What is The Garage Yoga Ashtanga Mysore Program?

Garage Yoga is a traditional Ashtanga Yoga Mysore program led by Liza DiGaetano in San Diego, California.

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga means eight-limbed yoga. It is the eight disciplines described by the great Sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The eight limbs are:

niyama -observances,
pratyahara-sense withdrawal
dharana -concentration
samamdi-unification of subject and object.

Of these eight disciplines asana becomes the tangible catalyst that helps us to understand, experience, and live the remaining seven limbs.

The Ashtanga Yoga method finds its foundations in the ancient text, Yoga Korunta, by Vamana Rishi. His student, Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, instructed this text to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900′s in a cave in Tibet. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the guru of the Ashtanga yoga system, learned the teachings of the Yoga Korunta while he studied with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.

The Ashtanga Yoga method is based on the concept of vinyasa. Vinyasa in Sanskrit means to place in a specific way. This refers to the sequencing of the asanas (Ashtanga yoga contains 6 series of sequenced asana) and also to the interconnection of breath with specific movements.

The interlinking of deep, even breathing and movement allows blood to circulate properly in the body. This process creates tremendous internal heat that results in a cleansing, perfuse sweat. In addition, every posture has a prescribed steady gaze. This strengthens the ability to concentrate and over time allows the practice to unfold as a moving meditation. Ashtanga Yoga was designed to stabilize the body, mind and ultimately the nervous system so we become more resilient, peaceful, connected, healthy people in the world.

Ashtanga Yoga is traditionally instructed pose by pose in the proper sequential order. The student is expected to memorize the sequence and master each asana before moving on to the next.

Ashtanga Yoga is the father of all vinyasa yoga, as we know it today. This traditional method requires patience, dedication, courage, faith and determination. More over than anything else, Ashtanga Yoga is a discipline that sets the foundation for a happy, balanced and peaceful life.

What is Mysore style class?

Mysore style is the most traditional and historic method of practicing yoga. It is named after the birth city of the Ashtanga yoga practice, Mysore, India where the late Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois lived and taught continuing the lineage of teachings from his guru, Krishnamacharya.

Mysore class is based on individualized instruction between student and teacher. The teacher gives the student a sequence of postures to perform. During this process the teacher provides personalized and detailed instruction pose by pose. The teacher explains correct breathing, bandha engagement, alignment, gazing point (dristi) and all other necessary elements of the practice. The practice is learned gradually by repetition in this manner. Over time, the student is expected to commit the series to memory.

In this unique class you develop tremendous trust in your teacher and therefore in yourself. You learn to take responsibility for your own yoga practice and it becomes part of you. This method allows students to learn some of the most advanced postures safely and with confidence.

By committing yourself to regular practice of one yoga style and one teaching method you can truly deepen your understanding of yourself on an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual level. Mysore style practice is for anyone who is interested in expanding their own potential and practice on and off the mat.

It is a common misconception that one needs to be an experienced practitioner of the Ashtanga Yoga system to begin a Mysore style practice. This is not the case at all; in fact the best way to begin the Ashtanga yoga practice is through the Mysore style method.

How many days a week should I practice?

Ideally the practice is 6 days per week (even for beginners), taking Saturdays as rest days. Traditionally the practice is not performed on Full and New Moon days.

It is recommended that beginning students commit to one month practice with a minimum of 3 times per week to start. If this intimidates you, you can come and observe the magic of a Mysore style class before you attend. 

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