Mandala’s Ashtanga program includes Frances Cole-Jones, authorized level 1 ashtanga teacher teaching the mysore and introductory ashtanga classes and Geoffrey Nimmer teaching the led primary class.
The Ashtanga Yoga method is built around the ‘Mysore Style’ class, so named because yoga was taught this way by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, in Mysore, India, and continues to be taught this way in traditional Ashtanga Yoga schools around the world. In Mysore Class, the student is taught a sequence of postures through one-on-one instruction. The correct movements, breathing, and other aspects of the practice are learned gradually, in a step-by-step process accessible to anyone. This method allows each student time to practice and memorize what they have learned before adding more, encouraging commitment and accountability. Students are able to practice independently and at their own pace while surrounded by the energy and inspiration of other students in the room. The teacher is able to work with each student individually, which allows the practitioner to develop a deeply trusting relationship with their teacher. This unique setting allows beginners to move slowly and progress only when their body and mind are ready, as opposed to “keeping pace” with a large group. It also provides committed practitioners with a forum for learning advanced postures with the one-on-one guidance required to do them safely and accurately. It is appropriate for all levels of practitioners. There are no prerequisites, other than the willingness to practice.
The best way to answer any questions about the Mysore practice and how it works is to come and observe a class for half an hour or so. Most questions are answered by observing the class, and then anything unanswered can be discussed with the teacher.
In the Led Classes the teacher leads students step by step as a group through the series. This is a great opportunity to establish Sthira sukha asanam a consistent rhythmic ujayii breathing and patience with the even flow of postures and breath.
Look at the class schedule for updated days and times for ashtanga classes.
Some of the Benefits of a Mysore Practice as explained by David Robson:
- You can show up when it suits you. As long as you leave enough time to finish your full practice, you can come to Mysore class at any point. You don’t need to worry about rushing from work or home to get to class on time anymore.
- You can develop your meditation practice by following your own breath: Ashtanga is intended to be a moving meditation. Led classes are a fantastic way to learn about the breath and the vinyasa, but Mysore-style is where you follow your own breath and deepen your focus and meditation skills.
- You get individual attention. In any type of yoga, we come across poses or aspects of the practice that are difficult and challenging. In a led class, you may just skim over a difficult pose, but in Mysore style you have the chance to work one-on-one with a trained teacher. Most people feel this individual attention helps their practice soar.
- Mysore class is for everyone. One thing we did not expect when we started our morning Mysore program, was how wonderful it was for families and couples who wished to practice together, but had different levels of experience. With everyone in the room doing their own practice, Mysore class is a great way to work at your full capacity.