Ashtanga Yoga is named after the eight limbs (ashta= eight, anga= limb) as mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of sage Patanjali.
The first four limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are external practices (yama = restrictions, niyama = observations, asana= yoga posture, pranayama = breath control), and the remaining four are internal practices (pratyahara = withdrawal of the senses, dharana = concentration, dhyana = meditation and samadhi = contemplation). The last four limbs are internal and unfold gradually as a result of practicing the first four limbs.
We start the practice from the third limb, asana or yoga posture, which is the most important tool for a yoga practitioner. Asana practice makes one healthy and brings stability to the body/mind. Asana is also the gateway to the more subtle aspects of yoga.
A dedicated, regular yoga practice enables one to see through the patterns of the mind, and gradually liberate oneself from the tensions and disturbances of the mind in order to experience one's true Self: purusha, that is eternal and blissful.
MYSORE STYLE PRACTICE
At Mysore style classes, you learn to do the asana practice at your own pace, following the rhythm of your breath.
It is a safe way of learning the postures as you will not need to keep up with other people's practices, but simply to focus on your own and learn to do the practice gradually and without hurry.
It is important to learn the correct vinyasa (the method of combining the breath and the movement), and to learn the sequence by heart. Therefore, it is always better to start with a simple practice and add more asanas gradually.
In Mysore style classes, everyone is guided individually. At an online class, the instructions are mainly given verbally. If you have any questions or hesitations about your practice, remember that you can always ask me for advice.
The name Mysore comes from the city of Mysore in Southern India, where this method has been taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois, and is currently taught by his daughter Saraswathi Jois and grandson (my teacher) R Sharath Jois.
A guided class counted in Sanskrit and English as in Mysore, India.