Memory matters in the ashtanga vinyasa sequence. One of the things that distinguishes the ashtanga practice from many other forms is that it is a set sequence of postures. Rather than changing what postures are practiced, what changes instead is the relationship a student has with the postures. Over time and with consistency the practice grows stronger. However before a true connection with the practice can be made, the sequence, pose by pose, should be committed to memory. As a student advances not just the sequence of postures, but then the vinyasas for each posture can be learned.
Mysore style is the traditional method taught by sri k pattabhi jois named after the small city where guruji lived for much of his life. In this style, the method of ashtanga yoga is transmitted from the teacher directly to the individual student through physical adjustments and minimal verbal cueing. Gradually the student is able to commit to memory a series of postures and breaths that comprise the series. Once the student memorizes and becomes proficient at a pose she is then taught the next pose until primary series is complete. Once primary series is complete and the student is firmly grounded in its techniques, she will move on to the intermediate series and on. There are 6 series in ashtanga yoga; at this time there is only one person, r sharth jois, guruji’s grandson, who practices the 6th series of ashtanga yoga.