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Facts about Ashtanga Mysore Yoga

Ashtanga Mysore Yoga is a form of yoga that originated in Mysore, India, and was taught by the late Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois at his Institute. Here are some important facts about this traditional form of yoga:

Mysore, IndiaMysore is a town in the South of India where Ashtanga Yoga became popular, and several books and yoga mats are available for practicing Ashtanga Yoga.
Mysore-StyleMysore self-practice is a traditional way of practicing Ashtanga Yoga that offers a highly personalized approach. The Mysore-style is the traditional method of teaching Ashtanga, where students practice together at their own pace with guidance from the teacher. In Ashtanga Yoga, students practice a set sequence of postures that build in complexity and intensity. Asanas are given one by one in a sequential order, and the structure of the class depends on the teacher’s ability to keep track of each student’s progress.
Guided Self-PracticeMysore-style is how Sri K. Pattabhi Jois taught Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore City, India, and is still the method transmitted today. It is a guided self-practice class where poses are taught gradually based on the student’s capacity and need. Verbal cues and hands-on assists are given by the teacher as needed.
Individualized PracticeMysore-style yoga engages students in a self-paced, individualized practice in a group setting. Each practitioner flows through the sequence at their own pace following their own breath. This method of teaching provides students with the opportunity to work at their own level and receive personalized attention from the teacher.


Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga is a unique form of self-practice that originated in Mysore, India. In this class, the student practices at their own pace and receives individualized guidance and adjustments from the teacher. With Mysore self-practice, the student gradually memorizes and internalizes the Ashtanga Yoga sequence, which becomes a moving meditation.

According to Patañjali in the Yoga Sutras, yoga is “the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.” By practicing Ashtanga Yoga in the Mysore style, the student can achieve a state of relaxed concentration, where the mind becomes focused and still.

Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic style of yoga that synchronizes movement with breath. The practice purifies and strengthens the body and mind by generating heat and detoxifying sweat. Ashtanga Yoga is intended to be a daily practice, except on Saturdays and full or new moon days.

In Ashtanga Yoga, there are six series of postures. Students work through the same sequence of postures but their practice is tailored to their level and needs. The first series, called the Primary Series, is the most commonly practiced. Longer Ashtanga classes are offered to increase stamina, strength, and flexibility.

Regular practice of Ashtanga Yoga results in many positive changes in the body and mind. It improves cardiovascular ability, physical strength, flexibility, breath control, balance, muscle tone, and can support weight loss. Ashtanga Yoga is also helpful in the management of stress and anxiety.

One of the defining characteristics of Mysore self-practice is the sound of ujjayi breathing. Ujjayi breathing is made by constricting the back of the throat and breathing in and out through the nose. This type of breathing helps to focus the mind and generate internal heat.

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Benefits of Ashtanga Mysore Style Yoga

Ashtanga Mysore style yoga is a style of yoga that is suitable for individuals of all skill levels, including those with physical limitations or illnesses. The benefits of practicing Ashtanga Mysore style yoga are numerous and varied, and can have a transformative effect on both the body and mind.

Individual Attention
One of the key benefits of Ashtanga Mysore style yoga is the individual attention that students receive. Unlike other styles of yoga where the teacher leads the class, in Mysore style classes, students are taught the sequence of postures individually and receive individual adjustments from the teacher. This allows for a personalized practice that is tailored to each student’s individual needs and progression.

Modification of Poses
Another benefit of Ashtanga Mysore style yoga is the ability to modify poses. Because students receive individual attention, the teacher can offer modifications or adaptations to poses to accommodate any physical limitations or injuries.

Focus on Breath
Ashtanga Mysore style yoga is also focused on synchronizing movement with breath. This emphasis on breath control helps to purify and strengthen the body and mind, and develop a deeper awareness of the breath.

Lifelong Friendships
Practicing Ashtanga Mysore style yoga also offers the opportunity to form lifelong friendships within the community. The nature of the practice, with students practicing individually but in close proximity to each other, creates a supportive and encouraging environment that fosters deep connections.

A Global Practice
Ashtanga Yoga originated in Mysore, India, and spread to the West in the 1970s. Since then, students from all over the world have practiced and studied in Mysore and elsewhere. This global practice offers the opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded practitioners from all walks of life.

Physical Benefits
Regular practice of Ashtanga Mysore style yoga results in numerous physical benefits, including improved cardiovascular ability, physical strength, flexibility, balance, muscle tone, and weight loss. These benefits are a result of the rigorous practice, which challenges the body in unique ways.

Eight Limbs of Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga is based on the eight limbs of yoga as laid down by Patanjali. These eight limbs form a comprehensive system of yoga that encompasses ethical guidelines, physical poses, breath control, and meditation. The practice of Ashtanga Mysore style yoga incorporates all eight limbs, making it a highly effective and transformational yoga system.

Independence and Confidence
Learning yoga in the traditional Mysore style benefits the student in gaining independence and confidence in their practice. Because each student is responsible for their own practice, they develop a deep understanding of their own body and their practice becomes more personal and meaningful.

Teaching Method

Mysore-style is the traditional method of teaching Ashtanga Yoga. It is a guided self-practice class where poses are taught gradually based on the student’s capacity and need. Mysore-Style is how Sri K. Pattabhi Jois taught Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore City, India, and is still the method transmitted today.

The Mysore self-practice is a traditional way of practicing Ashtanga Yoga that offers a highly personalized approach. This method allows students to work at their own pace, according to their individual capability, and to receive hands-on guidance from the teacher as necessary. Students learn a predetermined sequence of asanas through vinyasa, which builds upon previous postures.

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Mysore-style classes are led by experienced practitioners who guide and support their students. Adjustments by experienced teachers using their hands to guide the body into a posture to correct alignment is an important part of this practice. This method allows for a more personal approach to yoga and is excellent for building confidence and independence in one’s practice.

Beginner classes are a fixed series of talked-through basic poses simplified for absolute beginners. However, there are no fluffy cues or passive aggressiveness in Mysore Style. The emphasis is on practicing mindfully, with proper alignment and breath control.

The Saturday Led class is different from the weekday classes in that the teacher calls out the poses and breaths for all the postures. This class is ideal for students who are new to Ashtanga Yoga or find it difficult to practice independently. It is also beneficial for advanced practitioners who want to refine their practice.

Teacher Training

Whether you are looking to deepen your yoga practice or to become an instructor, Ashtanga Mysore Yoga offers Teacher Training programs to suit your needs. The courses are comprehensive and cover Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Hatha Yoga among other short-term yoga programs that are customized to suit individual needs.

The 200 Hr Ashtanga Teacher’s Training for Primary Series is a monthly program held in June 2023. It is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of Ashtanga yoga philosophy and the Ashtanga Primary Series. The curriculum is focused on developing teaching skills that promote the safe practice and teaching of yoga.

The 300 Hr Ashtanga Teacher’s Training for Intermediate Series (1-30) is also a monthly program held in July 2023. It is designed for those who have completed the 200 Hr Ashtanga Teacher’s Training and wish to deepen their practice and knowledge of Ashtanga yoga. The course covers the Ashtanga Intermediate Series and provides students with the skills to teach the series safely and effectively.

The Teacher Training Course at Ashtanga Mysore Yoga is a transformative experience that provides an opportunity to deepen your practice, become more mindful, and gain a better understanding of Ashtanga Yoga or Hatha Yoga. The curriculum also emphasizes self-development and personal growth. The training includes practical and theoretical classes, workshops, and intensive practice sessions to develop a well-rounded approach to teaching yoga.

200 Hr Ashtanga Teacher’s Training for Primary SeriesMonthly ProgramJune 2023
300 Hr Ashtanga Teacher’s Training for Intermediate Series (1-30)Monthly ProgramJuly 2023

The teacher training programs at Ashtanga Mysore Yoga are led by experienced yoga professionals who have spent years practicing and teaching Ashtanga Yoga. They provide an excellent learning environment and are dedicated to supporting students in their journey toward becoming skilled yoga instructors.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a yoga teacher or simply wish to deepen your yoga practice and knowledge, consider enrolling in the Teacher Training Course at Ashtanga Mysore Yoga. It can be an incredibly rewarding and life-changing experience that will positively impact your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.


There are a lot of myths surrounding Ashtanga Mysore yoga that can be quite intimidating for beginners. Here are a few common myths, and the facts that dispel them:

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Myth: I can’t attend Mysore style ashtanga yoga because I’m new to yoga or feel unable to do challenging postures.Fact: Mysore style ashtanga yoga is accessible to practitioners of all levels, including beginners. The practice is designed to be adapted to each individual’s needs and abilities, with the teacher providing modifications and variations as necessary.
Myth: You have to know the Ashtanga system to join a Mysore-style class.Fact: While it’s helpful to have some familiarity with the Ashtanga system, it’s not necessary to join a Mysore-style class. The teacher will guide you through the sequence one pose at a time, helping you to build your practice step by step.
Myth: Ashtanga yoga is only suitable for the young and fit.Fact: Ashtanga yoga is a practice that can be adapted to suit anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The key is to listen to your body, work at your own pace, and be patient with your progress.

It’s important to remember that the practice is intended to be a journey of self-discovery, not a competition or a performance. With the right mindset and guidance, anyone can benefit from the transformative power of Ashtanga Mysore yoga.


If you are interested in practicing Ashtanga mysore yoga, Auckland Yoga Academy offers daily classes in both Mysore Style and Beginners Talked Through. Ashtanga is a traditional form of yoga that offers a highly personalized approach that is tailored to each student’s individual needs and capacity. The mysore self-practice approach is how Sri K. Pattabhi Jois taught Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore City, India and is still the method transmitted to his students today.

In a self-practice class, poses are taught gradually based on the student’s ability and need, with verbal cues and hands-on assists given by the teacher as needed. This approach allows for one-on-one attention from a teacher and an opportunity to work at your own pace. Auckland Yoga Academy offers morning and evening Mysore style classes with Rose Ann and Judi.

Beginner classes are a fixed series of talked-through basic poses that are simplified for absolute beginners. This allows students to learn the fundamentals of Ashtanga before progressing onto the full sequences. As students become more experienced, they can then progress to the Primary Series, Intermediate Series, and Advanced Series A, B, C, and D.

Led classes are conducted at the end of each week in place of the regular Mysore Style practice. In a Led class, the teacher calls out the names of the poses, along with the counts, and the students move together in sync with the counts. Led class reinforces proper vinyasa and instills discipline and mental and physical strength in students.

Ashtanga Yoga Mysore observes Moon Days as rest days, bringing attention to our place in the cosmos. On these days, students are encouraged to take a break from their practice and engage in other self-care activities.


Ashtanga Yoga is a system of yoga that is derived from the ancient Hatha Yoga. It consists of a series of postures or asanas, each of which is linked to the breath in a flowing movement known as vinyasa. The Ashtanga System is composed of six series of asanas, and it is designed to be practiced daily.

The sequences of asanas in Ashtanga Yoga are therapeutic and progressive. Each series builds upon the previous one, allowing the student to deepen their practice over time. The six sequences in the Ashtanga System are:

Primary SeriesThe first series, which focuses on strengthening and aligning the body.
Intermediate SeriesThe second series, which focuses on opening the energy channels and purifying the nervous system.
Advanced Series AThe third series, which involves a series of challenging arm balances and inversions.
Advanced Series BThe fourth series, which includes more challenging arm balances and backbends.
Advanced Series CThe fifth series, which involves deep hip openers and arm balances.
Advanced Series DThe sixth series, which includes advanced backbends and arm balances.

Students learn a fixed order of asanas through vinyasa, which builds from the previous one. The practice is meant to be done in a specific order, so that the student can develop the strength, flexibility, and balance needed to progress to the next sequence.

Intensives and Workshops

If you’re looking to deepen your practice of Mysore style Ashtanga yoga, or to learn about it for the first time, consider attending one of the upcoming workshops available. These workshops offer a chance to learn under experienced teachers and develop greater mastery in the practice.

One popular option is the 30-day intensive Yoga Teacher’s Training Course, which offers students an exhaustive exploration of over 71 asanas. Participants will learn about alignment principles, adjustments, variations, use of props, anatomical aspects, risks, and benefits. This course is perfect for those looking to teach Mysore style Ashtanga yoga, or for those who simply want to deepen their knowledge and practice.

Benefits of a workshopBenefits of the intensive course
  • Opportunity to learn from experienced teachers
  • Develop greater mastery in the practice
  • Meet other like-minded practitioners
  • Gain tools to take your practice to the next level
  • Comprehensive study of asanas and alignment principles
  • Practice teaching under experienced instructors
  • Greater understanding of the anatomical aspects of the practice
  • Ability to teach Mysore style Ashtanga yoga upon completion

Make sure to research and choose a workshop or intensive that fits your schedule and goals. And remember, these opportunities are not only for advanced practitioners – all levels can benefit from deepening their understanding of Mysore style Ashtanga yoga.


Adjustments are a crucial aspect of Ashtanga Mysore Yoga practice. Experienced teachers use their hands to guide your body into a correct posture, helping you achieve better alignment. This not only prevents injuries but also improves your practice. In Mysore-style classes, the teacher is present but doesn’t lead the class. Instead, each student practices independently, and the teacher offers personalized adjustments to help them progress.

In Ashtanga Yoga, the movements are synchronized with breath and purify and strengthen both the body and mind. The practice is designed to be challenging, and proper adjustments can help you deepen your practice without overexerting yourself.

Benefits of AdjustmentsHow to Prepare for Adjustments
  • Prevent injuries
  • Improve alignment
  • Deepen your practice
  • Increase body awareness
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Arrive early to class so you can discuss any injuries or conditions with the teacher
  • Listen to your body and communicate with the teacher if something feels uncomfortable or painful
  • Stay open to the teacher’s guidance and be willing to try new things

Adjustments may feel strange or even uncomfortable at first, but they are essential for your growth as a practitioner. By allowing the teacher to guide you deeper into a pose, you will build strength, flexibility, and mental resilience.

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