Mysore- Style Ashtanga

Ashtanga yoga is learned in what’s called a “Mysore Style” class where you develop an individualized practice with the support and guidance of a teacher who, if certified, has spent decades steeped in the tradition and engaged in serious practice. This was the teaching method of late Yoga master in Mysore, South India, hence the source of the name “Mysore Style”.

In a Mysore style class you memorize the Ashtanga sequences by learning one posture at a time in a manner similar to learning a traditional chanting or music practice in India. As you repeat and master the postures within the given sequences, you gradually increase your knowledge and create an independent, mature personal practice.

A Mysore style practice is developed slowly over days, weeks and years. Through discipline and intelligent practice you come to understand the breathing system and gain the necessary freedom to express a great variety of postures. And as you develop your postures you gather the mental strength and agility to concentrate your mind.

 The study in a Mysore class occurs in a traditional manner, a one to one exchange between the teacher and student, an exchange centered around uncovering the Self by way of sharing in the ever-renewing tradition that has been passed down. The study also happens in community with others who engaged in the same important discipline and discovery as you are. Inspiration and friendship are generated in Ashtanga yoga Mysore rooms where people share daily in a serious, vigorous and enthusiastic study of yoga.

In the class the instructor is there to teach you the postures by means of verbal and hands-on adjustments and help you learn the proper vinyasa protocol for each posture in each sequence. And also the Mysore style class is structured so that your learning can be adjusted according to your individual needs, according to your age, state of health, level of life responsibilities, strength and flexibility and other relevant variables. The class setting provides the proper circumstances for you to receive the individual attention needed to create an ongoing practice that suits you. Daily you find your own rhythm and pace, you are able to go into your own internal mental space and this creates an atmosphere where important reflection and self-study can happen. The Mysore style class is not structured like a typical yoga class, it’s more like receiving a private class in a group setting, you practice amidst the sounds of breathing and amongst others who are working at their own level and their own pace, focusing within themselves along side you. At first the apparent disorganization, the heat and powerful vibration of a group of people keenly striving can be disorienting and even seem intimidating or cause fear.  But once you get your bearings and have familiarized yourself with what is happening in the class, you’ll find that you fit right in and you’ll love it, you’ll find you can’t imagine doing your daily practice in any other way.

This Mysore style description was given with permission and written by my teacher; certified Ashtanga teacher, David Garrigues


Ashtanga yoga is a complete yoga method based on Bhakti (devotion) to a breathing and movement system called vinyasa. Through Ashtanga yoga you come to realize your Self and your purpose by learning to systematically combine several internal and external techniques including: breathing, internal locks, meditation, posture, conscious movement and gazing. When these basic techniques are applied with discipline, subtlety and skill, they are excellent tools for becoming physically and mentally strong and perceptive. When you’ve developed your practice, you learn to ‘inhabit’ your body like an animal moving freely in the wild and at the same time your mind becomes strong and fit for meditation. Practicing to create this combination of physical grace and power and mental clarity and openness leads to spiritual awakening. The method consists of learning rigorous, well-balanced sets of postures and the vinyasa positions that form the set sequences. The alternating, opposing movement and breathing patterns within the given sequences help you to internalize your mind and to gain depth and wisdom by observing the true nature of what is happening within you.

The Ashtanga yoga method was originally taught in Mysore, southern India by a late Yoga Master.  Since the first Ashtanga classes were taught in Mysore, this style of teaching is named after the city and is really just short for “Mysore Style Ashtanga.”

This Summary of the Ashtanga yoga lineage was given with permission and written by my teacher, David Garrigues

Sandee teaches in the lineage of her teacher David Garrgues continuing to share the teachings as been taught to her. She strives to create and welcoming and accessible Shala for all who want to come experience the transformational healing of this practice…meeting you where you are.

A NOTE about #metoo: we stand with survivors.


This shala is absolutely transformational— *all* kinds of yogis come through here and it is safe, warm, and does not give off any “studio” type vibes. Sandee Lawless’ Mysore ashtanga program is phenomenal— I’ve been attending it for 6 months now and in this time she’s shown me how to build a practice that is uniquely my own. She’s so talented at reading students— finding ways for your body *as it is* to extend into new areas of an asana, and she balances encouraging you to listen to your needs with an invigorating challenge. This practice extends into other areas of a person’s life and I can confidently say it has drawn me out of rough spaces many times and has introduced me to myself over and over again. Rogan M.

Class Schedule

Doors are 6:30AM-9:30AM Monday through Thursday and Sunday 9:00AM-11:00AM, Mysore Style with the exception of Moon Days. Students may arrive at any time before 9:00AM weekdays to begin their practice, but must finish by 9:30AM and 11AM on Sundays. We'll chant the opening mantra at the start of class.

Teacher Instruction/ Assisting by Sandee Lawless will be offered Monday-Thursday 7:00AM-8:30AM, Sundays 9:30AM-11:00AM.

Apprentices/Assistants will be there to answer questions/some assisting 8:30AM-9:30AM-Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday. Monday and Thursday- open practice 8:30AM- 9:30AM.

7:00AM-8:30AM Fridays- Led Primary Series ( with some counting is Sanskrit for part of the series) taught by Sandee Lawless.

6:15PM-7:30PM- Led (workshop style) Half Primary by Donation (Yoga Punx Class) with more cueing, modifications and verbal instructions taught by Sandee Lawless and Tay Arnold. GREAT For 1st Timers! Great for anyone wanting a WORKSHOP STYLE Half Primary. Please note - we do allow children to attend this Friday night workshop class.


This program is led by Sandee Lawless and assisted by apprentices Mandi Hood, Tay Arnold, Scott Powers, and Ashley Low. You can read more about them on our teachers page.

We are excited to announce that Katie Kanak and Joanna Darlington will be guest teaching and directing the program while Sandee is in India this winter studying and assisting her teacher. Read about Katie and Joanna on the teacher page! You don’t want to miss them ……..


$15 Drop In

5 Class Packs: $65 (good for 3 months). 10 Class Packs: $120 (good for 6 months)

$108 Monthly Pass: 3 days per week for Mysore plus other classes.

$125 Burning Spirit Monthly Pass: Unlimited Mysore, 6 days per week , plus all other classes.

Beginning Ashtanga Vinyasa

We love beginners! Practitioners new to Mysore or new to yoga in general are always welcome in the Mysore class. There are a few ways to start. You can attend one of the monthly Intro to Ashtanga workshops OR you can set a date to start by emailing us OR just come in one morning. No problem.

Feel free to also start by coming to one of the twice weekly Led Primary /Half Primary classes.

Intro to Ashtanga

Intro to Ashtanga is held monthly and is designed for beginners to Ashtanga and the Mysore method. This class is will help prepare you to feel confident in the Mysore class and begin your practice. All levels welcomed! The workshop is 2 hours long and includes 5 free Mysore classes. See calendar for dates….

Friday Led Primary

Led Primary Series is every Friday morning from 7:00AM-8:30AM.

We also offer Friday night Led Half Primary Series by donation—Yoga Punx PDX 6:15PM-7:30PM. This is more interactive than a traditional led class—-and is taught in the style of a workshop. Please note- we do allow children to attend this Friday Evening class.

Suggested donation $10-15 (no one turned away for lack of funds). 20% of donations goes directly to the scholarship fund that provides access to classes, trainings and workshops for those who could otherwise not attend due to financial barriers.

Moon Days

Ashtanga Yoga traditionally is not practiced on Saturdays or Moon Days. Below are the dates of new or full moons- take rest.



Sunday 13th- full, Sunday 27th-new


Tuesday 12th- full, Tuesday 26th -new


Wednesday 11th- full, Wednesday 25th -new


January 10 & 24 * February 9 & 23 * March 9 & 24 * April 7 & 22 * May 7 & 22 * June 5 & 19 * July 5 & 20 *

August 3 & 18 * September 1 & 17 * October 1 & 16 * November 1 & 15 & 30 * December 14 * 29


Trini Foundation Partnership

Through the Trini scholarship program, tuition assistance is offered to individuals in recovery from addiction, and other economically disadvantaged individuals. These scholarships give everyone access to the Ashtanga yoga practice and the opportunity to practice Mysore Style Ashtanga at Burning Spirits Yoga.

To apply email or visit