Ashtanga Institute, Mysore

The Application Process for the Ashtanga Institute

This article was specifically written for people applying to the Ashtanga Institute in Mysore (, directed by Sharath Jois and Saraswathi Jois. This was a bit of a difficult process for me and because there is not a lot of information about the application process on the internet, I figured I would write about it.

Here are some of the general guidelines for applying:

  1. Apply 3 months in advanced. For Sharath’s class, this means midnight, Indian Time, on the first of the month for three months in the future. Saraswathi’s class seems to be less full so you can actually up until 2 months before you want to start practicing.
  2. For Sharath, you should apply to start in the first five days of the month, Saraswathi you can apply to start on any day of the month.
  3. If you are new to the institute, you would be wise to simply apply for Saraswathi’s class, Sharath’s fills up extraordinarily quickly and he almost certainly chooses yogis that are returning before new people.
  4. You must stay to practice for at least one month, but cannot stay for more than 3.
  5. The Institute closes on March 31st for a few months, but I am not sure when they re-open.

I first sent my application in at noon on October 1st, to start practicing with Sharath on January 1st. It took about four weeks to get my email with an unfortunate rejection due to being full, I re-applied to Sharath’s class two days later, this time at 1pm on October 31st for a February 1st start date. I was rejected again, but this time the rejection letter came only two weeks later. At this point, I became pretty frustrated and started to do some research.

I joined the Mysore Ashtanga community in Mysore and asked about the institute. Someone actually recommended that I give Saraswathi a call from the number on her website, so I did.

She answered in a quiet tone, and almost immediately asked, ‘where are you now?’, ‘when you want to come?’, ‘Did you send in an application?’ and I responded. After my response she simply said, ‘okay, you come. Come…come to Mysore, we’ll do yoga.’ It was that simple, and I got to start near the end of January, as opposed to February because her class isn’t as full as Sharath’s. She was very kind and I am excited to practice with her.

So I got a confirmation letter about a week later which was perfect, right on time to get my VISA, multiple entry for 6 months.

Just a few notes about the actual application submission:

  • make sure your pictures are under 500KB, there are image resizers out there that will do the trick
  • Make sure the passport picture is legible
  • Apply for Sharath’s class close to midnight Indian time
  • If you are new to the Shala, you probably want to start learning from Saraswathi
  • Once you get the confirmation email, forget about the application cause you’re going to have to wait a while. India seems to move much slower than the US

Of course every case is a little different, but I figure this was pretty typical for someone new the to Institute. If you have questions, or are applying yourself and want some more details, ask in the comments 🙂


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