What is Mysore Ashtanga Primary Series
Mysore is the name of an Indian city where Srii K. Pattabhi Jois taught the Ashtanga yoga tradition. The Mysore Ashtanga Primary Series is a method of teaching yoga which is different than what we usually experience when going to a yoga class, usually there is a yoga instructor who guides us through all of the asanas (yoga poses) one after the other and rarely stops to give any specific corrections (though some yoga instructors do). In Mysore Ashtanga Primary Series the instructor doesn’t have to take a break or two during the lesson to give their own emphasis on a specific yoga posture, because they do it during the whole lesson while all students are practicing (keep on reading to understand the flow of the Ashtanga Mysore Style class).
When practicing Mysore Ashtanga Primary Series, each student practices on their own and at their own pace, from one of the Ashtanga yoga series (Primary, secondary etc). You might be familiar with poses from the first series which include the sun salutations. The teacher assists each student and gives him or her the individual attention they deserve, just like the attention one would receive from a one on one private lesson. The teacher will give more detailed instructions on specific poses so the students can improve while also helping the students with physical adjustments.
Who can practice Mysore style?
When I went to my first yoga Mysore Style practice, the instructor told us that anyone can come even if he or she has never practiced yoga before. But, I wouldn’t agree! I think that the only way y you will be able to get the most out of your practice if you are already familiar with the primary series. When you know the primary series by heart (or even the basic flow) then you will enjoy the Mysore style even more, because you won’t be busy looking around and trying to copy what others are doing.
If you know the basic poses and flow of the primary series you will be able to enjoy the personal guidance of the instructor during your difficult poses. Your instructor will move from one student to another and you will be able to ask them questions and ask for help with whatever it is that you need.
My First Mysore Yoga Experience
Going to my first Mysore yoga style practice was an interesting experience. I believe that In yoga you need to feel a connection with your teacher, feel that you can count on him or her to guide you and help you throughout your yoga experience.
Sadly, I didn’t feel this connection with the teacher and felt a bit scared that she would twist me too much in some of the poses. But nevertheless, she was very nice and helped all the students who needed guidance and special instructions.
At the begging of the class, we all sat down on our mats and talked. The teacher gave us some introduction on how the class is going to be and what is the flow of the practice, she gave us the opportunity to ask questions about specific poses and she gave her own tips about poses she wanted to talk about.
The opening conversation was about an hour and a half and the practice itself was about two hours. Overall I liked the practice very much and was very glad that I had the opportunity to practice yoga this way.
Would you try Mysore Ashtanga Primary Series?
Have you ever gone to an Ashtanga Mysore Style class? I would love to know what you thought about it and if you enjoyed the experience.
If this is the first time you are reading about this type of yoga teaching then would you give it a try?
Leave your comments below and I will be happy to reply.