what is ashtanga

Ashtanga Yoga is a traditional system of yoga practice. It is said that 5000 years ago, Vamana Rishi wrote about it in Yoga Korunta, the manuscript of which disappeared long time ago. The text was orally taught to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois when he studied with Krishnamacharya in 1927. That is the origin of Ashtanga Yoga.

Pattabhi Jois brought Ashtanga Yoga to the world, and now his grandson Sharath Jois is still teaching devotedly to keep the tradition alive and thriving.
Ashtanga Yoga involves synchronizing the breaths with movements, which is called “vinyasa.” The practice gets progressively more challenging with consistent practice after a period of time . It produces intense internal heat and a purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. Sharthji often says it is a moving meditation. Although it has the benefits of doing exercise, it also helps improve focus and relieve anxiety in daily life.

All beginners start with Surya Namaskara. The teacher will slowly help students build up their personal practice in accordance to their memory, stamina and flexibility. The restorative power and efficacy of the Ashtanga Yoga system is in the consistency of the practice and the steadiness of the teaching.

It is different from general yoga classes which focus mainly on the alignment of postures. Ashtanga Yoga also stresses free breathing with sound and drishti, the gazing point. Breath, drishti and asana combined together creates an effective practice that helps build up inner peace and focus.
By tradition, we practice 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday in our shala. We take rest on Sunday and moon days, and women should also take rest for 3 days during menstruation. If this is too much for you, start from 3 days a week, and you will slowly see the change in your mind and body.For Mysore practice, Monday to Friday, students can come any time between 6 and 8:30 a.m. and practice by themselves under the teacher’s guidance. Practice should be done before 9:30 a.m..

Led class on Saturday is for more seasoned Ashtanga yoga practitioners who have been coming to Mysore classes regularly. Led classes are counted in traditional Sanskrit for a synchronised group practice of the sequence. It is not suitable for beginners and those who do not know the sequence well. We will let you know if you are suitable for this class.>It is important that students trust their teacher and follow the teaching. Since the teacher observe and adjust you every day, he or she knows where your limit is and how to help you grow. All you have to do is trust the teacher and be patient.
The best way to learn Ashtanga Yoga as a beginner is in a Mysore class. In this context beginners are taught individually and can be guided at a pace that is ideal for each student. Students are taught new asanas and progress through the series appropriate to their unique conditions and abilities. Usually the first week we start with Suryanamaskar A & B and a little standing poses, and then we progress at an appropriate pace. If you are new to Mysore, we offer a one-week special pass for Taiwan residents. You are welcome to email us for details!
  • Wear comfortable, stretchy clothing.
  • Bring your own mat and towel if you have one. We also have studio mats and towels for rent if you need them.
  • Please arrive 10–15 minutes before any non-mysore class.
  • Refrain from eating 3 hours before practice.
  • Try not to drink during practice.
  • Do not talk to other students during practice.
  • Keep your phone and personal belongings in the locker. Keep the practice area around your mat clean.
  • Keep your yoga clothes scent-free. Do not wear perfume either.
  • Keep your mat clean and scent-free.
  • Be mindful of others practicing around you. Do not disturb or accidentally harm other students.
  • Take rest on Moon days and Sunday.
  • Yoga Shala is for the learning and practice of the traditional method of Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Sharathji only. Do not practice any other non-ashtanga practice in our shala.