ashtanga at the shala

“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

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.

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.

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). this particular approach to yogasana has gained a rather undeserved reputation as prohibitively difficult. however, the practice can be as gentle or as challenging as one chooses. when practiced correctly and consistently, this subtle and vigorous yoga brings strength and flexibility to the body, and clarity and steadiness to the mind.

mysore ashtanga (all levels, beginners welcome)

mysore ashtanga is the traditional method of studying ashtanga yogasana. mysore ashtanga is taught in a quiet room through individual instruction from a skilled teacher. the practice is taught gradually and according to each person’s needs and abilities. come observe a session during designated hours (see schedule) and speak to a teacher about initiating practice.

students new to mysore ashtanga

  • no knowledge of the sequence is necessary to begin. beginners will learn parts of the primary series incrementally, with new postures being slowly and deliberately added over time. (students interested in ashtanga should attend mysore sessions regularly BEFORE considering led classes.)
  • we encourage new students to observe a session during designated hours and speak to a teacher about initiating practice.
  • allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for practice. the duration of one’s practice will lengthen as new postures are added.
  • in order to properly memorize the sequence, it is highly recommended that beginners practice a minimum of three times per week.
  • note: mysore ashtanga is not a drop-in class unless you have an existing mysore ashtanga practice.

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led ashtanga classes

unlike the traditional mysore-style, students practice the entire primary series in a synchronized fashion under the instruction of a teacher. this approach 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 and with unconscious fidgeting between postures.

 

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 2018

mon january 1

wed january 31

thurs march 1

sat march 31

sun april 29

tues may 29

thurs june 28

fri july 27

sun august 26

mon september 24

wed october 24

fri november 23

sat december 22

 

new moons 2018

tues january 16

thurs february 15

sat march 17

sun april 15

tues may 15

wed june 13

thurs july 12

sat august 11

sun september 9

mon october 8

wed november 7

fri december 7