Ashtanga Yoga
Mysore Style

April 23 2017

Why to get up early each morning and practice an arduous routine?

The body—mind continuum is a rigid thing and we need to work it diligently on a daily basis if we want to hope for transformation. We are constantly at risk of falling victim to inertia, becoming dull and senseless. Even more so since we freed our lives from the actual struggle for survival. This progress of civilization brought with it an alienation from the living world and made the gaping abyss of meaninglessness even more inevitable. It left us prematurely in a state deprived of this nurturing immediacy that makes it all too easy to forget what we truly are — Spiritual beings having a human experience rather than human beings having a spiritual experience (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). And a way to overcome this false identification is Ashtanga yoga, the eight-limbed path, as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras (see also this previous post about the topic).

The third of these limbs is asana (posture), a multi-faceted tool for being here now, dealing with the actuality of your human existence. Instead of spending life in a confused state of habit and avoidance. The term Mysore Style means you practice a memorized sequence without being led by a teacher. The role of the teacher is to guide as well as provide adjustments or assists in postures.

Photography by Graeme Montgomery
From the book ‘Mysore Style’ published in 2006

If we practice the science of yoga, which is useful to the entire human community and which yields happiness both here and hereafter — if we practice it without fail, we will then attain physical, mental, and spiritual happiness, and our minds will flood towards the Self.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois