Ashtanga Yoga is a hatha yoga system. It developed in Mysore, India, where the main school (KPJois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) is located. Ashtanga Yoga includes over 300 yoga asanas (postures) grouped into four different series: Primary, Intermediate, Advanced A and Advanced B.
"Mysore Style" is the teaching method. Students are taught the postures one-on-one by the teacher. Our classes usually have about 20 students practicing at the same time. Some students have been coming for over ten years, are very experienced and practice 50 or more postures. There are also new students who are still learning the beginning of Primary series and are only practicing 12-18 postures. Everyone practices in the same room under the eye of the teacher who moves around the room assisting, adjusting, and teaching new students the next posture. As students learn the postures, more are added. In this way, students are always working on the number of postures which is appropriate for the student at that stage of learning. Friday and Sunday classes are led so that students can learn the correct count and pacing of the series. The led classes have a fast pace and are not for new students.
The Instructors: Teaching a Mysore class requires experienced instructors. KPJAYI only Authorizes teachers who have been to Mysore numerous times and who have many years of practice and teaching experience. Yoga East has two Authorized teachers: Laura Spaulding, who first went to Mysore in 1999 and has been teaching Mysore-style classes since 2002. Laura was first Authorized in 2004 and is now a Level 2 Authorized teacher. Karen Cairns, who graduated from Yoga East's Teacher Training program in 2004, and first went to Mysore in 2004, was Authorized in 2010. Laura and Karen are assisted by accomplished Ashtanga practitioners who maintain a dedicated daily practice.
Class Format: Monday through Thursday classes are "Mysore-Style". The studio opens at 5:45 am, the teacher begins teaching at 6:00 am, instruction ends at 8:00 am, and the studio closes at 8:15 am. Students may arrive anytime after 5:45 am and no later than 7:15 am to begin practice. Led classes meet on Friday at 6:00 am and Sunday at 7:30 am. New students will be told when you are ready for a led class.
How to Begin: Phone Laura Spaulding at 502-585-9642 to register for class or if you have questions about whether Mysore-Style Ashtanga is suited for you. Students who do not know the series must make a one-month commitment and attend a minimum of three days a week to establish a practice pattern and learn the series. Arrive at the studio between 6:00-7:15 am, Monday-Thursday. It's best to start on Monday. Do not come to the Led classes on Friday and Sunday until you are told.
Visiting Mysore Students from Out-of-Town: Call us at 502-585-9642 and leave a message to tell us you are coming. It is not necessary to get permission. Ashtanga practitioners from other Mysore shalas are welcome here. Register and pay online before you get to class to avoid having to pull the teacher away from class to register you. Book on the online schedule below.
Moon Days: In the Ashtanga tradition, Full Moon and New Moon days are rest days and classes are cancelled on those days. Moon days are indicated on the online calendar and the Moon Day calendar, below.
A Statement from Laura Spaulding on Pattabhi Jois.
David Swenson told us in teacher training in 1998 that he had heard about inappropriate touching by Pattabhi Jois. A student from Tim Miller's studio in Encinitas had brought old videos of Mr. Jois teaching classes, and one video showed Mr. Jois absent-mindedly resting his hand on the butt of a male student who was standing in a forward bend. In 1999, I visited Mysore and spent three months studying there. I was alone with Mr. Jois on numerous days because I was often the last student to finish practicing. I never experienced any inappropriate behavior from him, nor did I see anything involving other students. My impression was that if inappropriate touching had occurred, it was like what I saw in the video - done thoughtlessly perhaps, but without sexual intention.
Mr. Jois never harmed me and made me feel welcomed and valued as a student even though I was an unaccomplished beginner when I met him. Recently I'm told that Saraswathi addressed the issue in conference in NYC. I wasn't there and I don't want to misrepresent what was said, but my understanding was that Saraswathi said that all the incidents were related to adjustments he made in classes with other people present. Perhaps some of those adjustments were not appropriate. She also said that the way adjustments are given in Ashtanga has been changed - that there are some adjustments she now no longer gives.
Recently I removed some pictures of Pattabhi Jois from the studio. I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, plus I also don't want it to appear that I ascribe saintly or guru-like qualities to him that he didn't have. I also don't want my students to ascribe qualities to me that I don't have. I try to emulate the qualities he had: commitment to practice and teaching and love for this yoga.
-- Laura Spaulding
Classes in Mysore, India with Sharath Jois
Sharath's classes are not for new students. Students are required to have been to Mysore before or to have studied with a Certified or Authorized teacher for a minimum of two months before registering.
Yoga East Ashtanga Students Facebook Page
This is a closed group. Ask to join and someone will add you if you are a Yoga East Mysore student. This is an independent, student-run page and posts on this page do not reflect the opinions or policy of Yoga East.
Classes in Mysore, India with Saraswathi Jois
Students who are relatively new to the practice or who have never been to Mysore before should study with Saraswathi, Pattabhi Jois's daughter. You can register for 2, 3 or more weeks.
Morning Mysore class at the St Matthews Studio (which we did for this video). Early morning classes are held at Kentucky Street, 9:00 am classes at St Matthews.
|2018 Moon Days|
|Jan 1, 16, 31||Feb 15||Mar 1, 18, 31|
|Apr 15, 29||May 15, 29||June 13, 28|
|July 12, 27 (GP)||Aug 11, 26||Sept 9, 24|
|Oct 8, 24||Nov 7, 23||Dec 7, 22|
|2018 Yoga-Related Holidays|
|January 14 Makara Sankranti
Feb 13 Mahashivaratri (evening)
April 5 Rama Navami (birthday of Rama)
July 27 Guru Purnima (birthday of Pattabhi Jois)
August 26 Raksha Bandhan
September 2 Krishna Janmastami
September 12 Ganesha Caturthi
October 9 Navaratri
October 18 Duhssehra/ Vijayadashami
November 7 Diwali
November 23 Dev Diwali (Tripura Purnima)