Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a simple yet profound hatha yoga
tradition that was taught by Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) for 70 years
in his home in Mysore, India. Ashtanga
is a daily practice synchronizing the breath with a series of asana or
postures. This process produces
internal heat or tapas allowing the body to be purified through sweating
resulting in better circulation, a calm mind, and a supple body.
The Mysore style of practice is named for Pattabhi Jois’s home city is the traditional way the practice is learned where each student practices sequences independently according to their own level and pace. The instructor moves through the room giving each student one-on-one guidance in the form of physical adjustments to correct alignment and experience each pose fully. New postures are given when the teacher feels the student is ready.
The room is mostly quiet except for the sound of the ujjai breath and occasional verbal cues given when needed. Mysore style is equally an all levels class and highly individualized practice where beginner to advanced receive support. Practice sheets are available for those new to the practice to help in memorizing the sequences. Another format of the practice is the all levels class known as the “led primary series” where the teacher verbally instructs the class through the series as a group. There typically aren’t adjustments given in a led primary class. Students who haven’t learned the whole primary series are welcome to attend and practice as much as they have learned.