Following with my trials in different schools in Berlin, this month I experiment Ashtanga Yoga Berlin School in Mitte. This school teaches only Ashtanga Vinyasa, and it is specialized in Mysore style, which is totally different of the common Yoga classes in the West.
Mysore is a specific way of teaching Ashtanga Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois where the class is not led as a whole, but rather each student practice the Ashtanga sequence on their own and the teacher makes one-on-one adjustments. Even though the Ashtanga sequence never changes, each student is given their routine according to their ability. The first time you come to an Ashtanga studio the teacher will start giving you the sequence, and once you mastered a pose you can follow to the next.
My first time in a Ashtanga studio was back in Brazil, so I already had knowledge of Mysore style and the sequence. I also did some LED Ashtanga classes here in Berlin and in India, where the teacher lead the students through the Ashtanga sequence like a normal Yoga class, so I was familiar with this style of Yoga and is actually my favourite even though I never managed to practice as much as I would like to. I really like Ashtanga cuz is a very intense and active practice combining the movement with the breath, and using vinyasa for transitioning from pose to pose.
Either way, this intensive month of Ashtanga Yoga was absolutely great. The teachers of Ashtanga Yoga Berlin are amazing, specially Grischa which is the founder of the school. The instructions and adjustments they gave me were so detailed I feel I have improved a lot in many postures. It also helped me to understand more about the foundation of some postures as well as how to avoid future injuries, for example on my back bending which I was putting a lot of compression on my lower back. In this case I learned I should first work on opening the chest and releasing my tight shoulders before attempting the back bends. As the adjustment is very personal in Mysore style, the teacher is very attentive to how you perform the pose and therefore the explanations are also very individual.
In my opinion this is one of the best methods to learn yoga, the pose is given to you by the teacher and you get full attention when you are learning it. The sequence itself is brilliant and each pose when performed correctly helps the body building the strength and flexibility needed for following posture. I’m a true believer that trough a diligent practice most people can progress in the sequence and master all the poses, at least this is my hope, as Patthabi Jois famous quote says ‘Do your practice and all is coming’.