Have you ever considered moving from an Ashtanga led class to a Mysore self practice class? With the beginning of the new year, it might be a good moment to expand your practice and try something new.
We understand that it can seem like a rather intimidating step to let go of the guidance of the teacher and shape your own practice. Especially the first step towards the Mysore room can be a challenge. Because what can you expect? In reality a Mysore practice is not as intimidating as it might seem. It is a wonderful way to go deeper into your yoga practice, whether you are a beginner or a more advanced practitioner.
You can drop into a Mysore session at a flexible time, adjust the length of your practice to the amount of time you have and practice at your own pace. But there is more to gain. By self-practicing Ashtanga Mysore you will learn valuable lessons that will also benefit you in your daily life.
We've highlighted three important lessons that you can take straight from the Mysore room into your every day life.
1. Listen to your inner guidance
Have you ever caught yourself secretly comparing yourself to your neighbour during a led class? And is that something you do in other parts of your life as well? Maybe in your work situation or on social media for example?
During your self-practice, you learn to keep the focus inside and not to be distracted by what others are doing. It's all about you and your inner experience of the practice.
In the Mysore room you are encouraged to move at your own pace and to listen to your breath. The cue to move on to the next posture comes from your own breath, instead of a teacher’s instructions. The teacher is there to support and guide you in finding your own path and learning how to navigate through the series of postures.
The practice teaches you not to care so much about others, but instead to listen to your own inner guidance and become your own teacher. And that skill is going to help you to be less sensitive to what others say or do in everyday life as well.
2. Increase your self-discipline
Do you give up on your goals too easily? Or do you never follow up on your good resolutions? Here again the yoga mat can be a microcosmos that prepares you for success in everyday life. Self-discipline, or tapas in Sanskrit, is an important element of self-practice and can be described as learning to use one’s body and mind to go in one direction. Especially for an untrained mind, this can be a struggle in the beginning. Building your Mysore practice can help you to develop self-discipline, so you can eventually carve out the space to find your purpose or passion. Because after a while you will notice that by getting on your mat day after day, your mind and body will adjust to the new routine. And that what was a struggle before, now becomes a gift to yourself. The self-discipline you’ve been developing has helped you gaining access to new levels of peace, joy and calm within yourself. And you will experience the benefits of this new way of living also off the mat.
3. Learn to enjoy the silence
How many messages and emails do you receive per day? And how much time do you spend on social media? Yes, we are all flooded with outside stimuli. That's why it's good to give your nervous system a break every now and then.
In the Mysore room, there exists the opportunity for complete silence. Often only a few words may need to be exchanged between a student and their teacher throughout the whole class. For the rest, you will only be embraced by the sound of the breath, your own and that of the other practitioners in the room. For some, particularly those who are used to being guided, the silence can be confronting. But just as silence in a library allows you to become immersed in the subject that you’re reading, silence in the Mysore room supports a focused and calm state of mind that you will bring into your day.
Are you curious what hidden treasures the Mysore self practice holds for you? Please be welcome in our Introduction to Ashtanga Mysore Special Class at Weteringschans on the 22nd of January (9:30-11:00). This class is accessible with your Delight membership or Delight Card.
Register via the class schedule.
For more practical information about the Mysore Program at Delight Yoga please visit this page.