ashtanga at the shala

ashtanga yoga at the shala is taught in the traditional mysore and led styles, according to the method developed by sri k. pattabhi jois and continued by r. sharath jois, saraswathi rangaswamy, and manju jois.

“Yoga uses the body and mind so that at a later stage the mind and body may harmonize with the soul.”   – Sri K Pattabhi Jois

sri k. pattabhi jois was a prominent student of sri t. krishnamacharya, who is considered by many to be the father of modern yoga. in 1948, pattabhi jois (affectionately and respectfully referred to as “guruji”) opened the ashtanga yoga research institute in mysore, india, where he developed a precise, therapeutic method of yoga well-suited to students of all ages, skill levels, and states of health. the word “ashtanga” translates as “the eight-limbed path,” which is described by patanjali in the yoga sutras. this particular approach to yogasana has gained a rather undeserved reputation as prohibitively difficult, though this is not true. the practice can be as gentle or as challenging as one chooses.the customary means of transmission occurs under the direct guidance of a teacher. the practitioner is given postures according to a rhythm that respects his/her individual abilities and requirements, with a strong emphasis on the integration of breath and movement (vinyasa). when practiced correctly and consistently, this subtle and vigorous yoga brings strength and flexibility to the body, and clarity and steadiness to the mind. sri k. pattabhi jois taught ashtanga yoga in two ways: mysore-style and led classes.

mysore ashtanga (all levels, beginners welcome)

mysore ashtanga is the traditional method of studying ashtanga yogasana. it consists of a set sequence of postures which are practiced in a quiet room with individual instruction from a teacher. the practice is taught according to each person’s needs and abilities, and at an appropriate pace. the mysore room provides a calm yet invigorating environment for beginners and advanced students alike. come observe a session during designated hours (see schedule) and speak to a teacher about initiating practice. through dedication, consistency, and effort, we rediscover our natural state of serenity and steadiness.


led ashtanga classes

unlike the traditional mysore-style, students practice in a synchronized fashion under the instruction of a teacher. this approach to practicing the ashtanga primary series provides an opportunity to hone your practice by following the “vinyasa count” as it is traditionally taught. this emphasis on efficient, rhythmic movement helps to do away with habits (such as losing the connection with the breath due to a wandering mind) and with unconscious fidgeting between postures. the class consists of sun salutations, standing poses, seated poses, backbends, inversions, and a complete finishing sequence.

Students new to Mysore Ashtanga

  • We encourage new students to come observe a session during designated hours (see below) and speak to a teacher about initiating practice.
  • No knowledge of the sequence is necessary to begin. The teacher will lead you through the sequence pose by pose.
  • In order to properly memorize the sequence, it is highly recommended that beginners practice a minimum of three times per week. Beginners will learn parts of the primary series incrementally, with new postures being slowly and deliberately added over time.
  • Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for practice. The duration of one’s practice will lengthen as new postures are added.
  • Note: Mysore Ashtanga is not a drop-in class unless you have an existing Mysore Ashtanga practice.


union square


mysore ashtanga:

monday-friday, 6:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. (new students: arrive at 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., or 8:30 a.m.)

sunday: 7:45 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. (new students: arrive at 8:00 a.m.)

sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. (includes chanting, philosophy, and/or pranayama)

monday and tuesday: 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. (new students: arrive at 4:30 p.m.)

led primary:

wednesday and thursday, 6:30 p.m.

saturday, 12:00 p.m.


fort greene


mysore ashtanga:
monday-friday: 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. (new students: arrive at 7:30 a.m on monday, wednesday, and friday)

sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. (new students: arrive at 8:00 a.m.)

monday-thursday: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (new students: arrive at 3:30 p.m. on tuesday and thursday)

friday: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

led primary:
saturday: 12:00 p.m.


There is no practice on new or full moons. Here’s an excerpt from Tim Miller’s website on why:


Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong.

The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.


moon days:


full moons 2017
thurs january 12
fri february 10
sun march 12
tues april 11
wed may 10
fri june 9
sun july 9
mon august 7
wed september 6
thurs october 5
sat november 4
sun december 3

new moons 2017
fri january 27
sun february 26
mon march 27
wed april 26
thurs may 25
fri june 23
sun july 23
mon august 21
wed september 20
thurs october 19
sat november 18
mon december 18