I often receive messages that folks are intimidated to start Mysore style yoga. “It looks too advanced.” I certainly understand why! If you google images of Ashtanga Mysore style you will see some crazy stuff. Legs behind heads and confusing twists that both look inspiring and impossible. No one starts that way. It’s like looking up baking recipes and thinking you should start with a chocolate soufflé.
I once had a new student describe Mysore classes as “Yoga for adults” because you are taught bits of choreography at a time. Ultimately, it’s up to the practitioner to remember and execute postures in accordance to their breath and ability. The teacher will potentially point some patterns out or new approaches but in the end, the student makes the decisions.
In my opinion, this level of student independence is crucial to personal development. As in, the desire to be a better human for you and for others. Empowered with repetitive technique, the student can take practice anywhere, learning to trust their body and what it needs. It sounds easy but it takes discipline! (Yoga for adults.) Taking responsibility for your actions. Showing up to your mat or rug and dedicating some minutes to LISTENING! Not asking your body to play along with your mind’s intentions but the other way around; using a familiar framework to go inside.
It would be much easier to be told what to do every turn. At least I think so for me! Inhale stick my foot here, put my arm here…blah blah. But in truth, so many of us already spend so much of the day doing that already! You have projects to get done and someone or something that demands things of you.
Treat yourself to some self-guided yoga. Yes, in the beginning you are taught the steps, but over time you can enjoy the freedom that practice creates; challenging your beliefs and conceptions of who you really are and what you are meant to do.