Monday, August 10, 2009

Part 1 of Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Apparently, I have a lot to say about this as I sat down to write a post about why Ashtangis practice in the Mysore style and I filled 5 pages! in anticapation of the upcoming Mysore style practice workshop, this weeks blog posts will be a series of posts on Mysore style practice.

So first the basics...Part 1: What is Mysore style practice anyway?

Mysore is a city in south India. It's the city where Sri K Pattabhi Jois taught his style of yoga (called Ashtanga) until his death this past spring. The way in which classes were taught by Pattabhi Jois in his shala was different from the way most yoga classes are currently taught in the west. Students newly arriving at his class would learn only a few fundamental poses on the first day, maybe just Sun salutation A. They would then memorize the order of those poses and learn the correct way to breath in them (vinyasa). When those poses were steady, a new pose would be added. This process would continue over weeks and months and years. Students would slowly learn new, more challenging poses only as their body was ready for them. Classes were composed of any student who wanted to learn this method of yoga. Consequently, advanced, intermediate, and beginning students all practiced together. Students moved through their sequence of poses without constant verbal and visual cues from a teacher, instead moving at the pace of their own breath. Pattabhi Jois would move among the students assisting each in th places where they needed help. As this style of practice emigrated to the west, it was referred to as "Mysore style" after the way Ashtanga yoga practice was done in Mysore, India with Pattabhi Jois.

So here ends part 1...same bat time same bat station for part 2!

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