The Mysore style of yoga teaching is unique to the Ashthanga Vinyasa Yoga tradition designed by Sri K Pattabhi Jois last century. It enables the student to practice (explore) a fixed sequence of yoga asana on her/his on pace by following external as well as internal guidance. External guidance would be a teacher, who assist with mostly hands-on adjustments and fewer verbal instructions, and the inspiration of the fellow students around. Internal guidance would be foremost the breathe, the internal dialogue and body intuition / intelligence.
The student is not blindly following the instructions of the teacher but is activley present with the yoga sequence that is happening. The mind aswell as the body are involved in the sequence. Some days the body isn’t moving at all, other days the mind just seems totally out of it. It is here that observation of both body and mind takes place. Concentration, focus, preparation, calculation and observation are all qualities of the brain that need to be trained too. To remember which pose comes next requires some mental effort, and prevents the brain of zoning out into oblivion. It keeps the brain connected to the present, what is happening here and now. Mysore style of teaching puts more responsibility with the student and allows more space for the internal observation. It honors the diversity of the body, and let the student work with that diversity.
The teacher is not instructing the student with which asana comes next; but allows the student to move through her/his practice and adjusting where necessary. The adjustment are mostly physically and directed directly to the body, to prevent ego involvement. Though the teacher will observe both body and mind, and will work on both to create space, strength and ultimately balance and harmony.
The Mysore style of teaching goes hand in hand with the Ashthanga vinyasa sequences, though the style of teaching could be extended to any kind of sequence. As long as the student and teacher know which sequence is being followed, the Mysore style class could be functioning. Different sequences for different students to honor the diversity of the students. It requires intimate involvement of the teacher which her/his student practice and it asks from the student a commitment to the practice and an independent attitude. As a student you have to follow your inner guidance, using your internal devises to navigate yourself through the practice (and eventually life). The teacher is not there to tell you which pose is next and what to do, though will tell you when you forget. The teacher will guide you through the practice where it is necessary by letting you do your own practice.
The body remembers by repetition, its the mind that’s label’s repetition as boredom. The mind likes to spin, to move in between opposites. When the body remembers stillness, it will ask for more. That is where the asana and vinyasa comes in, the effect of the asana plus the sequence is one of inducing stillness (how stimulating, energizing, aggravating or heating it may seem at first glance ). The body and eventually the mind will long for that stillness. From there chance will happen.
Ahimsaka is offering every weekday the possibility of Mysore style classes from 6 a.m. to 7.45 a.m., at Dili Ashthanga Yoga, hosted at Dili Wellness / The upstairs Studio , Comoro road (opposite Leader, next to Harish and Dili Club). Please contact Ahimsaka first if you like to practice Mysore style.