What is Mysore?
Mysore means you have learned at least the basics of Primary Series by heart and that you practice it by yourself in your own tempo and without instructions from a teacher.
You can do that alone at home, but most people prefer a Mysore class in a studio, so they can receive adjustments from their teacher and are better motivated by the work of the other students. Some people choose to stay in guided classes.
There they don’t have to think about what position comes next or to count their breaths. It is easier to let go and follow directions, but it is also less profound, as one’s attention is drawn outside towards the voice of the teacher.
“The journey of yoga begins when we acknowledge our humanity. Yoga should make us feel more ordinary, less extraordinary. It should make us kinder, more tolerant, peaceful, happy and humble. The practice of yoga connects us more deeply to the web of life. And once we realize this the practice begins.” R.Freeman
When practicing Mysore, the attention stays inwards, hence the meditative effect is much deeper. Mysore also has the advantage of allowing the individual practitioner to decide how much is enough. In a guided class, one follows the teacher’s instructions and tempo; but in Mysore, I can stop any time and hold the asanas according to my breath. Therefore, I’m completely independent and master over my own practice.
The goal of Mysore practice is to learn to be independent from your teacher!
The goal of Asthanga yoga is self-realization: Realizing what is good and what is bad for me, and what I can do or what I cannot (yet) do. It helps me find where my strengths lie and what my weaknesses are. In this practice, I learn all about myself and this develops my spiritual growth.