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FAQ & Everything About Mysore Ashtānga Yoga

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Mysore Ashtanga Yoga at Samjiva Nilayam Irvine Orange County

OUR MAIN PROGRAM, MYSORE ASHTĀNGA YOGA, is a personalized approach to traditional yoga. This class requires monthly registration. No single class drop-ins allowed unless you have an established traditional practice. Please read below to learn more about this unique way of teaching & practicing the Ashtānga Yoga method.

ARE THERE PREREQUISITES? DO I NEED TO KNOW THE PRACTICE TO JOIN? HOW DOES A SELF-LED CLASS WORK? As a new student & beginner to the Ashtānga Yoga practice, you will receive one-on-one instruction to guide you in learning the fundamentals. The only prerequisite is an open mind, interest in learning and a willingness to apply yourself diligently. You do not need to know anything in advance nor do you need to get yourself in shape first. The Ashtānga Yoga practice itself will take care of all of this.

The self-led method of Mysore Ashtānga Yoga accommodates students of all levels. It is a very supportive, inspiring and non-competitive environment intended to foster your inspiration & commitment to your health, well-being and progress in all aspects of yoga. For those who have the aptitude to learn many many postures (āsanas), this method can facilitate that. For those who need to take care of certain issues in the body and need special accommodations, this method can also facilitate that. In short, Mysore style has the potential to bring out the best in each individual.

WHY IS THE CLASS 4 HOURS LONG? The Mysore style class is an open practice time. People arrive, practice & leave at various times according to his/her own scheduling needs or constraints. Each person’s practice varies in length from 1 – 2.5 hours. If you are new to yoga, you can expect your first few classes to be about 60 minutes. If you have ample yoga experience but are new to Mysore Ashtānga Yoga, then your first class will be 75 – 90 minutes. You can arrive anytime that works best for you; although, your initial class will often be scheduled.

SHOULD I TAKE PRIVATE INSTRUCTION? Private instruction is very beneficial for virtually everyone. If you want to make significant improvements in your technique, understanding and over all experience, private instruction is a very effective approach and worthwhile investment. The fundamentals & subtleties of practice are extremely important in order to ensure that you can adapt and evolve your practice for many years to come.

EATING & DRINKING WATER: It is best that the stomach is – and remains – empty prior to practice. This means making sure you hydrate yourself no less than a half hour prior to practice. Food should not be consumed for 2 – 4 hours or more prior to practice. Early morning is the easiest time to follow these guidelines. When the stomach is empty (i.e. fasting), the body burns more calories and detoxifies more efficiently. Even simply drinking water during practice hinders the detoxifying effects of practice. It is best to keep the stomach empty during yoga practice.

IS CHANTING A REQUIRED PART OF YOGA? WHY DO YOU PRACTICE CHANTING? No, chanting is not a required aspect of yoga practice. We practice chanting because we enjoy it and because it has many tangible benefits. However, it is completely up to you whether or not you want to add this into your yoga or not. When we chant we exercise our breath and strengthen our core. If we are inclined, we can add other dimensions as well. We can incorporate a sentiment, an emotion, a devotional heart feeling. We can focus on the expansion of our awareness and cultivate visualizations. If we are more physically inclined, then we can use chanting as a very potent pranayama practice for developing our core. If you are interested in chanting, you can find some audio & other resources on our website here. Come to the early morning chanting classes as much as you can. Listen and follow along as best as possible. With time, you will be surprised how much you can learn.

WHY IS IT CALLED MYSORE? Mysore is the name of the South Indian city where Mysore style Ashtānga Yoga originated. The first person to teach western students was Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, whom I met in 1989. Jois learned from the famous Indian yogī & scholar Sri T. Krishnamacharya, and initially taught yoga and Vedanta philosophy at the Mysore Sanskrit College. After retiring as a professor in 1973, Jois continued teaching yoga from his home in Mysore India calling his home school the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (AYRI). He taught yoga passionately for nearly 70 years until passing in 2009. The influence of his teachings have spread throughout the world and can be seen in nearly all contemporary yoga.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS: Please contact me by email, text or phone with any and all of your questions and concerns. We are happy to help you.

IF YOU WANT TO JOIN THE WAITLIST: Contact me by email, text or phone, and let me know if you do or do not have experience with Ashtānga Yoga.

WHERE ARE WE LOCATED? Because classes are conducted from my home, our address is given only after receiving class payment.


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