Astanga yoga is a systematic practice and philosophy that develops one’s psychological, physical and spiritual strength and health. It is derived from ancient teachings and transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), R. Sharath Jois and Saraswathi Jois at the KPJAYI (Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute).
At the very heart of the Astanga method is Mysore style practice, which is named after the city of Mysore in India, where KPJAYI is located.
The philosophy behind Mysore practice is that we are all different, hence no guided class can fit the needs of everybody. In Mysore class students practice a set sequence of flowing postures, together with regulated breathing and concentration techniques, independently in a group setting. All instructions are provided one-on-one, and the teacher gives help and new teachings individually.
Astanga yoga views each student as unique and the practice is always adapted to the individual, based on physical and mental condition, age, specific needs and other considerations. The practice can be learned by anyone who wants it. All that is needed is a motivation to learn.
People come to yoga from all different backgrounds. Whether you are drawn to it by a search for healthier lifestyle, mental focus, physical fitness, stress relief, inner peace or self-transformation, Mysore style Astanga yoga offers a down-to-earth method that grows with you. You might also find that the practice helps you on all of those levels. This is because yoga is a holistic approach treating the body and mind intertwined.
According to the philosophy behind there are eight aspects to yoga. What in the beginning may feel like a mere physical practice, is ultimately a gateway for the development of more subtle reflective and meditative qualities. The practice makes you sweat and it builds up fitness, but the real goal is to create overall balance – to feel good in our bodies while living in peace and harmony with ourselves and others.
You will begin to learn the Primary series, which is a therapeutic set of forty-four main postures and their variations, performed in a logical order, each pose building up from the preeceding one. In the beginning you are given just few postures and breathing technique to start with.
As you learn and internalize the basics, your teacher will one step at a time guide you further into the practice. In this way you slowly and safely learn the sequence by heart and develop an ability to focus inwardly. Private instruction within a group setting provides the flexibility to improve and grow where you need it most. The result is your personal meditative moving practice.
The student-teacher relationship is central to Mysore practice. The teachers at MYC will respect your uniqueness and guide you along the practice at a pace suitable for you. It is wise to be consistent and build up your practice slowly over time. As in many things, patience is required and cultivated, and more is not always necessarily better. Your teacher will be your companion on this journey and MYC provides you a friendly setting to practice in.
”Do your practice and all is coming.” ― Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
”Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” ― Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
"Astanga yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory." ― Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
”Everyone can practice Astanga yoga. Except lazy people.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois
"Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is." ― Bhagavad Gita
“The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice.” ― Bhagavad Gita
“Asana practise is for 2 hours. Yoga practise is for 24 hours.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois
”When the mind is quiet, the asana is correct.” ― Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
”This is not a gym, you are not here to work out. You are here to bring peace to yourself, to know who you are.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois
”With practice anything is possible.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois
“The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it.” ― Bhagavad Gita