About Mysore-Style Ashtanga Yoga

"Mysore Style" is the teaching method that developed in Mysore, India, the location of Ashtanga Yoga's founding school, the K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. This is the world's oldest form of yoga and is taught exactly as yoga is taught in India.  

Mysore Ashtanga Wikipedia Article

Requirements to Attend: New students must attend a minimum of 3 days a week (Monday-Thursday) for the first month.
You do not need to know anything about yoga or anything about Ashtanga Yoga.  We are going to teach you the Ashtanga series pose-by-pose, one-on-one in your first month. This is why we require that you attend Mysore classes at least three days a week for the first month.  Most students attend six days a week.  Students who attend less frequently have a hard time remembering the order of postures and don't experience Ashtanga Yoga as it is meant to be experienced.

Mysore-Style Yoga is Recommended for Seniors and Students with Injuries and Chronic Conditions. 40% of our Mysore students are over 50. We currently have two students who are 70-plus. This practice is excellent for yoga students of any age.  It doesn't matter if you have medical restrictions, limitations with mobility, joint replacements, or arthritis.  All that matters is the commitment to practice 3-6 times weekly.  The more you practice, the better you will feel - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Students who need a chair or the wall for assistance are easily accommodated.  Phone Laura at 502-585-9642 to set up your first class. 

Mysore-Style Yoga for Children and Teens.  In general, children should start yoga at age eleven or older and have a desire to learn and practice Ashtanga.  Younger children are sometimes ready.  Children are treated the same as the adult students. Children under age 12 must attend with a parent.  

Mysore Class Days & Times
Morning Mysore Practice Monday -Thursday, studio opens at 5:45 am and closes at 8:30 am. Teachers begin teaching at 6:00 am. Usually the assistants teach 6:00-7:00 am and Laura teaches 6:30-8:30 am, but this can vary. Ask Laura what time you should arrive at the studio for your practice.  Students who need to be at work get the earlier times.  Laura will assign you a time to start your practice. If you are new to Ashtanga, your first few weeks of classes will probably be 30-45 minutes long. 

Morning Mysore Led Class on Fridays: studio opens at 5:45 am. Led class begins promptly at 6:00 am and ends at 7:15 am. New students usually are required to attend Monday-Thursday before trying a led class. 

Morning Mysore Led Class on Sundays: studio opens at 7:15 am. Led class begins promptly at 7:30 am and ends at 9:00 am. New students usually are required to attend Monday-Thursday before trying a led class.  
Mysore Self-Practice on Thursdays 4:00-5:15 pm at Kentucky Street. This class is for experienced students who want to practice their Ashtanga series, long inversions, therapeutic sequences, backbends, rope wall, Yoga for Pain, or sequences from Light on Yoga.  

Mysore Long Inversions on Fridays (not currently meeting): 12:30-1:45 pm at the East End studio. This class practices holding headstand and should-stand variations for longer periods.  It is essential that you be able to hold headstand away from a wall for 3 minutes before attending this class. Sharath recommends this practice to build strength and endurance.

Saturday Intermediate Practice: meets 8:30-9:45 am at the East End studio. During Pattabhi Jois's life, classes were not held on Saturday. Ashtanga teachers like Tim Miller and Larry Schultz began offering Saturday classes based on Ashtanga Yoga that combined postures from all the series, practiced for fun. This class introduces experienced students to more complicated postures.
Register for Class
Mysore Membership is required for Mysore Classes. Groupons, Living Socials or Intro Offers are not accepted. We recommend you begin with Mysore Month Unlimited $120.
Mysore classes do not permit drop-ins.  Phone ahead to register or fill out and submit the form below.
Phone Laura Spaulding at 502-585-9642 during business hours Monday-Friday. Leave a message if she is not in and she will call you back.

Mysore Class Registration

We prefer that new students start class on Mondays. If Monday doesn't work, choose a Tuesday.  

Morning Mysore Class
Mysore Class with Saraswathi Jois, April 2015.
Mysore Class at Kentucky Street.
Class Fees
Mysore Memberships
Pay for All  Yoga East Classes.
Mysore Month Unlimited $120 
Drop-in $20
For out of town Mysore students or non-Mysore Members who want to attend Long Inversions or Saturday Practice.
Auto-Debit Membership $96
Are you a yoga teacher at another studio? Phone Laura for rates for teachers.

Benefits of a Regular Ashtanga Practice

Our students say that Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga...

  • Builds strength and flexibility;
  • Creates radiant health and well-being;
  • Improves chronic conditions;
  • Heals old injuries;
  • Frees one from old habits and patterns of depression, worry and anxiety;
  • Builds confidence, courage, enthusiasm and joy;
  • Enables one to be at one's best in any situation, no matter how difficult;
  • Makes one steadfast, compassionate, and light-hearted.
Moon Days
In the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, full moon and new moon days are rest days. There is no Mysore class on these days. Please mark your calendar.
2017 Moon Days
Jan 12, 27 Feb 10, 26 Mar 10, 26
Apr 11, 26 May 10 25 June 9, 23
July 9 (GP), 23 Aug 7, 21 Sept 6, 20
Oct 5, 19 Nov 4, 18 Dec 3, 18
2017 Yoga-Related Holidays
January 14 Makara Sankranti
Feb 24 Mahashivaratri (evening)

April 5 Rama Navami (birthday of Rama)
July 9 Guru Purnima (birthday of Pattabhi Jois)
August 7 Raksha Bandhana
August 14 Ganesha Caturthi
August 15 Krishna Janmastami

September 20 Navaratri 
September 30 Dussehra/ Vijayadashami
October 19
November 3 Dev Diwali (Tripura Purnima)
Mysore Etiquette

Mysore-Style Monday-Thursday: 
Studio Opens at 5:45 am and closes at 8:30 am.
Time your arrival so you have enough time to finish your practice by 8:15 am and leave the studio by 8:30 am.

Led classes start promptly at the time indicated. The studio opens 15 minutes before the start time of led class. Be considerate of others and arrive on time!

Parking: The first students who arrive should go to the end of the bridge and all others need to pull up right behind the car in front of you for easier parking. At Kentucky Street, do not block the entrance to the auto lot across the street. Do not leave valuables in your car. Lock purses and wallets in your trunk.

Bring your own mat. You might need a "Mysore mat" (available in our shop) and a hand towel if you sweat profusely. 

Maintain silence in the studio as a consideration to students who are in relaxation or meditation.

Finishing Postures are done in the small studio unless you need help with headstand. Do not practice extra postures that are not in your sequence, except for restorative poses or additional headstand-shoulderstand variations to build up your time in inversions according to Sharath's recommendations. There is a handout at the desk.

Do not go past the stopping point you have been given. Students who practice irregularly or develop injuries might be given a shorter sequence. Talk to Laura about adding postures if you think you are ready to move on to the next posture.

Shower before practice. Make sure your clothes, mats and towels are clean.

Do not bring water bottles, clothes, mat bags, props or anything else into the practice room. If you sweat a lot, you may use more than one towel. You should only have your sticky mat, Mysore mat and a towel. Everything else needs to be left in the cubbies. Do not leave your phone, wallet, or car keys in the cubbies by the door. Place them in the cubbies in the practice room.

Injuries: Bring any persistent aches or pains to the instructor's attention. Pain is not normal and indicates incorrect practice.

Going out of town? If you will be out of town, please write it on the roster so the teacher knows why you are absent.

Yoga East Mysore Instructors

Laura Spaulding KPJAYI Level 2Laura in Urdhva Kukkuttasana

Laura has been practicing hatha yoga since 1967. She began practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 1995 and met Pattabhi Jois in India in 1999. She studied with him every year until he died on May 18, 2009. Mr. Jois first authorized her to teach Ashtanga in 2004, and she received Level 2 Authorization from R. Sharath Jois, Pattabhi Jois's grandson and successor, in 2009. Laura continues to study at KPJAYI in Mysore, primarily with Sharath. 

Mysore Assistants: Laura is assisted by Joe Autry*, Erin Cronin*, Catherine Followell, Caroline Heine, Kate Mattingly, Gail Minotti*, Niki Parsons*, Alex Turner and John Virag - Mysore students who have maintained a dedicated practice for a substantial period of time, and have completed Primary series. * indicates the teacher has studied at KPJAYI in Mysore, India.

Karen Cairns is our Mysore Ashtanga teacher in Blacksburg, Virginia. Karen completed Yoga East's teacher training and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance at the 500 hour level. She studied Ashtanga with Laura Spaulding since 2001 as well as being a direct student of Shri K. Pattabhi Jois for six years, from 2002-2008. Karen continues to study every year in Mysore, India, at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) with R. Sharath Jois and was given Authorization Level 1 in April 2010.

Mysore Teaching Lineage

K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009)
Laura Spaulding met Pattabhi Jois and studied with him for ten years, from 1999 until his death in 2009.  

K. Pattabhis Jois met his teacher, Krishnamacharya, at  age 13 in 1927 in the village of Hassan, near the city of Mysore, India. Arising before dawn, Jois practiced yoga with Krishnamacharya before going to school. He continued to study with his teacher, first in Hassan and later in Mysore, until 1948 when Krishnamacharya moved to the city of Chennai, India. Jois began teaching classes at age 19 and taught regularly for over 70 years, until 2007. His school in Mysore, now called the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI), attracts students from all over the world.
Pattabhi Jois died on May 17, 2009.  His complete biography and an explanation of the Ashtanga Yoga system and photographs of the sequence of Primary series postures can be found on the KPJAYI website.

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1988)
htanga Yoga originated with Tirumalai Krishnamacharya  who actively taught yoga in the Mysore, India area from 1924-1955. His most famous students are B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois and T.K.V. Desikachar. 

Yoga East has hosted both Sharath and Saraswathi

Saraswathi Jois - Louisville Workshop April-May 2015
KPJAYI is now directed by Pattabhi Jois's daughter and grandson, Saraswathi Jois and R. Sharath Jois. Saraswathi received two certificates from Krishnamacharya and completed Advanced B series. A pioneer in the field of yoga, she was the first woman to graduate from the Sanskrit College of Mysore and the first woman yoga teacher to teach men and women yoga students together.  She has been teaching Ashtanga for many decades. Her son Sharath studied daily with K. Pattabhi Jois for over seventeen years and is now practicing Sixth Series.  Yoga students flock to Mysore from all over the world to study with them.
Believe it or not, we took Saraswathi and her daughter Sharmila to The Oaks.

Paramguru Sharath Jois is Director of the K P Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. We were privileged to be the first yoga shala in the U.S. to host Sharath for a full workshop, in June, 2003.
Sharath taught classes here at Yoga East for two weeks and showed us the correct form for Sanskrit-counted vinyasa for Primary Series. We presented Sharath with an Apple laptop and took him for a cruise on the Belle of Louisville.

Sharath's Louisville Visit 2003

Highlands Studio