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FAQs about Mysore-Style

Ingalls

David Ingalls (shown left) and Rexx Samuell teach Ashtanga Mysore Practice at Buddha B Yoga

David Ingalls is teaching the Ashtanga Mysore class every Sunday from 8am to 10am.  Starting August 5th, Rexx Samuell is teaching the Mysore class every Monday from 6am to 8am.  Students may arrive between 8am and 9:30am on Sundays, and between 6am and 7:30am on Mondays.  Practice must finish by 10am on Sundays and 8am on Mondays. If you have any questions, please email buddhayogacenter@gmail.comIMPORTANT: Coupons cannot be used for Mysore classes.

What is a Mysore class?

A Mysore-style class is a specific format for teaching and practicing asana (postures) in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga tradition. It is distinguished from other class formats in that students practice at their own pace while the teacher offers individualized attention in the form of hands-on adjustments and supportive cues. A student learns a sequence, one pose at a time, one day at a time, with the teacher supervising the quality of the practice. The teacher stops the student at the posture which is most challenging yet manageable for the student.

The Mysore-style class is also unique in the sense that talking is kept to a minimum, and thus one is surrounded by the sound of deep breathing (ujjayi pranayama) and coordinated movement. Students move at their own pace, so they can stay longer in some postures or even repeat difficult postures. The teacher guides each student in finding the right balance between effort and ease, between stability and mobility, between exertion and surrender. One unique result of practicing in a Mysore-style class is that students develop a sense of self-reliance in the sequences and decrease their reliance on an external authority telling them what to do.

Why is it called Mysore-style?

MysoreMysore is the name of the South Indian city in which Pattabhi Jois (pictured left) pioneered and developed the method of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. He taught classes in a group format yet gave individual attention to each student. He taught this method for over 60 years until his passing in 2009. His grandson, R. Sharath Jois, now directs the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore and continues the teaching tradition.

Is a Mysore-style class the right fit for me?

Mysore classes are the best environment in which to learn the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga series. You can learn the series one posture at a time. You will approach your physical and mental edge in the series but you will be guided to never go past your edge into pain.

Two spots for beginners who are walk-in reservations are available per class.

If you are absolutely new, you will be instructed on how to perform Surya Namaskara A and B only and then expected to practice the salutations on your own with minimal feedback from the instructor. After all, one of the goals of Mysore style practice is develop self-sufficiency by memorizing the sequence.  Your initial yoga practice may be only 30 minutes long and consist only of several rounds each of Surya Namaskara A and B. The standing sequence and the Primary Series will be added on as you show more proficiency in the Surya Namaskar and in your commitment to the practice.

Postures are given one at a time, in accordance with the traditional set sequence of postures taught by Pattabhi Jois (Guruji). The teacher will be able to tailor the sequence to meet your individual needs and to suit your current abilities. This slow and methodical process builds a strong physical foundation and allows you to cultivate a deep union between the breathing, the gaze points and the alignment within each posture and of the entire sequence.

Do I have to remember all of the poses from the get-go?

No! In fact, the Mysore-style class is the perfect opportunity to learn the Primary Series one pose at a time. You just show up, practice through the series with the supervision of the teacher, and then come back the next time. The beauty of a daily practice is the time to cultivate and master a sequence of postures. Over time, you will move through the series with less distractions and less time spent recalling the sequence.  Please note that the Ashtanga Vinyasa System is a set series of postures; Mysore-style is not license to "do whatever sequence you want."

What if I am visiting from out of town?

If you have an established practice and are visiting DC, you are welcome to drop-in ($16) for a Mysore class or Self-Guided Practice.

When can I arrive?

The studio opens at 8:00am on Sundays and 6:00am on Mondays.  Please use the call-box downstairs to be admitted; punch in 202, wait to hear the door click, and then open the door. You can arrive at any point from the start time until 30 minutes before class ends. All students must finish practice by the end of class.

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