Red Door Yoga
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Mastery through dedicated, intelligent and personalized practice.
Ashtanga Yoga. Handbalance (Inversions). Flexibility.
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At Red Door most of our classes are taught in "Mysore Style". What is this?
Mysore is the city in south India where Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga orginates, and it is the place where dedicated practitioners of this style continue to go to further our study. "Mysore Style" refers to classes taught as they are in Mysore, where ashtanga yoga's tradition continues to be passed on.
In this method of teaching, students come into the room and move through the ashtanga yoga practice at their own pace, and with their own breath. Those new to the practice are taught slowly, one posture at a time. Once that posture has been learned and understood and the student shows that they can practice it correctly (and thus can derive benefit from it rather than injury) they will be taught the next posture in the series.
The teacher of a mysore class does not "lead" the class as is probably done in any yoga class you've seen or taken before. Practitioners will be doing different postures at different times as they move slower or quicker (or even start at different times). Not needing to spend his time guiding the class, the teacher is thus free to really observe each student's practice, see what needs to be worked on, and spend time, one on one with each student. For new students this means teaching the foundations of each new pose that they learn, starting with correct practice. For those who have been practicing longer it means finding subtle adjustments to improve, lighten, push further (or back off when necessary), and help each person discover the way their own body interacts with the practice of ashtanga yoga.
As a practitioner I have found this the best way to learn: each day in my practice I’ve been able to work on what I needed to work on, developing my practice. As a teacher I've found it gives me the opportunity to really hone in on my student's weaknesses and challenge them to overcome them in the practice, whether it's overcoming an injury or moving a strong practitioner beyond a plateau toward the next stunning vista.
For new students it can be a slow start: learning correct practice isn't always as fun as flowing through a fast paced class full of postures you don’t know. The first few times you’ll probably only learn a few postures each day, and you might feel like you didn’t really do much. Have patience: in this way we avoid a swiss cheese practice, strong asana full of holes in understanding. And soon this personal practice that's been developed in one on one cooperation with your teacher becomes a conversation with your own body as you move through postures you never believed were possible at the pace of your own breath.