A common misconception about Mysore “self-practice” classes is that they are for advanced practitioners only, but this is not the case. In fact we regularly encourage students who are newer to the practice to join our Mysore classes, especially if they have specific needs due to injury, health conditions etc. The only real prerequisite to join these classes is familiarity of the ashtanga standing sequence.
These classes can be the perfect place to really develop your practice because they are self-led. You take responsibility for how you feel on any given day, attune to your own breath, your body, follow your own pace and have patience as you learn the sequence and postures by heart. A teacher is there to facilitate the process but students are not "led" by a teacher's voice in the conventional way. Instead they lead themselves through a memorised sequence of postures at their own speed and working with (ujjayi) breathing.
The teacher opens the class with a chant and then guides and adjusts students individually, giving one-to-one tuition and hands-on adjustments. New postures from the ashtanga sequence are explored and added as a student progresses over time and others may be modified and adapted in certain circumstances depending on the individual.
The Mysore-style approach has powerful benefits on many levels – increasing energy, strengthening the immune system, maximising body tone, encouraging weight loss, detoxifying and increasing all-round health, flexibility, strength and balance. But fundamentally, this practice allows students to progress on a truly personal and much deeper level with few external distractions. The special serenity, quietness and focus of this class enhances a meditative state. The Mysore self-practice is also one that liberates you from dependence on a teacher and leads you to tune in to your own body and develop a more profound understanding of yoga. It directs you away from the stresses of life, to a place of stillness, calm and introspection. It is a practice that becomes your own, which can also be developed at home.
"I've been practicing and teaching yoga for some time but was not familiar with the ashtanga sequence and so I’ve been hesitant and intimidated to join a Mysore practice. Consequently I've put off coming for far too long! Finally I decided it was time and I'm so glad I made it, as it has been such a wonderful new beginning. I love how the practice of Yoga continually evolves and now after some time of exploring different styles and sequencing, I am really enjoying the addition of a steady, consistent structure; the primary series, which I can continue to learn in, return to and grow with. It is a great reflection to see how I am changing weekly, and also inspiring to see each individual working at their own pace, day by day around me as I practice. Especially because I teach, and also because I find the “noise” of living in a city constant, coming into a two-hour space of silence is an absolute gift.
If you are looking to establish a deep and meaningful yoga practice that carves out space and time for yourself, then we highly recommend trying the Mysore classes. You can expect a class with all age groups, varying abilities, with the common thread of focus, quiet and dedication.
If you're feeling apprehensive email us - we are here to help!
Ashtanga Opening Mantra from Gingi Lee on Vimeo.