you are from out of town with a regular Mysore practice.
How do I know if it is time to add a pose or start a new series?
The Mysore teachers meet on a regular basis and discuss the progression of each student based on many considerations. A teacher will let you know when it is time to add a pose or begin the next series. Remember that there is ALWAYS room for attention to the subtleties while waiting to progress to the next pose or series.
Can I ask questions in class or call the teacher over?
Yes, questions are very important in the beginning while you are taking in all of this new information. Our teachers are here to guide you and help you settle in to the rhythm of the practice. If you have a question, we ask that you wait at the top of your mat rather than calling the teacher over. As you become more tuned in with your body and your attention becomes more focused, less conversation is necessary. Conversation can become a form of distraction or a way of avoiding the internal work, so be mindful of the intention behind your questions.
Why is there no practice on moon days?
Both the new moon and full moon are observed as ‘yoga holidays’ in Ashtanga yoga following the tradition of KPJAYI in Mysore, India.
For more information about moon days, visit Ashtanga Yoga Center and read Eddie Sterns's notes.
Can I pay for a single Mysore class to check it out before committing?
We do not offer drop-in classes for Mysore. Because Mysore is based on developing a self practice over time, it is essential that new students make a commitment to regular practice for the first month in order to memorize a portion of the series and begin experiencing the benefits of practicing in this format. Students are welcome to come and observe a Mysore class prior to committing.