Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic, structured, and intelligent approach to the practice of yoga postures, and is composed of both practical and spiritual aspects. The practical portion has been traditionally taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in two ways; Mysore style and led class.
In the Mysore class, new students are instructed individually, and taught small amounts of a sequence of poses that increase each day according to the capacity of the student. When practiced in a consistent manner, the poses strengthen, purify and align the body, breath and mind. When the initial poses of the sequence have been committed to memory – which does not take very long – new postures are introduced, adding to the sequence when the student is ready. The teachers are present to give help in the poses as needed, and to answer questions that may arise.Through vinyasa, there is continuity by way of the breath from asana to asana. In the Ashtanga sequence, each asana builds from the previous – and prepares for successive – asanas.
Mysore style is a simple, effective and ancient method of learning yoga. A beginner can expect their first class to last about 45-60 minutes. The practice will gradually increase in length up to about an hour and a half.
The led class is the more typical style yoga class that is offered in the West, where the teacher instructs the group together, leading the class through the 48 postures of the primary series.