Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Best Schools and Ashtanga Yoga Teachers in Mysore [UPDATED 2019]

Best Yoga Schools and Yoga Teachers in Mysore

(Updated 2019) If you are searching for the best yoga school in Mysore then I think you'll find this blog very helpful. It includes a list of some of Mysore's best ashtanga yoga teachers, with students reviews, a brief description of their schools, and also a lot of tips to help you plan your next trip.

I have interviewed many of these teachers so you can go through these interviews to help you decide in which yoga school you would like to practice.

But keep in mind that although ashtanga vinyasa yoga is the most popular style of yoga in Mysore, it is not the only style.

So in this article, you will also discover other excellent yoga teachers that follow different traditions.


Studying Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga at KPJAYI


Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (better known as Ashtanga Yoga) is an intense and physically demanding method of hatha yoga which was popularized by Guru Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of India.

For this reason, most people who visit India to practice ashtanga yoga go to the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, also known as “the main shala,” where Pattabhi Jois used to teach.

After Pattabhi Jois passing in 2009, the classes at the KPJAYI were taken over by his daughter R. Saraswathi Jois. and by R. Sharath Jois, the grandson of Pattabhi Jois.

However, the classes at the KPJAYI can be pretty expensive and totally packed with students, about one hundred students or even more, so you get very little personal attention (this has recently changed, as explained in the next section).

You need to register online about three months in advance, not before and not after, and you need to pay the full fees from day one.

You are also requested to sign a commitment form stating that you will not practice with any other teacher, otherwise, you'll be expelled from the shala.

If practicing ashtanga yoga at the KPJAYI is one of your dreams, and you don't mind these rules, then you should definitely go for it. I'm sure you will have an invaluable experience.

But if you are not limited by the idea that you need to practice at the main shala then you can study with any other of the excellent local yoga teachers that you can read about below.

They normally don't require you to book so much in advance, their classes are also usually cheaper, and they allow fewer students (between 10 and 30 depending on the season) so you can get a lot more personal attention.


Changes and new rules at the KPJAYI in 2019


When I first published this article, in January 2014, both Sharath and Saraswathi were teaching at the KPJAYI.

However, since the beginning of 2019, Sharath opened his own yoga shala in Mysore, the Sharath Yoga Center.

Sharath has now become completely independent of the KPJAYI, so today Saraswathi and her daughter Sharmila are the only teachers at the main shala.

I wonder if people will still call it the main shala?

I'm sure Saraswathi's students will be pleased with this change. The KPJAYI shala is beautiful and I guess from now on nobody will need to practice in the changing room. Saraswathi usually has between thirty to fifty students.

It will also be more attractive for new students to join her classes, with probably more reasonable practice times.

If you would like to know how it is to practice with Saraswathi I suggest you visit this blog by Shanna Small:  Why Practicing with Saraswathi Jois is so Awesome.

The registration rules are the same for Saraswathi and Sharath's schools, but since July 2019 a new rule was introduced to practice with Sharath at the Sharath Yoga Center.

You need to have practiced for at least two months with a Sharath authorized or certified teacher. No beginners are welcomed at Sharath's shala.

So if you would like to practice with Sharath anytime in the future you better find an authorized teacher near you soon.

The fees at the Sharath Yoga Center are Rs. 36,100 per month. You can maximum practice two months per visit and you must pay the total amount at the moment of your registration.

The fees at the KPJAYI to practice with Saraswathi are Rs. 30,000 for the first month and Rs. 20,000 for the following months.

The minimum period to practice with Saraswathi is one week and she does accept beginners.  Beginners are usually introduced to the practice by Sharmila.


How to choose a school or a yoga teacher in Mysore


Like I said before, there are many other excellent yoga teachers in Mysore.

Each one of the teachers and schools I mentioned below have their own unique style and their own group of completely devoted and loyal students.  They travel back to India regularly just to practice with their teachers.

During my several visits to Mysore, I have met many friends that practice with either one of these teachers. Many times I have heard them say, “He is the best teacher for me, I don't need to look for any other teacher.”

So it is not really possible to say who is the best teacher among them all. You need to find the right teacher for you.

What I normally recommend is to choose one teacher from the list below and practice with him for at least one month so that you can get to know him and decide later on if he is the right teacher for you or not.

In the six months that I spent in Mysore in 2014, I practiced only with Ajay Kumar and with Vijay Kumar. They are both excellent teachers and I would recommend them to anybody looking for a teacher in Mysore.

After those six months, I decided to continue my practice with Vijay Kumar.

I first thought that I would also practice with Chidananda during that time, but I realized that I needed at least three months with one teacher.


How to find accommodation in Mysore


When I first wrote this article most of the teachers included in this list where located near Lakshmipuram. Today almost all of them have moved their yoga shalas to Gokulam, about 5 km from Lakshmipuram.

Gokulam is a very nice residential neighborhood. This is the same neighborhood where the KPJAYI is based.

Personally, I prefer Lakshmipuram. It feels more local and authentic than Gokulam, and you can usually find cheaper accommodation. The good thing about Gokulam though is that you can find a lot more restaurants in that area.

My suggestion is to find a room near your teacher's yoga shala unless you decide to move by rickshaw every day or to rent a scooter.

The rickshaw drive from Gokulam to Lakshmipuram is around 100 rupees and takes about 15 minutes.

To find accommodation you need to ask the teacher that you want to practice with to help you. They usually have somebody helping them to organize the accommodation for their students.

If you already know when you will be arriving in Mysore you could also join the Facebook group Ashtanga Community in Mysore and simply ask for accommodation suggestions. You'll get responses with different options in no time.

You can also visit Indeayoga's list of suggested rooms in Gokulam.

Another option is to use Airbnb to book a room. Many of the rooms available for yogis in Mysore are listed on Airbnb. Just search for Gokulam or Lakshmipuram and you'll find many options.

But don't forget to check for the weekly and monthly discount on the Availability section of each listing. This would be the actual price you'll be paying. And if you use my referral link you could get $25 off on your first booking.


How to pay for your accommodation and yoga classes


When you stay in Mysore you normally need to pay for your room and for the yoga classes, in cash and on a monthly basis.

This can be pretty expensive if you are using a credit card to withdraw all the cash that you might need from an ATM.

In India, almost every ATM charges about 300 rupees commission per withdrawal.

That's on top of the commission and the exchange mark up that your bank might charge you, and you cannot get more than 10,000 rupees at a time.

A good alternative is to use an online money transfer service like TransferWise.

With this service, you can make transfers to Indian rupees from pretty much all major currencies. It is much cheaper than bank transactions and you can do it directly from your smartphone in no time.

TransferWise has become very popular in Mysore since I first talked about it in my blog.  Many teachers accept it as a means of payment.  It is actually the only way I pay for my classes and rent nowadays.

You also get your own debit card to use in any ATMs in India and worldwide, without extra commissions. That's one of my favorite features.

You can read all about it in How to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling Asia as a Yoga Nomad, or just use directly my referral link and get a free transfer of up to EUR500!


When is the best time to visit Mysore


The high season in Mysore usually runs from October till February of the following year.

That's the beginning of the main tourist season in India and it is also the time when the main shala opens. So there are a lot more students around and all the yoga shalas tend to be busier.

If you would rather avoid the crowds you could plan your trip between August and September, or in March, but you need to make sure your teacher is teaching at this time.

The weather in Mysore is normally very pleasant but it gets very hot between March and June. December and January can get a bit chilly during the nights or early mornings.

Make sure you bring a jacket and a scarf if you are planning to drive a scooter very early in the morning.


What to pack for Mysore


I wrote before a detailed packing list for India. You can find in it pretty much everything you could possibly need to travel and to practice yoga in India. But here at some top items I would recommend you bringing to Mysore:

  • International drivers license. The best way to move around in Mysore is by scooter. You can rent one for about Rs. 2,500 per month.
  • Protein powder. If you like taking supplements and protein powder's then better bring your favorite ones from home. They are overpriced and difficult to find in Mysore.
  • Lots of passport size photos. You'll need them for everything in India.
  • Plug adapter. You'll need them for sure to charge all your gadgets. I suggest you read the section Plug Adapters and Voltage Converters in my packing list for India.
  • Yoga mat and yoga towels. I recommend you bring your own yoga mat and towel, but you can find good quality yoga mats in Silvernest.


How to get to Mysore


The nearest airport is Bangalore International Airport. From the airport, you can easily take the Flybus which will bring you directly to the Mysore Bus Stand KSRTC in about four hours.

You can visit the KSRTC website to check the Flybus timetable and to book a ticket.

It's difficult to tell how much time it will take you to do immigration at the airport but I would consider at least one hour before been able to catch the Flybus.

Another option is to arrive either at Coimbatore International Airport or Chennai International Airport, but the bus ride or train ride to Mysore would be more than ten hours.


For how long should you stay in Mysore


Mysore is one of the best places in India to deepen your asana practice. Actually, I think people get a bit too obsessed with asanas in Mysore, in my opinion. Lol.

Anyway, to feel the effects or the changes in your body because of your rigorous yoga practice, you need time. I would recommend you plan your stay for at least one month.

Average I would say most people stay for two or three months, but many stay even longer. During my latest yoga trip to India, from September 2018 until February 2019, I stayed in Mysore for five months.

I have met friends who visit Mysore for a week or two and they usually leave reluctantly, hoping to return soon.

Also, keep in mind that some teachers in Mysore will ask you to register for their classes for minimum one month.


Ashtanga yoga teacher training courses in Mysore


Each one of the teachers I've included in the list below offers their own yoga teacher training course.

These teacher training courses are usually non-residential, so you need to find your own accommodation and take care of your meals.

When it comes to ashtanga yoga, before choosing a teacher training course I would recommend you to practice with your teacher for at least a month.

Actually, most teachers will ask you to be a regular student before joining their teacher training course.

Each yoga TTC is different, but they usually include instruction on asana adjustments, anatomy, pranayama, philosophy, and chanting.

I joined Vijay Kumar's ashtanga yoga teacher training course in 2014.

His course focuses mainly on the ashtanga yoga sequence and adjustments. It also includes a bit of philosophy and pranayama. That was perfect for me, it was exactly what I needed at that time.

Other teachers offer more comprehensive courses, in collaboration with different teachers for anatomy and philosophy.

I suggest you look into Chidananda, Ajay Kumar and Kushal Ram's ashtanga yoga TTCs. I've heard very good comments about them.

If you are interested in a residential program in an ashram environment, then I can recommend Inteyoga's Yoga TTC. This is a hatha yoga teacher training course with an emphasis on yoga therapy. It is incredibly cheap!

I also suggest you look into Vinay Kumar's Pranavashya teacher training course. I've heard very good comments about his TTC, but I must warn you, it is a very intensive training.

My friend Assia of Yogassia says about Vinay's TTC:

“I loved the teacher training with Vinay Kumar in the south of India, Mysore. His personal approach to each and one of his students opened my heart to my students as well. I will always be grateful for his unbending attitude and attention to the details and the willingness to crack us open to receive the real teaching of yoga.”

For more teacher training course recommendations around India, you can visit my article What is the BEST Yoga Teacher Training in India? My TOP 10 List.


The Best Schools and Yoga Teachers in Mysore


In this list, you can find some of the best schools and yoga teachers in Mysore. It includes not only ashtanga yoga teachers but also teachers of other styles of hatha yoga.

Please note that the order of this list is not by importance. This is simply the order in which I personally met (or heard about) all these teachers.


1. Ajay Kumar –– Sthalam8


Ajay Kumar

Ajay Kumar teachers ashtanga vinyasa yoga at his school Sthalam8 in Lakshmipuram.

Ajay has an incredible energy. He is very enthusiastic and dynamic. His adjustments can be strong but you can tell that he knows what he is doing, so it is easy to surrender.

He is very present during his classes. It's almost impossible to skip an asana without him noticing it.

His vinyasa class (every Thursday) and his back bending class (every Sunday) are awesome. Even till today, whenever I'm doing a vinyasa his words come back to my mind, “Thighs to chest, thighs to chest! Keep the elbows in!”

A lot has changed at Sthalam8 since 2014. The shala now offers different activities like meditation classes, moving meditation, a silent day, and karma yoga. These are only for the regular students.

This August the yoga shala actually moved to a new location, only a couple of streets behind the old yoga shala.

From time to time the shala organizes different activities like movie nights, kirtan, trips or a delicious dinner prepared by Deepak, the nicest cook ever.

⇒ Click here to read Ajay Kumar's Interview
⇒ Website: sthalam8.com


2. Vijay Kumar –– Ashtanga Saadhana Yoga Shala


Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar teachers ashtanga vinyasa yoga at his school Ashtanga Saadhana Yoga Shala in Gokulam.

Vijay's teaching style is completely different compared to Ajay's. He makes lots of emphasis on slow deep breathing.

During the class, he normally walks slowly around the shala and whenever he decides to make an adjustment he takes his time. He stays with you until you are finished with both sides.

His adjustments are very gentle but at the same time very deep. Actually, I think that his adjustments are like a whole class by themselves.

Whenever Vijay adjusts me in a posture, even without him saying a word, I feel as if I've learned a lot about my body alignment, about what I am supposed to do, and about what my body is actually capable of doing.

The first time I practiced with Vijay, back in 2014, he was teaching in a small shala in Lakshmipuram. We were only about ten people back then. The good old times. Lol.

Every year his popularity has been growing and growing. In 2015 I think, he moved to larger shala in Lakshmipuram where we would have about twenty, twenty-five students.

Since 2017 he moved to an even larger shala, but this time in Gokulam.

In January 2019, during the highest season, I think we were about forty-five or fifty students!

Don't worry, not everybody comes at the same time, except for on Sundays during the led class. But do register on time if you want to practice with him.

To practice with Vijay you need to register for minimum one month. He is usually teaching in Mysore from the beginning of August until April next year.

⇒ Click here to read Vijay Kumar's Interview
⇒ Website: www.ashtangasaadhana.com


3. M V Chidananda –– Sachidananda Ashtanga Yoga Shala


Chidananda

MV Chidananda teaches ashtanga vinyasa yoga at his own school, the Sachidananda Ashtanga Yoga Shala in Gokulam.

He is a very popular ashtanga yoga teacher in Mysore. Many of my friends practice with Chidananda and they are all completely devoted to their teacher.

He is very well known for his gentle but firm adjustments and his beautiful chanting.

“The first class, when I thought I could not follow his class, just by welcoming me he opened a new important door in my life and he always encourage me to continue, to try again. He's not only a very good teacher for me, he's an example as a person as well because of his kindness and simplicity.” Sophie Minon, France

When I met Chidananda in 2014 for the interview, he was still teaching at the Mysore Mandala Yogashala in Lakshmipuram. Since 2015 he moved to his own yoga shala in Gokulam.

To practice with Chidananda you need to register for minimum one week. The classes are normally 14 students maximum, divided into two batches if needed. The first batch would be from 6 am to 8 am and the second one from 8.45 am to 10.45 am

Another good thing about practicing with Chidananda is that he is teaching in Mysore almost all year long. He normally takes a break only during May. So that gives you plenty of flexibility to plan your visit to Mysore.

⇒ Click here to read Chidananda's Interview
⇒ Website: http://myashtangayoga.com/


4. Vinay Kumar –– Prana Vashya Yoga Shala


Vinay Kumar

Vinay Kumar (the elder brother of Vijay Kumar) teaches Prana Vashya, his own method of yoga, at his school Prana Vashya Yoga Shala in Gokulam.

Vinay is probably the best known and most sought-after yoga teacher in Mysore.

Many students who practice ashtanga yoga in the morning with either Ajay, Vijay or Chidananda go to Vinay's yoga shala in the afternoons for his popular back bending class.

A few others decide to practice full time with Vinay

If you like vinyasa yoga or any flow form of yoga then I think you will love Prana Vashya.

Prana Vashya makes lots of emphasis on making sure that the asanas follow the breath and not the other way around, while at the same time maintaining the same breath rhythm during the whole practice.

Similar to ashtanga yoga, each asana is held for five breaths, but the vinyasas are completely different. There are no jump backs or jump throughs.

Vinay's Intensive Course includes the Prana Vashya Primary Series in the morning, followed by a pranayama practice, and a second asana practice in the evening focused on back bending postures.

“Vinay repeats often during the class 'still the fluctuations of the mind, find your focal point, don't let your mind wander.' He helps the students disconnect from the ego by encouraging them to bring the awareness to their breath. He also helps the students understand the alignment of any asana without even laying a finger on them. He is THE teacher.” Candace Martins, Canada.

Vinay teaches at his shala in Gokulam starting August until March of the following year. You can practice with him maximum for four months per academic year.

His yoga shala is very small and he usually accepts maximum fourteen students at a time so you need to register well in advance.

⇒ Click here to read the interview with Vinay Kumar
⇒ Website: www.pranavashya.com


5. Sri BNS Iyengar –– Mysore Mandala Yoga Shala


BNS Iyengar

Guruji BNS Iyengar is a living legend. He is the last living yoga teacher who is a direct disciple of Krishnamacharya.

He was the teacher of Ajay Kumar, M V Chidananda and Sri V. Sheshadri. That already says a lot.

He teaches not only Ashtanga yoga but also pranayama, mudras, and yoga philosophy.

I joined his pranayama class for the first time in February 2017 and again on February 2019, when I also studied philosophy with him.

You can read in detail about my experience studying yoga philosophy and pranayama with Guruji. It was priceless.

Here is also an interesting blog written by Daniel Overberger about his experience studying with Guruji: Ashtanga Vinyasa with BNS Iyengar – The lost Asana.

Guruji doesn't have his own school. He used to teach at the Krishnamachar Yoga Foundation but since May 2019 he is teaching only at the Mysore Mandala Yogashala.

⇒ Click here to read BNS Iyengar Interview
⇒ Mysore Mandala Yogashala website: https://mandala.ashtanga.org/


6. Shashikala Govinda –– 3 Sisters Yoga Shala


Shashikala Govinda

Shashikala teaches ashtanga vinyasa yoga at the 3 Sisters Yoga Shala near Lakshmipuram.

She practiced with Pattabhi Jois for about 15 years, from 1994 until 2009 when he passed away.

Shashikala is the youngest of the famous three sisters and the only female yoga teacher teaching in Mysore, besides Saraswathi and her daughter of course.

Her classes are about 10 people large. She teaches starting August until March of the following year and she does accept drop-in students (Rs. 1,000 per class). The fees per month are Rs. 16,000

⇒ Click here to read the interview with Shashikala
⇒ Website: www.mysorethreesisters.com


7. Masterji –– YogaMasterji


Masterji

Masterji teaches ashtanga yoga, hatha yoga, pranayama and a gentle form of yoga for people with limited mobility which he calls Vishwanatha Paddhathi.

Masterji is a very experienced senior yoga teacher. He trained directly with Shri K. Pattabhi Jois for more than 15 years, and he has been teaching the theory and practice of yoga for more than 40 years.

“Masterji is not a chatty man, but when he speaks he always says the right thing at the right moment. He's able to understand where you're stuck on your path and helps you to go over without giving too many useless notions. He is definitely the wisest man I've ever met and I can't wait to go back to Mysore and learn as much as I can from him.” Jessica, Italy.

Unfortunately, since the beginning of 2019, Masterji moved his school to Bangalore. He is no longer teaching in Mysore.

I will keep him in this list though so that you can learn about him.

He is an excellent teacher and I myself am considering going to Bangalore just to study with him. Bangalore is not that far from Mysore anyway.

⇒ Click here to read the interview with Masterji
⇒ Website: www.yogamasterji.com


8. Yogacharya Venkatesha –– Atmavikasa Center of Yogic Sciences


Yogacharya Venkatesha

Yogacharya Venkatesha is a self-taught yoga master. His journey of self-exploration and healing is truly inspiring.

If you are interested in the therapeutic benefits of yoga, either to heal yourself or others, then this is the place to be.

Yogacharya Venkatesha teaches, together with his wife Hema, classical hatha yoga and yoga therapy at their own yoga center in Mysore, the Atmavikasa Center of Yogic Sciences.

The center is located in Ramakrishna Nagar which is about 17 min drive from Gokulam and 12 min drive from Lakshmipuram.

“After some time you can understand, by his teaching, that yoga does not happen only in the body, but happens in your mind. This is what I really experienced attending Atmavikasa school. They plant a real seed in your heart which you will never forget.” Radha Rajani, Italy.

Atmavikasa offers different courses of different length and intensity starting June until January of the next year.

⇒ Click here to read the interview with Yogacharya Venkatesha
⇒ Website: atmavikasayoga.in


9. Kushal Ram –– Ashtanga Yoga Tantra Research School


Kushal Ram

Kushal Ram teaches ashtanga vinyasa yoga at his school Ashtanga Yoga Tantra Research School in Lakshmipuram.

Kushal is one of the newest and youngest ashtanga yoga teachers in Mysore. In a very short time, he has already attracted many loyal and regular students.

Many of my friends, who are also yoga teachers, have been practicing ashtanga yoga with him. They all praise his teaching skills and his dedication as a yoga teacher. His popularity keeps growing day by day.

He is very approachable and he likes to create a community-like environment among his students. He sometimes invites them for special Hindu events or celebrations.

“If you feel like getting friends with your ashtanga teacher, Kushal will be a great energy to fulfill that. Right adjustments with right mentality. You will definitely feel progressing with his way of teaching. Enjoy!“ Cem Temiz, Turkey

Currently, Kushal's classes are about six to fifteen students large, but I'm sure those numbers will continue to grow every year. He normally teaches starting July until April of the following year.

He accepts drop-in students but only if they already know the sequence. Beginners need to register for a minimum of one week. The monthly fees to practice with Kushal are Rs. 9,000.

⇒ Click here to read the interview with Kushal Ram
⇒ Website: www.yogatantra-anushtana.com


10. Bharath Shetty –– IndeaYoga


Bharath Shetty

Bharath Shetty teaches classical hatha yoga at his school IndeaYoga in Gokulam.

He was a student of BKS Iyengar and he has also followed trainings in the Sivananda tradition.

I have not met Bharath myself, although I have heard about him many times. A few friends recommended me to practice with Bharath even before I visited Mysore for the first time in 2014.

Maybe in the future I'll practice with him but here you can read one of his student's testimony according to his website.

“What always astounded me about Bharath was his intimate understanding of the body, he seems to just get how all the pieces fit together and can adjust any pose or programme to suit your needs and your body. I have spent about 8 months with Bharath in total and I have noticed with all the people that come and go that he always seems to end up picking up the pieces of the injuries people have sustained elsewhere, he tackles each case individually, and I cannot tell you how many people have healed themselves through Bharath's practice. Yoga is rife with tales of injuries but I have never seen anyone hurt themselves even mildly, let alone sustain an injury under his watchful supervision.” Mariza Smith, London (source: yoga-india.net)

⇒ Website: indeayoga.com


11. Sukesh Raj –– Mandira Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Shala


Sukesh Raj

Sukesh Raj (YogaShree Sukesh) teaches Ashtanga yoga, hatha yoga, back bending and pranayama at the Mandira Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Shala.

I have never met Sukesh before but my friend Steph, who is also a student of Vijay, suggested that I add him to this list.

She speaks with a lot of respect and appreciation for him. She said:

“His knowledge of the body is impressive and his approach to adjustments is very conscious and gentle. He is very calm, patient and also a good observer. He always has a big smile and whenever you finish your practice you leave feeling good because of the positive energy and spirit that he puts in his classes.”

A friend of Steph who also practices with Sukesh said about him:

“I wanted to begin my ashtanga path in Mysore. I was looking for a teacher I can trust and who will give me an inspiration for practice and philosophy. From the first time I met Sukesh I felt I'd found what I was looking for. Professional teacher with soft energy, sharpness and a big heart. Pure yoga practice and very welcoming. The class in Mandira Yoga Shala was very intimate and Sukesh connects all the class as a one group practice together. Big like ­čĹŹ” Ziv Schwartz, Israel

Sukesh also has a popular back bending class. My friend Simona, from the Czech Republic, says that his back bending class is awesome; and my friend Lulu, from China, says:

“I've been to Sukesh back bending class many times. He is a really good teacher. What I like about him the most is that he gives a different practice to each student. He focuses on your weak areas, on what you really need. I also feel very comfortable in his class because of his big smile and because he speaks really good Chinese!”

Sukesh started his practice at the age of 12 and has been teaching for about 25 years.

He is very popular in China and Thailand, where he goes frequently to teach workshops. He actually lived in China, working as a yoga teacher, for about ten years.  He has been teaching in Mysore for five years.

Sukesh teaches every year starting July until March of the following year. He does accept drop-in students although he suggests them to practice for at least a month.  Drop-in classes are Rs. 500

⇒ For prices and registration visit Mandira Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Shala


Things to do in Mysore besides yoga


During your stay in Mysore, you will most likely practice yoga asanas only during the morning. The rest of the day you will be free to do whatever you like.

So what can you do during your free time besides hanging out with friends at some of the popular cafes for yogis? Here are some good alternatives to use your time wisely:

  • Do a past life healing therapy training with B. Naga Kumar. Kumar is a meditation teacher and therapist. He helps people healing past traumas or emotional blockages. You can also take yoga nidra classes with him.
  • Take Vedanta and yoga philosophy classes with Arvind of Swadhyaya. His classes are a must. He is very popular so make sure you arrive on time to get a place to sit.
  • Learn Sanskrit and Yoga Sutras chanting with Dr. Jayashree and Dr. Narasimhan at the Anantha Research Foundation. Jayashree experience is very impressive. You can check her bio and her albums here.
  • Learn traditional chanting or traditional musical instruments like bansuri or harmonium. The most recommended teacher in Gokulam is Ranjini Koushik.
  • By the way, don't forget to visit Ashtanga Yoga Opening and Closing Chants to learn the correct pronunciation of the mantras we chant during each class.  It includes a free PDF with the mantras in Sanskrit and the English Translation.

What are your recommendations?


If you know any of these teachers, or any other yoga teacher in Mysore that you would personally like to recommend (either of ashtanga yoga or hatha yoga), please tell us about him or her in the comment section below.

Also, feel free to share any other recommendations of things to do in Mysore that you think might enrich people's stay.

If you've found this blog helpful I would appreciate if you share it with your friends. You can also subscribe to my newsletter so that you can follow me on my yoga journey. Once you subscribe you'll be able to download my free meditation e-book. Thanks for your support!


47 comments:

  1. hi, have been following for a while.
    would you know which country or location for iyengar teachers.
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ashtanga is definitely more then physical. I wouldn't be able to tell from your description though....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Please note that Bharat Shetty (yoga-India.net) has got a new web site: yogaindea.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. You referenced a blog post by Daniel Overberger! He's my teacher out of Hollywood, CA!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was doing random research online, you referenced a blog post by Daniel Overberger! He's my teacher out of Hollywood, CA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alexandra, oh cool. Daniel has a nice blog about his experience with BNS Iyengar. I did an interview to Iyengar as well but haven't been able to work on it, it will take me a while till I can publish that one.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for the link to me blog!
      Great job BTW.
      HI Alex ;-)
      thx

      Delete
    3. Thanks to you Daniel, and it was my pleasure :-)

      Delete
  6. Hi,
    Thanks for all your articles.
    I've been practising for more than one year now.
    Which teacher would you recommand for a first ttc ?
    Thanks for your answer ;-)

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  7. Great resource! Thanks for putting it together. We're visiting Mysore for the first time in a few weeks, this is great help, thanks!

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    1. Hi Ana, thank you, I'm really happy to know that you've found this blog very helpful :-). I hope you enjoyed your stay in Mysore

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  8. Hi Marco - thank you for your blogs - I'm always learning! Would you know if there is a particular 'level' one must be at with their asanas to attend Sri K Pattabhi? For example, the entire primary series with the ability to float between on their vinyasa's? Thank you in advance! Natalie (UK) :)

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    1. Hi Natalie. The first and only time that I practiced at the SKPJ Shala I didn't know a thing about Ashtanga. I practiced with Saraswati and she taught me the sun salutations A and B. So as far as I know there is no minimum requirement but if you know the sequence that would be better. They will let you practice until they think it's appropriate for you. All the best.
      Namaste

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    2. Marco, brilliant news - you've made my day even sunnier :) Thank you so much, Natalie :)

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  9. Hi, Thanks for all the information!! Do you know of any good Hatha TTC in Mysore? I´ve had a look in the internet but they all go for around 4 - 6 weeks. I´d like something longer, so doesn´t have to be so intense. Maybe for 3 - 4 months?

    thanks a lot!
    Josefina

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    1. Hi Josefina. Usually TTC are for about a month but you could probably stay longer with your teacher to practice more and to have the opportunity to teach. I know Barath have a hatha yoga TTC. You could also look into Vinay's pranavashya yoga TTC. You need to practice I think at least one month with him to be able to do the TTC. I hope this helps. Good luck.
      Namaste

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  10. Im in Mysore in Dec only for few days... Is there just a class anywhere to attend? Many thanks.

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  11. Hi!!
    Thanks for all the information! I would like to know if there's some place to do the Ashtanga yoga course second level, I'm doing now an Ashtanga yoga course (200hours. Primary series) and I would like to do the 300 hours course in Mysore.
    Thanks and Namast├ę
    N├║ria

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  12. Hi Nuria, you can try Ashtanga Yoga Mysore. www.ashtangayogamysore.net
    They have both 200 hour and 300 hour Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Ttc every month !

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  13. How many of these schools offer residencies?

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    1. Hi Pearlgurl, you need to find your own accommodation, but normally they will help you with that. Just get in touch with the teacher that you want to practice with and he will give you the contact and information that you need.

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    2. Dear Marco Pino,

      We do provide Yoga Teacher Training with food and accommodation in an Ashram atmosphere at the outskirts of Mysore.

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  14. Namast├ę, there is also Ramesh Sheety in Lakshmipuram, Mysore Ashtanga Yoga Shala, next to the Lakshmi Post-office, blue house.
    Regarding asanas he has a very good guided Ashtanga class and what he calls Hatha Ashtanga, a very deep healing class. He sings the counts in Sanskrit and you get easy into moving Meditation and spirituality. His top skills are adjustments. In his late fourties, he has observated so many students, that he can read them. Also the adjustment class of his TTC is very good. Rameshji also teaches Ashtanga flow and adjustments for other Shalas and TTCs, the students always come to his shala on their off time to learn more about the magic of asanas.
    email rameshjiyoga@gmail.com
    Eva Luna from Paris, Centre de danse du Marais

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    1. Thank you Eva! This is a great tip. If you know about any other teacher please don't hesitate to share more.

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  15. there are other really good teachers in mysore, the atmavikasa yoga school, Archarya Venkatesh and his wife teach classic hatha yoga, backbend classes and also philosophy classes, you find them on Facebook and via www.atmavikasa.com.

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  16. Thank you very much . It's very useful information

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  17. Thank you so much. Very useful article! I want to do my first Ashtanga YTT and I'm trying to navigate between the many available options. ... Quite a challenge. Cheers.

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    1. Thanks to you Bol-Bol, I hope you found a great YTT. Cheers

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  18. Hi Marco, thank you so much for your blog! Would you have a tip for an excelent teacher somewhere north and rather out from a city? Lovely day Helena:)

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    1. Hi Helena, sorry for the veeery late reply. Anyway... north? I just know Surinder Singh but he teaches in Rishikesh. http://www.path2yoga.net/2011/07/good-yoga-teacher-in-rishikesh-try.html

      Did you find any other good teacher? Would love to hear about him

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  19. Hi there! I was looking for a good Hatha TTC 200hrs in Mysore for October this year. Bharath Shetty's Shala don't have level one in October.. So looking for other options.. Can someone help?

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  21. Para mi el mejor profesor de yoga en mysore es Ramesh. Tiene 30 a├▒os de experiencia y un potencial y energia inigualables. Sabe muy bien como transmitir su conocimiento a sus alumnos, es pura magia... No tiene mucho marketing, como otros centros, por lo que quiz├ís cuesta un poco de encontrar pero os aseguro que es de los mejores shalas que hay en mysore... Acomodaci├│n y comida incluidos en el precio y las t├ęcnicas de pranayama son muy amplias. En esta escuela he descubierto cosas que nunca antes me hab├şan ense├▒ado. Ramesh merece estar en el numero 1 de esta lista, sin duda. Para mas informacion, dejo su sitio web www.mysoreashanga.net

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  22. Hi, Do you have any opinion on http://www.ashtangayogamysore.net? I found their website and they offer is very interesting but I'd like to hear some feedback from you or people that went there.
    Cheers,
    Lena (Scotland)

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    1. Hi Lena, sorry, I haven't heard much about them, but there are some comments here that recommend that school Cheers

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  23. Hello
    Any experiences at mandira Ashtanga Yoga Shala and yogadarshanam?

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    1. Hi there, I recently found out about Sukesh Raj. Some of my friends love his classes and he teaches at the Mandira Yoga Shala

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  24. Hi Marco
    Your blogs are very helpful and very interesting. I am really astounded with your information. Thanks so much for it

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    1. Thanks to you, I appreciate your positive feedback :-)

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  25. I highly recommend Imosha (imosha.com) for Thai massage courses and just to get a therapeutical thai massage. Raghu is a deep and knowledgeable and humble student and master of Thai Massage ....

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  26. Thanks for this sharing Ur experience. This site very comphrensive and helpful in choosing right teacher n school. I was looking for schools other than Pratabi joie institute, and this site giver all the information one needs. Thank alot.
    This has helped me to finalize yoga teacher. I am also looking Astanga yoga TTC, from a yoga alliance certified school. I had finalized Mysore Mandala as it is yoga alliance certified. But now this article make me rethink my decision.
    Do Teachers training with any these teacher is yoga alliance certified. I am willing to spend a month before TTC with the teacher. Can someone please suggest a good school for Astanga yoga TTC apart from Mysore Mandala which is yoga alliance certified. I would really appreciate the suggestions.

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    1. Hi there, I'm happy to hear that you have found my blog so helpful. Probably the only teacher/school from this list registered with yoga alliance is Sthalam8 of Ajay Kumar. You need to confirm with them.

      But please be aware that there is no such a thing as a Yoga Alliance certification. Yoga Alliance is simply a registry, not a quality certification, and IMHO it is not really important. Non of these teachers need to be registered with Yoga Alliance to proof how good they are. They are all excellent teachers. I hope this helps.

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  27. Thank you very much @Marco,your blog is excellent with its content.
    Do you know any Yoga school in Mysore that provides residential TTC course?

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    1. Hi there, the only residential course I am familiar with in an ashram environment is at Inteyoga (Swami Krishnananda Yogashala) https://www.path2yoga.net/2019/03/yoga-therapy-training-india.html but that is hatha yoga, not ashtanga yoga. I highly recommend it though, you should def check it out.

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  28. Hi Marco:
    I appreciate Ur reply. Could u give me Ur views that which out of these would be a better choice for Ashtanga Yoga TTC as they r registered with yoga alliance and I am conducted as to which school to go for.
    What r ur views on yoga TTC with these teachers:
    ✓Mysore Mandala-Santosh kumar
    ✓Yoga Darshanam- http://yogadarshanam.org/teacher-training/ashtanga-yoga-ttc/#nav
    ✓Mysore Astanga- Ramesh Shetty
    http://mysoreashtanga.net
    I would appreciate suggestions, which out of these three would be a better choice for Yoga TTC.

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    1. Hi there, I'm sorry I can't help you. I am not familiar with those teachers. I have only included in this list teachers that I have personally met or that many of my friends strongly recommend. I suggest you search for their online reviews in facebook or other platforms, to know what other students say about their TTC. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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