Vanessa was a Mysore-practising, freelance graphic designer in the UK when she traveled to Mysore in India and, within three weeks of arriving, met her husband, Neal. After traveling and teaching yoga around Asia, including running a yoga school in Bali, they decided it was time to return to Europe. The return journey included a stop in Cape Town to visit Vanessa’s mother and it was in Cape Town that Vanessa’s and Neal’s lives took a surprising turn.
Vanessa and Neal had wanted to create an accessible space, free from dogma, where students could feel comfortable regardless of whether they’d been practising yoga for years or complete beginners whose knowledge extended little further than being able to spell “yoga”, but had no immediate plans to do so. That changed when they spotted the perfect space at the Woodstock Exchange, and the life they envisioned back in the UK was replaced with a move to Cape Town.
AIR Yoga Meditation Atelier offers a range of yoga styles, including but not limited to:
Mysore style is traditional Ashtanga yoga, as taught in Mysore India by the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois. It is a unique class where you will practice a set sequence of postures at your own pace while a teacher gives you individual guidance and adjustments. As you progress through the series you will receive new postures. Suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced.
Jivamukti means “liberation while living.” This style of yoga emerged in 1984 from one of New York City’s best-known yoga studios. It is a study of how Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga incorporates into spiritual teachings and philosophies, placing special emphasis on how these apply to daily life. Classes can give you a good workout in a supportive and uplifting environment.
This class draws on knowledge from Indian Hatha asanas, Chinese medicine and Buddhist practices to work on balancing the mind and body. Holding shapes for long periods of time that stress the connective tissues and redirect energy to vital organs. Encouraging surrender, softening and release. Yin yoga complements a fast and energetic Ashtanga yoga or other Yang styles of practice.
Mysore Ashtanga is relatively unknown in Cape Town and while it does require some commitment – three times a week for the first month is suggested – it is a wonderful way to learn a meditative personal yoga practice.
To give you an idea of why Mysore is so highly rated and seen by many as the best way to learn Ashtanga, pop over to Lilablog to read Frances Prema Harjeet’s beautifully-worded and easy to understand thoughts on this style.
Two aspects Frances mentions resonate strongly with me and I believe goes a long way towards helping newcomers to yoga feel a lot less intimidated:
Poses are taught in a way that is right for that specific body, with its own limitations and strengths. It’s a very individualized process, yet firmly rooted in a tradition and a community.
I like that I can stop and ask for help, without it feeling like I’m disrupting the whole class. I like the personalization of the practice; I love that I feel like I am alone, doing my own thing, while simultaneously feeling supported by the group dynamic.
WIN A MONTH’S UNLIMITED YOGA
AIR Yoga Meditation Atelier is giving three B-guided readers the chance to win one month’s unlimited yoga. This is the perfect opportunity for those who have considered joining a studio or for more experienced students looking for something a little different.
As a bonus, if the winners opt for Mysore in their free month, they will get a 20% discount on the second month’s fees.