Mysore style refers to the way ashtanga yoga was taught by Pattabhi Jois at his shala in Mysore, India, and the way the system continues to be taught by his daughter, Saraswathi and his grandson, Sharath. Mysore style is an unled class, where all students arrive within the time frame specified and everyone practices at their own pace and according to what the teacher has taught them to do. In mysore class, each student receives individual attention, based on their needs. At the same time, the student develops independence and responsibility for their own practice. By being inwardly focused on ones own practice, instead of outwardly focused on a teacher’s instructions, the student is better able to achieve the meditative state we all hope to achieve in our yoga practice.
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Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of yoga that was taught to Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, by his guru, Krishnamacharya. The Ashtanga system is a set series of postures, with all movements linked together with the breath. During practice we are meant to bring our awareness to three things: the physical postures we are completing (asana), our breath, and a gazing point (dristi). By using our body, breath, and mind in this manner, and through dedicated and diligent practice, we are able to achieve a state of calm and harmony within ourselves. The hope is, that as we become more adept at finding this calm, and centering ourselves in our bodies, we will be able to approach the rest of our lives with an equal sense of calm and centeredness.