Mysore Phoenix Blog


Letter to New Practitioners: Challenge Yourself!

When I was first learning Ashtanga yoga, I often challenged myself to focus on different aspects of the practice. Sometimes it was a one-day challenge, sometimes a weekly challenge. I might focus on breath or bandhas or a certain transition.   The first challenge for...

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What Yoga *Really* Is

We live in a fast-paced, capitalist society, where we are encouraged to consume goods and services and experiences and -- yup! -- spiritual practices. If you think yoga is about poses or adjustments or alignment or bliss, there's a good chance you've been sold a bill...

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ASHTANGA: PARAMPARA – KAREN KELLEY

Karen, what was your life before finding yoga? ​ Life before yoga involved the arts -- drawing, drawing, and more drawing, all through childhood and high school, visual art as an undergraduate (sculpture, specifically) and creative writing (poetry) in graduate school....

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Mysore Phoenix Scholarship Program

I suppose I can't rail about daily practice without recognizing that an obstacle to practice with an authorized instructor might be lack of funds. If a student sees value in instruction and practice, I want to make that available. The Mysore Phoenix Scholarship...

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First rule of Ashtanga Yoga

You know how there’s the first rule of Fight Club? There’s also a first rule of Ashtanga yoga. No, it’s not “Don’t talk about Ashtanga yoga.” It’s “Ashtanga is a daily practice.” Yeah, that sounds daunting. Who in the world would start off a yoga practice with a...

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To Study the Self is to Forget the Self

Yoga in the form of action has three parts: training and purifying the senses (tapas), self-study in the context of teachings (svadhyaya), and 3) devotion and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara pranidhana). – Yoga Sutras 2.1 Last time,...

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Keeping the Fire Burning

Yoga in the form of action has three parts: training and purifying the senses (tapas), self-study in the context of teachings (svadhyaya), and 3) devotion and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara pranidhana). – Yoga Sutras 2.1 I want to...

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Choose Your Own Adventure

“Regular practice is compulsory for everyone. Don’t worry about how much you’re bending or not. Be on the mat. Try to do whatever asanas you can.” – Sharath Jois People new to Ashtanga are fascinated by (& perhaps a bit scared of!) the crazy poses. And indeed the...

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Salutations & Welcome

Salutations to that reality in which all the elements and all the animate and inanimate beings shine as if they have an independent existence, and in which they exist for a time and into which they merge. Salutations to that consciousness which is the source of the...

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Trunk

Lots of people who come to Mysore return year after year. I’ve always stayed at serviced apartments until this year. This year, my apartment is attached to a family residence. It’s a fantastic place. But staying here meant I had to buy some household things: sheets,...

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Gokul Chats

One afternoon, after a bit of a walk, we decided to check out another local place, Gokul Chats. Gokulam is the name of the suburb we’re in, and Chats means snacks. Gokul Chats is an open air place that serves lunch and snacks – and, we’d heard, some really excellent...

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A visitor

Is eating all we do here? Nope. I entertain visitors when they come and scratch on my front door.This is Shiba, my landlady’s pug. Shiba and her daughter, Siri, and son, Telly, live downstairs.Shiba scratched on the door and when I let her in, she headed straight to...

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