The first day in a Mysore style Ashtanga yoga studio can be an exciting and somewhat intimidating experience, especially if you’re new to this style of yoga. Here’s what you can expect on your first day:
Before: Reach out here to give us a heads up that you’re coming!
Observe the class (optional): Before you jump into the practice, you’ll observe the class and watch the other students practicing. This is a great opportunity to see the flow of the class and get a sense of what to expect. This is optional for those who know they want to get started.
Arrive: Show up after 7:30 (during the week, 9:15 on the weekends). If you’re new to Ashtanga, your teacher will be waiting for you. Odds are good you’ve scheduled a start time vetoed coming in. Haven’t gotten a start time? Go here and get one! Already have an established practice? Feel free to just get started. Check the schedule to see when the doors open and when the teacher starts.
Chat with the instructor: After observing the class, the instructor will checkin. They’ll ask about any injuries or health concerns you may have so that they can provide modifications or adjustments during the practice.
Arrange Yourself: During Mysore, mats aim towards the windows. Leave a pathway in the back of the room. Put your valuables in a locker. Leave your water bottle there, too.
Begin your practice: Once you’ve met with the instructor, you’ll begin your practice. The teacher will show you a little bit of the practice, and then let you get it out. In Mysore style, the practice is self-led, which means that you’ll move through the sequence at your own pace, with the instructor offering individualized guidance and adjustments as needed.
Practice in silence: In a Mysore style class, there is typically no music and personalized verbal cues from the instructor. You’ll move through the sequence in general silence, focusing on your breath and your movement. The breath sounds beautiful, but there’s also a lot of laughter at times, too.
End the practice: When you’ve completed your practice, you’ll end in savasana, or final relaxation, before taking a few minutes to meditate or reflect on your practice.
Overall, the first day in a Mysore style Ashtanga yoga studio is a unique experience that requires some patience and focus. It’s wise to start slowly and learn at a pace that feels good. Not too fast, not too slow.
It’s important to remember that everyone in the class is there to support you, and the instructor is there to help you achieve your goals and develop a lifelong practice. With time and practice, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident in your practice, and you’ll begin to experience the transformative benefits of Ashtanga yoga.