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Photo of Ashtanga Yoga pose Visvamitrasana

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga as taught by the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India has two practice methods: "Mysore style" for individual instruction and "led class" for groups. The optimal way to learn – and the most suitable for beginners – is the traditional Mysore class. Each student practices their given sequence at their own pace with personal guidance, including hands-on adjustments, from the teacher.

You don't need any yoga experience to begin Mysore practice. Step by step you

learn the Primary Series, a dynamic flowing sequence of asanas (postures) incorporating ujjayi (a breathing technique), bandhas (internal "locks"), driste (gazing point) and vinyasa (breath-synchronized movement). All of these tools combined create heat in the body, improve flexibility, develop strength, build stamina and focus the mind.

The start time for Mysore practice is flexible, with students quietly coming and going during the class, each person completing their practice within the session time. Beginners should allow about 75 minutes. You are welcome to first observe a class and meet the teachers Cathy Louise, Glen and Yoko. For more info, check out The Guardian's article.