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Traditional Mysore Style Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga Shala NYC is a traditional school unlike most modern yoga studios. Based on the teachings of Sri K Pattabhi Jois (Guruji), our aim is to develop a yoga practice for each student according to his or her individual needs and capacities. Asana practice follows a system of three sequences of postures devised by Jois - primary (yoga chikitsa), intermediate (nadi shodhona) and advanced (sthira bhaga).Classes in the traditional Mysore style are based on the way Pattabhi Jois taught in his home town of Mysore (India). Students come to class daily and gradually build up a practice over time. The relationship of teacher to student is more like that of a personal trainer, with each student receiving individual assistance and guidance in a group setting. 

In the beginning new students may receive more verbal instruction to establish the fundamental building blocks of practice but mostly the class is conducted in silence with the sound and rhythm of breath as the guiding thread of practice, and by means of hands-on adjustments to help students correct alignment and get deeper into the postures.

Schedule

Please note: 

* there are no classes on New Moon and Full Moon

* morning and afternoon programs are separate
* no drop ins unless you have an established Ashtanga practice
* morning classes are taught by Guy
* afternoon classes are taught by Alex
* all classes are Mysore style unless otherwise indicated

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New Beginners may start Monday-Thursday 7am or 8.30am or in any afternoon session.

Shala Fees

Shala fees fall due on the 1st of each month:

unlimited $200
beginners $150
students and low income $150

You may pay when you come to class by cash or check. To pay by credit card please use this link . We cannot take cards at the yoga shala.

For visiting students:

one week $75
drop in $20 (only for students witth an established Ashtanga practice)

Beginners

Free introductory class - see schedule. One month beginner's course $150.
Please be aware that the morning and afternoon programs are separate.

Beginners may start practice at any time of the month, Monday-Thursday either at 7am or at 8.30am or any afternoon session. On the first day new students are introduced to the breathing-movement system (vinyasa) through learning Surya Namaskar and typically practice for about 30-40 minutes. 

Day by day, as the capacity of the student allows, a series of standing postures is introduced followed by a series of seated postures and the practice gradually gets longer as new postures are added.

We suggest that new students come to observe class first. There is no need to make an appointment, you may just show up any time a Mysore class is scheduled.

Please note: there are no classes on New Moon and Full Moon.

What You Should Know about Practice

Do not eat before practice!

We recommend that you leave at least four hours between eating a meal and practicing yoga. Ideally your digestive system should be as empty as possible - in other words early morning practice is best after emptying bowel and bladder. Do not drink water during practice, but wait until after you have rested.

We also suggest that you do not practice yoga during the 2-3 heaviest days of menstruation. Irregularities in your menstrual cycle such as prolonged periods may result from practice at this time. 

Please inform us if you have any injuries, health problems or if you become pregnant, so we can adjust your practice accordingly. In general, if you become sick or have injured yourself, you will feel better and heal quicker if you practice.
 

A shower before practice helps to increase flexibility and mental focus. It is also makes the experience for your teachers and others practicing around you more pleasant! Please wear clean yoga clothes, wash your mat regularly and do not wear perfume or cologne as these can cause allergic reactions for others.

Teachers

Guy Donahaye met Sri K Pattabhi Jois in 1991 and continued his studies with him, mostly in India, over a period of eighteen years until Jois' death in 2009. He is one of only 40 students worldwide who has been awarded a teaching certification by Jois during his 70 years of teaching, and has been conducting yoga classes in this traditional method since 1993.

Guy's interest in yoga is equally therapeutic, philosophical and spiritual: He came to yoga with the desire to improve his ability to meditate and found in yoga a deeply therapeutic tool, which facilitates spiritual evolution through healing body and mind.

In 2009 he published "Guruji" - a tribute to the teachings and life of Sri K Pattabhi Jois with Eddie Stern - a collection of 30 interviews he had conducted over a twelve year period with Jois' senior students and family. 

He has been the director of the Ashtanga Yoga Shala in NYC since 1999 and before that in the UK from 1993-1998. He teaches regular workshops on Yoga Philosophy and Practice in New York and internationally.

Alex Schatzberg has been practicing Yoga since he was 18. He has been teaching in New York City for the past 5 years, and assisting Guy in the morning Mysore program for over 2 years. Alex came to Ashtanga Yoga looking for a more direct and coherent system of Asana. Grateful to his teacher Guy Donahaye, his views on practice have expanded far beyond Asana to see Ashtanga Yoga as a therapeutic tool to heal both body and mind. He now recognizes and teaches Ashtanga yoga not simply as a system of postures, but as lifestyle. As Dr KLS Jois once wrote, “As we rehabilitate ourselves, we need to improve our proficiency in all limbs [of Ashtanga Yoga] simultaneously." Always humbled by his daily practice, Alex still considers himself very much a student.