Mysore Etiquette by Cara Jepsen / Kali Om, for tomorrow's Mysore 101 workshop at Yoga Now
You may arrive and leave at any time during the class
Enter and leave quietly. Try to place your mat without too much drama
For best results, come at least three times a week
Let the teacher know about any injury or condition you have
Once you get on your mat, stay. Take care of bathroom duties before class
Stop when/where the teacher asks you to stop
Do not drink water, as this destroys the internal purifying heat. Traditionally, no water is taken 20 minutes before or after practice, either
It’s OK to ask questions or wait for an adjustment. Just try to keep the volume low
Try to use ujjayi breath, dristi (gaze), vinyasa and bandhas as you practice
Do Primary Series the first time you practice in a new place / with a new teacher, or after travel
Traditionally, practice is not done on the new and full moon and ladies do not practice for three days during their cycle
If pressed for time, tell the teacher. In general, the sun salutations, standing poses and closing poses are most important. Do not skip the poses you don’t like.
Learn everything you can about the pose you’re working on, such as its name and meaning. Look up others doing the pose, and try to learn from them. You may do your “nemesis” pose three times in class, or hold it for a long time.
Every pose has a correct vinyasa – a specific way to enter and exit. When in doubt, ask
Those who sweat a lot should bring two towels – one for you and one for the teacher
Practice saucha (cleanliness) on your person and your clothes, mat, towel, etc.
Try not to come to class reeking of garlic, onions or meat. Yogis historically do not consume these items. A sattvic (mild) vegetarian diet is traditional, and yields the best results
Remember the words of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: “Ashtanga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory” and “Do you practice and all is coming.” And keep in mind that the three greatest obstacles to practice are sleep, laziness and disease.
Text (c) 2012 by Kali Om. Photo (c) 2002 by Cara Jepsen