What is it?
Ashtanga yoga – the basis of all other forms of yoga – originated in Mysore, India, which is where this teaching style got its name. What makes Mysore classes different from other yoga classes is that rather than everyone following the instructor in unison, in a Mysore yoga class, you do your own thing at your own pace.
Everybody follows the same routine, but as you progress, your repertoire expands. Nea Ferrier, an instructor at Yoga Room, says, “Students of all levels practise alongside each other. The teacher works with each student individually – that way students can progress at a pace that is suitable for their level of strength, flexibility and stamina. Students learn and memorise a set series of postures that are practised daily. New postures are added slowly when the student is ready.” The benefit is that it’s almost like you are getting a private class, but with a communal instructor.
The Mysore class runs from 6.30am to 9am every weekday and students are welcome to drop in at any time during that slot for as long as they like, but you are advised to go at least three times a week to really get the most out of it. The classroom is quiet and peaceful – and warm from body heat.
Nea walks around the class adjusting people’s poses and guiding them. When you have finished your practice, you go to the back of the room and stretch and relax for ten minutes.
I left feeling calm, focused and energised. Not only did I learn some new poses, but it was a great start to the day.