What is Ashtanga Yoga Mysore Style?
In 1948 K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) opened the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India. His teacher Krishnamacharya was an Indian yoga teacher and healer who taught some of the most world-renowned yoga teachers of the 20th century. Over the years people from all over the world started to learn the Ashtanga Yoga method with K. Pattabhi Jois and the term “Mysore style” was coined. K. Pattabhi Jois’ grandson R. Sharath Jois now runs the main Ashtanga Yoga shala in Mysore continuing to teach the Ashtanga Yoga tradition.
The Mysore class is designed so you can “drop in”. This means you can turn up anytime during the class. Each student practices to their own ability and is guided by the teacher to establish a personal practice. The classes are suitable for all levels and complete beginners are always welcome.
The term Ashtanga Yoga comes from the eight limbs of yoga, which are referenced in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. As K. Pattabhi Jois studied the effects of the practice, he developed a set of fixed postures, which are linked with breath and movement (vinyasa) and taught people using a numbered system – “the counted method”, also called “Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga”.
The word Ashtanga means eight limbs, which is explained in detail within Patanjali’s yoga sutras. The practice of Ashtanga yoga is not just a physical practice, it is the practice of stilling the mind. By challenging ourselves both mentally and physically with the guidance from a teacher we can start to learn a systematised method, which can help us to understand the practice of yoga and how to integrate it into our daily lives.
These are the eight limbs;
Yama (ethical disciplines)
Niyama (rules of conduct)
Pranayama (restraint or expansion of the breath)
Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses/ observation)
Patanjali's Yoga Sutra
The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali are a collection of mantras, which detail the philosophy and method that form the practice of yoga and it’s effects.
There are four chapters;
Sâdhana-pâdah (the practice of yoga)
Vibhûti-pâdah (the power of yoga)
Kaivalya-pâdah (the process of liberation)
The study of the yoga sutra is a life long practice. As we progress through our experiences of yoga we also develop a deeper understanding of the sutras.
If you are interested in learning more about the Yoga Sutras you can talk to Tom or Katharina in the shala. There are also some resources for studying at the bottom of this page.
Parampara is the undisturbed passing of knowledge from teacher to student. This in turn creates a lineage of teachings, which is passed from generation to generation. It is important that a good student-teacher relationship is formed so that the knowledge can be passed on effectively without confusion. This is the importance of following a method with the guidance from a teacher.
At the beginning of each practice we chant the opening mantra and at the end of each practice we chant the closing mantra.
vande gurūnām caranāravinde
sandarśita svātma sukhāva bodhe
nih śreyase jāngalikāyamāne
samsāra hālāhala mohasāntyai
sahasra śirasam śvetam
nyāyena mārgena mahim mahishāh
gobrāhmanebhyaha subhamastu nityam
om sāntih sāntih sāntih
saha nā vavatu
saha nau bhunaktu
saha viryam karavāvahai
tejasvi nā vadhita mastu
om sāntih sāntih sāntih
K Pattabhi Jois – Yoga Mala: The Original Teachings of Ashtanga Yoga Master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
R. Sharath Jois – Astanga Yoga Anusthana
EDWIN F. BRYANT – Yoga Sutras of Patañjali
Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern – Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students
Lino Miele – Ashtanga Yoga
David Keil – Functional Anatomy of Yoga: A Guide for Practitioners and Teachers
Yoga Sutra Translation – arlingtoncentre.org
Yoga Sutra Chanting Audio – Dr. M. A. Jayashree
Christina Hug teaches Yoga Sutra chanting – christinahug.de
Greg Nardi teaches yoga philosophy – ashtangayogaworldwide.com