Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a dynamic sequence of yoga postures linked by breath. Sun salutations and standing postures are followed by seated postures, back bending, inversions, and finally, rest. The flow of breath with movement becomes a moving meditation. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is best taught in the Mysore style, where it can be adapted to benefit any student.
Mysore-style refers to the traditional way of learning the ashtanga vinyasa yoga system, where the teacher guides students individually in a group setting. The word “Mysore” refers to the city in South India where this traditional style of teaching yoga originated.
In a Mysore-style class, all students are practicing a similar sequence of ashtanga vinyasa postures, adapted specifically for them by the teacher, at their own pace, in the same space. New students are taught the ashtanga sequence, one posture at a time, so knowledge of the sequence isn’t required before attending a class. The teacher uses verbal cues, demonstration, and hands-on adjustments to ensure proper alignment and execution of vinyasa and postures.
The benefits of a Mysore-style practice include…
- The practice can be tailored or modified to benefit any student.
- The teacher can easily adapt the student’s practice to injuries, illness, or changing life circumstances.
- Each student will acquire an individualized practice that can be sustained over the long term and can easily be taken anywhere.
- As the set sequence of postures is memorized, there is more opportunity to draw inward and quietly observe the body and mind, resulting in a meditative ritual of breath and movement.
- Trust is built over time between student and instructor as well as within the student, providing space for feedback.
- Students of different ages and abilities can all practice side by side, evoking a strong sense of community.
At The Sunny Side Yoga + Community, we feel that the Mysore-style of teaching is the most beneficial and inclusive way of learning ashtanga vinyasa yoga.