Mysore, in southern India, is a well-known yoga town. The most famous yoga school in Mysore is undoubtedly the Sri K Pattabhi Jois Institute,teaching students in the Astanga Vinyasa yoga tradition. If you are not an astanga yoga student, however, there are other options for practice in town. An internet search of Yoga in Mysore brought up a list of several yoga shalas, or spaces, offering daily classes.
When I visited Mysore this March I went, in part, to visit my yoga master, Masterji Viswanath.
Masterji is the nephew of Sri K Pattabhi Jois and he studied with his uncle, becoming a yoga teacher in the Astanga tradition. I met and worked with Masterji when I lived in Bangalore, where he then had his yoga shala.
I haven’t seen Masterji since I left India and he moved to Mysore and it was with great pleasure that I saw him again, joined the asana and pranayama classes, and spent time speaking with him. While he is still guiding students in the Astanga vinyasa path, Masterji and I spoke about yoga for those of us who are now in a different place in our lives and might want to tone down the intensity of our asana practice. He has been working with some of his students on more gentle asana practices and he is interested in spreading this information to students who want to learn. I love the astanga practice and I am happy for the time I spent working to learn the practice with Masterji, yet I recognize that at this stage in my life the full astanga practice is not always appropriate for my body. Our conversation was perfect at this point in my life and my practice, and I look forward to working with Masterji to discover more about what he is teaching.
As we talked, I realized how much I had missed his skill and wisdom as a teacher. I felt like I had plugged back into something important after my time with Masterji, a piece of myself that I had neglected for awhile.
I asked Masterji if he would be willing to have the Spirit Guided Journeys group visit his yoga shala when we are in Mysore in the fall and he was enthusiastic in his welcome. While the plans are not entirely settled, it looks as if Masterji will prepare a special class for the SGJ group in the afternoons that includes asana practice, some pranayama, and satsang, or yoga philosophy. The afternoon class will not be in the Astanga vinyasa style, and any member of the SGJ group who wants to also attend the Astanga vinyasa practice at 6:30 in the morning may do so.
Join me in November of 2015 for a memorable yoga experience in Mysore, India with Masterji Viswanatha.
Blessings and Namaste