Mysore: When To Register, When To Go

NEWS: As of May 2013 it was announced that Sharath would be teaching in "monthly batches", starting on the 6th of each month.  See here for more.

I received some inquiries into -the site I put together with information about Mysore and practicing at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute- .  For example: When to go?  and also when to register?

The shortest answer is of course to keep a close watch on the website: as things change and nothing is set in stone.  There is a "News" section that keeps updating with information. 
The website

For example, as of today, the four last bits of news inform us that a) The official list of teachers is to be found here and all teachers appearing in other lists will be removed b) Applications to study in Mysore are no longer accepted through mail and must be done online c) a note to teachers: they are updating their lists and d) there should be a 2 month lapse between visits to India on tourist visa.

When I checked the website back in August'11 they had information pertaining to when Saraswathi and Sharath were to start teaching, or traveling, etc.

When to Register:
Early.  The best idea is to check the website and see what is happening at the particular time.  I would start looking from March (or from when the shala closes) and on.  You will see announcements of Sharath and Saraswathi on tour (maybe you can make it to one of their international trips).

NOTE:  The Shala says now that they only accept applications 2 to 4 months prior to your arrival.  At that time you can send the online registration form.

One Way to Prepare:
In the meantime, consider that to register online you will need a scan of your passport, the page that has your name.  While at it also scan the visa part, take four photocopies of both pages and take 4 passport pictures. You will need them for the trip.
Copies of passports are required for physical
registration once there AND for landlords - phone buying etc
When to Go:
For the past two years (2010-11 and 2011-12) the trend seems to be that the Mysore shala is open from Mid-October / November to the end of March. Saraswathi sometimes starts a bit early (again  based on what happened in the past two seasons).

The first couple of months are the easiest when it comes to the fact that the shala is not yet so crowded.  The biggest crowd appears to come in January/February escaping the northern hemisphere's cruel winters to enjoy Mysore providing delicious: 80-degrees-and-sunny-days.  The first couple of months are also easier on the "finding a place to live" situation.

This year seems to be particularly busy. I read in a blog that Sharath said: "too many people this year" to a registrant, and also that the starting time is nowadays 10 AM for newcomers. I also read that Saraswathi has a new shala with starting time at 5 AM which would mean that all those students that last year started after Sharath's finished are now in a different space, which also means a LOT of students! Does anyone know more about it?

So When to go: best time is early or October/November. The most crowded time is likely January February. In March that temperatures get increasingly hotter and hotter in Mysore, but more people are leaving and towards the end it gets not so crowded again.

A collage of Mysore
So, keeping an eye on the announcements on the website while being prepared and arranging affairs at home might be the best course.  Any other suggestions, or questions or comments?  Pray say.


  1. I have Nicki Doane's DVD that I will be starting this evening.........I hope to work my way up to taking a teacher training and then one day Mysore.

  2. Thank you for this Claudia, very helpful

  3. I saw Saraswati going off every morning, there is a notice saying that any of Saraswati's students with a start time after 9:30am should attend the main Shala.

  4. Super helpful. Maybe I should go to Mysore... but the "too many students" part is a turn off.

  5. Kevin, thanks.

    YYogini, I hear you I am the quiet type as well...

    p.s.: sorry if you got this twice, not sure why blogger deleted the comment I thought I posted last night

  6. Hi Claudia. I was there from the start of November to mid-December. It was crowded when i got there and even though some people left in December, it seemed even more were taking their place. I can't even imagine how busy it is now in the shala. I had a great experience but the only thing that would keep me from going back would be the crowds. If next year is anything like this year, the best time would be to go right when the Shala opens (early October)

  7. Scott thanks for the first hand account, so start of November already crowded ha? wow! Then the earlier the better kind of still holds... I cannot imagine it now either. Glad to hear you had a great experience in spite of the crowds.

  8. Hi Claudia,

    Thank You for sharing this Mysore tip with us :)

    If I decide to go to Mysore, is it possible to stay for 2 weeks?

    Is it too short for a learning period?

    The reason I am asking because I Love ashtanga yoga, but I have a full time job and planning to take 2 week vacation to go to Mysore to get the experience and learn at the source.

    Namaste ॐ

    1. Hi Anon,

      The new rules say that you have to go for a min of 1 month and max of 3 months, however, Saraswathi tends to be more flexible, for example James stayed only two weeks with her both times. I believe Sharath is pretty strict with the one month minimun rule...

      Good luck!

    2. Thank You for your prompt response :) Namaste

  9. Hi Claudia,
    How do you feel about traveling to the shala in July.  I am planning a trip, and as of now, it seems like that will be the best time for me to go.  I read, however, that July through August is monsoon season in the south of India. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome!
    Thank you :) 

  10. Hy Sylvia, I always get excited about going to the shala, but the truth is I've never been there in July, so I don't know how bad it gets...  Sorry I cant give more details...

  11. Hi, Claudia! I just found your blog. I'm traveling to India to study in Mysore after three years of dreaming about it. I'm going with my 9 year old son, and we will be there June - August. Thanks for the wonderful help and insights!!

  12. Hi Claudia,

    I am new to ashtanga and am just beginning to learn the primary series. How long do you recommend one practice before going to Mysore?

  13. Hi Kate, I will be heading to Mysore to study Ashtanga in 2015 with my then 9 yr old daughter. I would appreciate any information you could provide regarding your experience traveling with your son to Mysore. Om Shanti ~mischa


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