Who comes to Mysore class? Why do they come?
A series of posts presenting some of our regular mysore students, and their experience of mysore practice, in their own words.
How long have you been attending Mysore classes?
Around 2.5 years.
How often do you practice?
I aim to practice 4/5 times per week.
What made you start Mysore practice?
It took a bit of gentle persuasion by Cathy. I had been attending her Led Classes and I wanted to learn more about Ashtanga and develop my practice. I was very reluctant to give Mysore a go at first due to the early mornings and the element of self-practice. I was worried that my practice wasn’t good enough or that I would forget the sequence. I quickly discovered that Mysore is for everyone regardless of ability/knowledge. Plus Ashtanga is an oral tradition and if you forget what comes next just ask!
What effects has the practice had on your life?
Early Mornings!!!!! There is no denying the fact that practising Mysore involves getting up and getting on your mat when most people are still in their bed. I am not a morning person but with a little effort, planning and self-discipline it’s achievable. In fact for me this practice of self-discipline is the essence of my yoga practice.
What benefits do you feel from it?
The most obvious outward benefit of my practice is that I am physically healthier. The practice has improved my flexibility and has significantly developed my strength and stamina.
The practice develops breath and body awareness and I’ve found that it is a way of stilling my mind. As a result I have generally become calmer and less stressed (both on and off my mat). It has also piqued my interest in other practices such as meditation and I feel I have become a kinder more compassionate person towards myself and other people as well as generally having a more positive outlook on life.
What’s your favourite posture?
This is a very difficult question for me to answer as this has changed many times since I have been practising Mysore and sometimes it changes on a daily basis. A common criticism of Ashtanga is the repetitive nature of doing the same sequence day after day, yet I’ve found that as my practice has developed my understanding of each pose is becoming richer and there is always something new to be discovered and enjoyed.
I am always thrilled when I bind in Marichyasana D – the mechanics of the pose were a mystery to me when I first started Mysore but with consistent/persistent practice it has become available to me. Practice and all is coming!
My favourite pose to be adjusted in is Baddha Konasana – it comes after all the sexy stuff in the primary series (Bhujapidasana & Supta Kurmasana). It is an intense but subline groin and hip opener that gets deeper than any massage.