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Ashtanga Yoga: MySore Style

I wanted to talk to you about how I finally found my favorite yoga style.  I think finding my ideal yoga style, may have been the thing that was holding me back previously, from committing fully to yoga.  My yoga style is Ashtanga yoga, Mysore style!

It's so important when beginning a yoga program to experiment a little and personalize your yoga routine.  There are so many burgeoning styles out there so finding the right fit is important when making the commitment.

Yoga is a lifestyle, some may even say it's a religion.  It's so much more than one thing.  It has counterparts.  It's up to you to find your counterpart.

I plan on writing an upcoming post on how to find your yoga style, but for now, I want to share with you how I came to love and decide on Ashtanga yoga: my sore style.  I imagine if you're new to yoga or just hearing this, it must sound strange to you.

It sounded strange to me at first too.  Upon doing some research, I realized this was exactly the style that I was practicing all along!  Read on, to discover more about this form of Ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga: What Is It?

Let's start with Astanga yoga for a moment, since my sore style goes hand-in-hand with this yoga style.  If you too practice yoga, you may be surprised to find that you already practice these poses.

What is Ashtanga yoga?  Astanga yoga is about matching breath and movement and producing a natural, internal heat.  It detoxifies the entire body, including the muscles and organs.

That's why I always say that yoga feels like a body massage inside and out.  It almost feels as if it's wringing toxins out of your organs and muscles too.

The longer version of it is that it's an intense form of vinyasa, as you perform a sequence of five asana series.  This is a tough version of vinyasa.  Ashtanga is an eight limb branch of yoga.

Basically, you learn all five sets of asanas (for example, sun salutations), and then you practice them every day.  In classes, you might move quickly through a flow or sequence.

With Ashtanga, be prepared to hit every muscle in your body and to practice almost every day.  It's a commitment, but it's totally worth it.

Mysore Style: Ashtanga Yoga

Now that we've covered all our bases with Astanga yoga, let's talk about what Mysore style is.  In a yoga class, my sore style would be where the yoga instructor goes around, giving one on one.

Instruction of one on one in a yoga class then gives the student a chance to practice those same poses at home in perfect alignment.  This also means that you can go at your own pace and hold a pose for longer until you get it right.

This applies to an at-home yoga practice too.  You are able to learn all the sequences and poses in your own time, in a self-taught environment.  It's like personalizing your entire yoga experience!

When I first started yoga, back in my late twenties, I didn't know about the different styles.  I do remember that I would practice long poses that matched my breath.  Afterwards, I would do at least five minutes of meditation, usually in corpse pose (that's my favorite for meditating).

Upon doing some research, I realized that the moves I was practicing were Ashtanga, and it was always the same set of poses.  I even taught them to my daughter Chloe.

I never really liked a classroom environment either.  I've never really been a gym person either.  I've always been a self-starter and a self-learner and that's what Mysore style is all about.

It's about going at your own pace and focusing on poses longer so that you can learn how to align yourself perfectly.  Ashtanga yoga: Mysore style is my kind of yoga.  What's yours?

(Credit:  All photography for this post was taken by Canema Wilson of KismetCouture in Sedona, Arizona)

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