Expand Your Yoga Practice & Knowledge with Josh Pryor’s Guide to Mysore Yoga & Modern Commentary on the Yoga Taravali.

The Spirit of the Matter by Josh Pryor presents the benefits of Mysore style yoga, a classical form of self-practice, which is closely associated to the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system that has been popularised and practiced around the world.

Safe and Scalable

This traditional way to learn yoga allows the practitioner to lay a strong foundation of physical and psychological health, as well as a practical understanding of yogic spiritual principles. In turn, student learn to self-practice at their own pace, allowing them to engage their practice and knowledge in way that is most beneficial for them.

Ancient Techniques

The book clearly explains ancient techniques that provide a path for the human to flourish in a life of joyous freedom and positivity, covering concepts such as the nature of consciousness and the place of the material world in a spiritual life.

The Yoga Taravali:
Classical Yogic Text

Josh Pryor has spent most of life engaging yogic principles and practice. In his debut book, Josh offers a modern commentary on the historically significant yogic text Yoga Taravali. The Yoga Taravali is considered is intrinsically connected to and the spiritual cornerstone embedded within the well-known Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga system.

The Spirit of the Matter (paperback)

An adventurous look at the progressive Mysore style yoga method and its relationship with Westernised "gym style" classes. Mysore style the most inclusive form of yoga class - perfect for families, people with disability, athletes, beginners, and people of any age.

In the book Josh talks about how yoga was traditionally taught in India, and how we can better integrate the intentions of the great yogis of the past into our daily practice. The book includes a blend of modern research on interoception and fascial remodeling, as well as tales from the mother land.

Not only this, the book also features a modern translation of an 8th century text called Yoga Tārāvalī. This text has only been translated and published once before, and is currently out of print. Now, however, you can see and read one of the most important and succinct sets of truths covering the unified cosmos and infinite intelligence. All of this uplifting and empowering information is presented clearly so that you can implement it in your daily life, rather than leaving it as "night-stand philosophy".

Esteemed author Gregor Maehle says: "Josh Pryor’s The Spirit of the Matter is a refreshing new contribution to Ashtanga Yoga. It sheds novel light on the Mysore-style format and explains its manifold advantages. The book clears many common misunderstandings that may prevent beginners from trying out this most efficient class format. Pryor’s approach is guided by reason and a spirit of exploration rather than dogma. The Spirit of the Matter also for the first time makes available a useable translation of the Yoga Taravali. Congratulations!"

This is a great book for yoga enthusiasts, studio owners, and spiritual seekers who wish to move beyond the standard Westernised flavours of yoga, into the deep awareness and intentions of those who initiated yoga itself.

Available to purchase right here, or alternatively on Book Depository.


Preface from The Spirit of the Matter

Yoga is Recognition of the Higher Self

A complete set of yogic techniques, practiced in the Mysore style class setting is a most effective strategy to live a productive and grounded life, while travelling along a clear path to the ultimate goal of yoga. That is, recognition of the Higher Self.

The metaphysical reality espoused and realised by the great yogis is more than a romantic idea, more than an academic or philosophical pursuit, and much more than just a historical ritual. It is a system of knowledge that empowers the individual to understand their place as the ultimate controller of their universe. It is a series of techniques which people can test for themselves and thereby know the truth.

While yoga as a general idea is widespread and popular, a rather substantial gulf remains between physical yoga and the rest of yoga. People tend to do one or the other and thus achieve only a partial result. It is important to know that the two can be completely blended. A physical yoga practice can be imbued with the highest form of metaphysical knowledge, and the Mysore style environment facilitates this blending in a way unapproachable by commercial class formats.

Additionally, while in this day and age we have access to ancient Sanskrit texts and popular commentaries on the same, we find that the limitations of language result in only a partial understanding. Much study of Sanskrit is required to even begin to reveal the subtleties. So, this book will show how the complete blending of the physical and spiritual worlds can be realised in the Mysore style yoga setting.

The popular Ashtanga Vinyasa method of physical yoga is to be combined with the rather more esoteric components of hatha yoga. In particular we will highlight the 8th century text called Yoga Taravali. The creators of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system chose to wed it to this beautiful and concise hatha yoga text.

We have a very clear opportunity and mandate, in this age, to recognize the nature of reality and to play in the world in a way that awakens the intuitive and psychic faculties. It is a play that results in harmony, ecstatic experience, understanding of others, and control of one’s own fate.

How to teach Mysore style

For yoga teachers, The Spirit of the Matter presents an opportunity to provide students with a natural progression to greater capabilities in asana, and far beyond. Explore other semi-physical techniques that culminate in deep meditation and enhanced clarity.

Josh is experienced in leading workshops to yoga teachers and students on the topic of Mysore style yoga and the subtle techniques found within.