by Claire Berghorst
Mention ‘Mysore practice’ to most yogi’s and you see a sprinkle of fear cross their eyes, then the excuses start… ‘It’s not a good time’, ‘I don’t know the sequence’, ‘I really need someone to guide me’…
I am not here to sell mysore style classes to you, but I will share my experience. After attending led / guided classes for many years I needed more. I needed to delve deeper within myself. Yoga is an internal spiritual journey, and I for one find it hard to achieve when someone else is in the driving seat.
I have always loved my home practice and allowed it to be a priority in my life, but I started to want more. I wanted to try new challenging postures and to progress my practice.
I stepped into the mysore room. It was like coming home. All those beautiful people just breathing and moving. Everyone at a different stage but somehow completely in sync. It didn’t really matter if I was having light and floaty day or feeling a bit heavy and slow, as I step onto my mat I join that flow – simply by breathing, moving and just being.
My practice certainly did progress, those ‘new challenging postures’ started to come, but my understanding of what it means to ‘progress’ ones practice shifted. I started to feel less attachment to those challenging postures as my awareness became far more internal.
In the mysore room, my guide is my own internal voice – the count of my breath. My teacher steps in to modify and assist when needed, but I allow the practice to unfold. Some days being a little slower, with more compassion, some days a little more intense.
That awareness, that sense of calm, is what I hope to carry with me through the rest of my day.