The beauty & benefits of Mysore practice

Ashtanga yoga - Astanga yoga - Mysore Yoga CPH - Copenhagen - København - Frederiksberg

Traditionally yoga is all about self-practice and it has been passed down from teacher to student on a one-on-one basis. Led classes have become popular all over the world, and they have their role and place, including in Ashtanga, but in terms of learning, it often becomes more like learning backwards. Once you start a Mysore practice you may need to unlearn many things and concepts you thought you knew from led classes.

Here are some reasons why jumping into Mysore class and building up a self-practice is a good idea, regardless of how haunting the idea may sound at first:

  • One size doesn’t fit all. We are all different, and hence no guided class can fit the needs of everybody. In fast paced led classes people often end up doing postures they are not ready for, with poor or minimal instruction, which in turn has caused way too many injuries, frustrations and misunderstandings. In the Mysore room you progress gently at your own pace, and learn how to approach the practice skillfully and patiently.
  • Your teacher will address you by name. Your teacher knows your practice inside out. You will receive adjustments to guide you to correct alignment and learn new postures when you are ready. If you forget something or have questions, the teacher is there to assist you. All this helps you to improve and grow where you need it most. As a bonus, it comes without the price tag usually attached to private teaching.
  • The teacher isn’t counting the practice for you, but inviting you to focus, and to listen to yourself, to move towards stilling the mind, which is the ultimate goal of yoga after all. By building up a self-practice you slowly and safely learn the sequence by heart and develop an ability to focus inwardly. This allows the deeper meditative aspects of yoga to unfold naturally.
  • Memorization of the sequence means you own your practice, and you can take it anywhere you go. You can also spend more time on things that need extra attention and practice good self care by slowing down when needed. Building up independency is the best way you can apply all you learned from your teacher. Learning to be self-reliant and mindful on the mat helps over time reveal how to take it off the mat.
  • You don’t have to listen to anyone talking and there’s no new age music. The practice is quiet, it’s all about you and very little about the teacher. Instructions are down-to earth and the practice is your space for exploration and research. It becomes your personal meditation in motion.

The best news is that anyone can practice. No preparation is needed, just get started as you are and be consistent. When facing the challenge of stepping onto the mat, remember that the practice doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be super deep or to even last long. It just needs to happen often enough. Start with 10 minutes. Keep breathing. Keep focusing. A regular routine builds up a positive inertia that drives towards the mat again and again. You may even become hooked, which is an addiction with only positive side effects.

”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