Being an Ashtangi gives many benefits when it comes to body and mind wellness. But if you feel like you’re pressured catching up in a led class, you should try joining an Ashtanga Yoga Mysore session. Unlike led classes, Mysore practice allows you to do asanas at your own pace. This means that the yoga teacher doesn’t influence the order of postures and instead guides you if you need adjustments.
You don’t have to watch out for others’ postures or compare your progress with fellow yogis. If you’re wondering more about the benefits of this self-practice, here are nine that might just convince you right away.
1. IT STARTS IN THE MIND AS MUCH AS THE BODY
This is the best thing about Mysore method. A newbie would much likely start with Suryanamaskara and practice it repeatedly until it’s pegged on his subconscious. With that, practicing Mysore just don’t focus on how well you can do a certain posture intellectually, but it also emphasizes how much you instill it on your body memory.
This way, you can remember asanas even more than just relying on your teacher to demonstrate it. Also, no judgment is passed here no matter what your first try looks like.
2. IT ALLOWS YOU TO DO YOGA AT YOUR OWN PACE
In a Mysore class, each one is practicing different asanas. This will let you do the same and focus on improving your asanas one movement and Ujjayi at a time. Since the teacher won’t force you to catch up on certain posture sequences, you can have all the time to focus on difficult poses.
With this, you enjoy the Ashtanga Yoga Mysore even more and not just view it as a burdensome exercise. This also lessens the comparison among students in a class.
3. YOU GET PERSONALIZED ATTENTION FROM YOUR YOGA TEACHER
Since one student does a different asana from the other, the teacher in a Mysore class would give personalized attention. The yoga teacher allows time to check and assist a student when he needs adjustments for a certain posture. This is unlikely to happen during a led class where all the students are addressed with general instructions.
You’ll enjoy the perks some only get during a paid private teaching. Also, your teacher will call you by name which I think is quite comforting.
4. IT INCREASES YOUR FOCUS
When you do Mysore Ashtanga, you need to focus internally. This allows you to face your distractions and mental clutter. Since you’re not going to listen to a teacher, you can focus more on your personal practice and unleash your meditative state.
Also, every asana has Dristhi. This doesn’t include staring at a teacher or checking the yogi beside you. This allows less distraction and more stream of focus, thus promoting internal awareness.
5. YOU CAN PRACTICE IT ANYWHERE
If there’s such thing as ‘portable’ yoga, it would be Ashtanga Yoga Mysore. Since this class encourages you to utilize self-practice, you can do it anywhere as long as there’s enough space to stretch your body. You don’t need any gears or devices like mats or props.
However, it’s undeniable that doing it with fellow yogis has some “magic” to it like hearing the series of breaths in a room. It’s like energy continuously flowing in one place.
6. THERE’S LESS COMPETITION IN THE YOGA CLASS
Since all students are encouraged to do self-practice, it’s unlikely to have comparison and competition within the group. For some, yoga is like a workout where the one who gets the asanas faster wins the race. With Mysore, the teacher invites you to listen to yourself and not to others. The whole session is quiet, no music or counting.
Also, a Mysore class promotes group dynamics on it. Like what I said, hearing everyone breathing fills the room with positive energy. It seems like each other is supplying the other with good vibes.
7. IT’S FLEXIBLE
Ashtanga Yoga Mysore is flexible in the sense that it doesn’t force you to memorize asana sequences in a specific time. It also allows you to come to the Mysore class anytime that fits your schedule. Many yoga schools open as early as 4 am to cater to everyone planning to start their regimen early.
Although you can choose any time that works for you, Ashtanga is usually practiced early morning before breakfast. There are postures that you need to do with an empty stomach so if you’re doing that sequence, you have to get up early.
8. YOU CAN DO YOGA THE TRADITIONAL WAY
Ashtanga had been in the yoga world for long and ancient texts suggest that it should be done through “Sadhana” or self-practice. However, most of the Ashtanga classes here in the U.S. are led, but if you want a more flexible practice, it’s time to look for Mysore schools.
Mysore is actually a place in India where this yoga practice originated. In this place, students learn asanas directly with one teacher for a long time and in the same method.
9. IT ALLOWS YOU TO LEARN ASANAS IN A PROGRESSIVE AND SAFE WAY
Each asana is different from the other so are the students. Some can practice yoga for years but not able to achieve certain postures perfectly. With Mysore Ashtanga, this wouldn’t be a problem.
The main dilemma about led classes is that there’s always a high risk of injury since students will likely to push themselves to catch up. But with the progressive way of Mysore, this harm can be lessened. Besides, the level of meditation isn’t measured by how easy you can reach your toes or how fast you can put your foot behind your head.
Led classes are great if you want a uniform Ashtanga practice. But if you enjoy progressiveness and self-practice, Mysore might just be your perfect yoga. Practicing at your own pace will allow you to discover yourself more and enjoy the routine you’re doing. Are you considering switching to Ashtanga Yoga Mysore? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!