Ashtanga Yoga & Mysore

Understand the difference between the two.

​What is Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is a yoga system created by the late Sri. K. Phattabi Jois (sometimes simply called Guruji).  He was an original student of Krishnamacharya (often called the father of yoga), along with others such as BKS Iyengar (creator of Iyengar yoga). 

In our ego driven world, where everyone and their dog seems to think they are qualified to create their own yoga, our yoga comes straight from the source.

Ashtanga practitioners, and especially teachers, are fiercely proud of their lineage and seek to learn from those who were closest  to Guruji.  These include teachers who were certified or authorized by Guruji himself, and now, teachers who are certified or authorized by Guruji's grandson and daughter, R. Sharath Jois, and Saraswathi Rangaswamy. 

To stay true to this lineage, all of our teachers are students of either Sharath, Saraswathi, or another certified ashtanga teacher.

What is Mysore style yoga?

"Mysore" is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga yoga and is named after the Indian city where Phattabi Jois lived.

Mysore is a self led practice, through Ashtanga postures (also called Asanas).  This "self-practice" is performed under the guidance of a highly experienced teacher, who helps the student advance through the series by teaching new asanas when it is safe to do so.

At AYVic, we highly encourage students to develop a Mysore practice.  While led classes have their place and can create a foundation for yogis to work from, Mysore is where true change happens.

When you practice Ashtanga yoga in a Mysore style, you face and overcome new challenges every time you step on the mat.  Sometimes they are physical, like learning a new asana.  And sometimes they are mental, where you struggle to shut out the negative self talk that we all say to ourselves sometimes.

At the end of practice, you walk out knowing that you accomplished something unique and important to yourself.  Others won't be able to see it but you will feel it.  That very personal sense of accomplishment is something you can never get from a boot camp style led class.

Mysore: The best way to practice Ashtanga

Beyond the continous sense of accomplishment, there are 4 other things that make Mysore, the best way to practice Ashtanga, (and yoga too in our opinion!)

1. Mysore is Flexible

While there are set times that a teacher is present for Mysore, you can come in any time that they are there.  For example, our morning Mysore class starts at 6am and runs until 930am.  You can come any time after 6am, as long as you are finished your practice by 930am.  Furthermore, if you can't make it to a Mysore class that day, you can always practice at home.  This is the benefit of a self-practice. 

2. Individual Attention

Our teachers will help you focus where you need to, so you can get the maximum benefit you can from your practice

3. Moving Meditation

When practicing Mysore style properly, you focus on the combination of breath and movement, creating a meditative state.  If you are able to silence your internal dialogue, then this "moving meditation" will help you clear your mind, allowing you to deepen both your physical and mental self awareness.  People often experience a clarity of thought during this time that allows them to comfortably and effortlessly make important life decisions.

4. No physical restriction

It doesnt matter how flexible you are, or how "experienced" with yoga you are, a self practice will meet you where you are, and help you progress from there.  There is no minumum fitness level.  Just step on the mat, focus, breathe, move, and get better.