In a Mysore class the postures are taught sequentially, allowing students to develop at a pace that is suitable to each individual. Students will develop a self-practice that is done at their own pace and taught to them over time by their teacher. This makes it ideal for students of any ability (beginners to advanced, injured or not) so long as they are able to commit to the practice.
Each student is given their yoga routine according to their ability.
Newer and more beginning students tend to have a much shorter practice than do those with more experience. As one gains more strength, stamina, flexibility and concentration, additional postures are given to the student. The sense of the word “given” in this context comes from how the practice is taught in India, where a yoga practice is something that a teacher gives to a student as a spiritual practice. In the West, people are accustomed to learning a lot of postures all at once – such as in a typical modern “led” yoga class. One advantage of the “Mysore” method is that, because it teaches yoga according to one’s individual capacity, it accommodates everyone of all levels even those without any prior yoga experience; and hence the class is neither too difficult nor not advanced enough for anyone.
Postures are given, one by one in a sequential order. The structure of the class depends on the teacher being able to keep track of what every student is doing with a quick glance. If students attempt something out of sequence, the teacher is less able to help in the appropriate way. If a student has trouble with a particular posture, the teacher can offer a modification that is consistent with the intention of the practice.
One by one also means that once a student is given a new posture, they practice their sequence up to that posture, then do backbends if applicable (backbending is the climax, not a part of the finishing sequence), and then wind down with the finishing sequence. In general, the next posture in the sequence should be added/taught/learned only after obtaining stability in one’s last posture.
The Mysore method – as is any hatha yoga practice – is intended to be a daily practice.
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