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 for?
I first started attending Mysore classes in July 2013 after attending Cathy’s beginners Ashtanga course.
How often do you practice?
I try to practice 3 times a week.
What made you start mysore practice?
I started Mysore practice after really getting a buzz out of the dynamic nature of the Ashtanga sequence. My mum is an Iyengar yoga teacher and I have been surrounded by mats, blocks etc in my parents house for as long as I can remember. I myself have always been active first with ballet and swimming and then pounding the gym but I had never found a form of yoga that I really took to.
I signed up for the early morning Mysore sessions straight after finishing my beginner’s block of lessons. I will always remember my first Mysore class. Entering the room wide eyed, I was clutching onto my piece of paper with the diagramatical sequence of poses to help me remember. Cathy calmly and positively suggested that I shouldn’t need it and slowly but surely the energy in the room carried me along. The room was already full of students of different levels. I looked on in admiration, and still do, at what some people can achieve. It is really inspirational to be surrounded by such dedicated and hard working students!
What benefits do you feel from it?
One of the reasons I wanted to practice yoga regularly was due to a sore back. I am a dentist and like most, my posture at work is poor, an occupational hazard. I had tried many things to alleviate these constant twinges and being fit and active at the gym wasn’t helping. I can now say, due to my regular practice, I no longer suffer from any sort of back ache. Yoga has definitely helped my posture and overall strength of body and mind. No matter what stresses I encounter in my life, yoga helps to clear my mind and focus.
What have you found most challenging about the practice? What do you find the most rewarding?
There is no doubt about it, I do find dragging myself out of bed at 5.30am an ongoing challenge. However, when I’m there and start my practice and feel the energy in my body from breath and movement I know why I got out of bed!
The Ashtanga primary sequence is a constant personal challenge, but if I look back at where I started to what I can achieve now it is very rewarding. The pose I find to be most challenging being Marichyasana D. Can I make what I feel impossible possible? We’ll see.
What is your favourite posture?
I think my favourite posture is Urdhva Dhanurasana or backbend. I find the immense stretch entirely gratifying. I remember seeing a student drop back into a back bend in one of the first Mysore classes and being totally awe struck by this. Now, with assistance, this is part of my routine, which leaves me buzzing with energy. Some days, after a really good session, I feel like I can glide to work.