Mysore is the traditional way in which Ashtanga Yoga is passed on from teacher to student. Its name stems from a South Indian town from where this method originates. In a Mysore room students arrive at different times, roll out their mats and do their own self practice within a supportive group environment, doing the last pose taught to them by the teacher before doing backbending and the finishing sequence.

The teacher oversees each student’s practice, transmitting the sequence correctly in terms of both the asanas themselves and the vinyasas to enter into and out of the state of the posture. (Vinyasa is the synchronisation of physical movement with the breath). The teacher offers hands on and/or verbal adjustments whenever appropriate to help deepen the student’s practice, refine technique and invite their body to move into a shape they may not be able to do without assistance yet. The teacher intersperses small pockets of personalised tuition with each student, with creating a safe nourishing space for students to simply breathe, move and be, in accordance with their own rhythm. The series’ are taught posture by posture at a pace that is appropriate to each student. As the postures are mastered the next one is given.

Students all practice together irrespective of whether their practice is long/short, primary/intermediate/advanced, if they have just started yoga or have been doing it for decades. There are no pre-requisites to attending a Mysore class, except the willingness to learn. It is the teacher’s job to teach you the sequence so do not think you have to know it before you come. It is a beautiful empowering way to learn and to own your practice. And, it is the safest and most effective way to learn Ashtanga. Once you are familiar with the sequence, you can tweak and fine tune the physical positions, and more importantly move into deeper internal states of yoga. The practice becomes a moving meditation, something you internalise and take with you. So wherever you are in the world, you can come to a Mysore space, put your mat down, know what to do and come home.