As an Ashtanga teacher of many years I have been asked countless times about the Mysore style self practice approach of teaching this wonderful practice.... this mysterious, scary and intimidating approach to Yoga that must only be for the advanced Yoga students amongst us! The Mysore style is of course beneficial and accessible for every level of practitioner and it is this approach has the power to take your Yoga practice to a much deeper and more profound level of experience.
Our Ashtanga Yoga practice has the potential to bring about real change in our lives beyond the mat. The Ashtanga Yoga system has a rich range of tools and techniques. As Guruji said it is a ‘scientific method’ for personal transformation. If you follow the method you will get predictable results.
But what stops our practice from becoming just exercise? How can we make our Yoga practice meaningful and truly transformative in the way that Guruji intended?
Yoga offers a path to personal freedom, an opportunity to free yourself of the conditioned thinking and see yourself and the world as it truly is. To achieve the fruits of this promise we simply have to learn to become present ...and truly be in experience our practice, bringing our senses inward to what is going on right now.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? In a sense the theory and the words are it really is but as Guruji is reported to have said ‘This practice very simple, very fine....this practice very hard!’
So returning to our question why Self practice? Well the self practice environment offers up the ideal place in which to develop and cultivate the art of being present in your practice.
A led practice by it’s very nature will tend to lead the senses outward... to the sound of the teachers voice, the language of the instructions and then to the process of interpreting those instructions. With senses drawn outward and the mind working to interpret will tend to take us out of the present moment... away from the experience that is occurring in our bodies.
The self practice in contrast supports an internal journey, a quiet withdrawal of the senses to the experience of what is happening in the body …..and allows us to the opportunity to become more present.
So if you are really serious about using your Ashtanga Yoga practice as a vehicle for personal and spiritual development, to move beyond exercise, then the ideal approach is through the Mysore self practice space...... as a teacher and Yoga practitioner the question turns around and becomes instead ......
Why not Mysore?
Andy Gill will be co-teaching a workshop on exploring the power and depth of Mysore style with Sarah Vaughan at Yoga Hutch on Sunday 15th January 2017 14:00-17:00 £40
Visit www.theyogahutch.com for more details and bookings