Self-Practice Etiquette

Mysore Self-Practice is a unique way to practice yoga, very different from the standard led classes you may attend at any typical yoga studio.  Therefore, it helps to know what sort of etiquette distinguishes it from other styles.

Please see the following guidelines for optimizing your experience.

  • Arrive early to practice.  The doors open at 5:45am Monday through Friday.  by arriving earlier rather than later, you will not feel rushed in your practice.
  • Bring your own yoga mat.  You can store your mat at Yoga District in the area marked for student storage. Make sure your mat has tie or a bag, with your name on it, to distinguish it from other mats.
  • Bring a small hand towel for you to use in case of excess sweat or in working with difficult binds.
  • If it is your first time studying Mysore, prepare to have a shorter practice than normal.  As you learn more of the sequence, your practice will get longer and more complicated.
  • When you first start practicing Mysore, introduce yourself to the teacher and let him know if you have practice Ashtanga before, if you have any injuries or concerns, and if you have any specific goals.  Learning Ashtanga in the Mysore format involves developing a teacher-student relationship, so the more the teacher knows how you are responding to the practice, the better.
  • One of the hallmarks of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as practiced in the Mysore format is that students will be practicing one of the series, at their own pace, in their own way.  That is, how you practice the Primary Series for the first year will look radically different from how someone who has been practicing it for twenty years looks.  Don’t judge your practice or theirs.  Delight in the community atmosphere and appreciate the unspoken camaraderie of a quiet morning practice session.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable, clean, fresh smelling clothes.  Regularly clean your mat towel.
  • Minimize any talking when entering and exiting the space.  Respect others’ practice time.
  • Learn the names of the postures.  Two very good resources are Ashtanga Yoga As It Is, and the Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manual.  Study the postures and the sequence in your free time outside of class.  It is generally discouraged to use a book or cheat sheet when performing the practice.
  • Listen to your breathing while practicing.  Pay close attention to how the postures feel.  If you experience pain, tread carefully.  If it becomes more intense, back off and re-establish connection with your breathing.
  • Adjustments are part of the Mysore tradition.  If there are specific postures you need help with, please inform the teacher.  Give the teacher regular feedback on how the adjustment feels.  You are just as responsible for discomfort you feel in a posture as the teacher who is adjusting you.  If something hurts, let the teacher know.
  • Most of all, enjoy your time on the mat.  Breathe, move, and find your inner stillness.

 

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