Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mysore Class

This morning, Azmi changed our Ashtanga Led class to a Mysore-style class.   There were only four of us in the class and we started by doing five rounds of Sun Salutation A and five rounds of Sun Salutation B on our own pace.    Following that, we went into the standing and sitting poses and ended with the closing sequence of backbends, shoulder stand and head stand poses. I was glad that I could remember the sequence of the poses up to the sitting postures although today was the first Ashtanga class after one week of no Ashtanga classes due to Azmi being away.  

I found the class to be fun and full of energy as we were all trying our best to go into the poses.  It was challenging without being overwhelming.  Azmi went round assisting and adjusting us individually in the poses, helping us to go deeper in the forward bends and helping us to bind our hands in the twisting poses. 

A Mysore class is different from other yoga classes as each student learns and practices the Ashtanga poses at their own pace.  I find that a Mysore class would requires a deeper level of commitment than the other classes as we have to memorize the sequence of the poses. But I love the high energy of the class as everyone was so deeply engrossed in their poses with only the sound of our collective breathing and occasionally Azmi’s voice giving instructions for the next pose for those who were not sure of the sequence of the poses being heard in the room.   

I had a fantastic workout and I am looking forward to the next Mysore class.  I believe that a regular Mysore practice will bring my practice to a new level as it requires me to be more focused as as well as allowing space and time for my personal practice to blossom. 

"Then there are those moments that make it all worthwhile. I’m carried on my breath like a leaf on the wind: folding, arching, twisting, bending, leaping lightly from one posture to the next. My body tingles with energy; my mind is quietly absorbed in the hypnotic rhythm of practice. The poses seem strung on the breath like prayer beads on a mala; I enter each one to the best of my ability, savoring the silky stretches, the pleasurable ache of muscles taxed to their edge." -  Anne Cushman, Yoga Journal, January/February 1995

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