What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga: the art of harmonizing body and mind, inner fire and outer movement.

What is Ahstanga Yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga is one of the most intense and vigorous, dynamic and fiery practices . It is the Yoga of the 8 steps , and it is made up of 3 different series with a pre-established order of specific postures.

It is a type of Vinyasa : the vital principle is to harmonize the movement of the body with the breath, through a sequence that is learned by heart and that is often practiced independently (in Mysore).

It is considered an authentic meditation in movement : body, mind and soul merge through the constant oscillation of nasal inhalations and exhalations.

It was divulged by Master Sri.K.Pattabhi Jois , who taught it at his home and school in Mysore for more than 65 years. Although, as we have mentioned before, many followers of Ashtanga Yoga practice independently, you can also go to guided classes and even for beginners.

What are the benefits of Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga: Benefits

Being a repetitive and daily sequence, one of its great advantages is that the progression is more easily perceived . The physical and mental benefits are palpable. Discipline plays a very important role: through repetition, execution of asanas and memorization of the sequence, it becomes a daily routine. A natural way to wake up and breathe, to move and connect.

The work of bandhas, drishtis and pranayamas make Ashtanga Yoga a very powerful and complete, meditative and effective practice .

  • Work the self-discipline muscle.
  • Increases the strength of the body through the multiple vinyasas and the numerous asanas.
  • Improves flexibility, mobility, elasticity and agility .
  • Develops balance, control and concentration .
  • Improve body posture through alignment work.
  • Work with conscious breathing , improving its quality and lung capacity.
  • The bandhas or energy closures provide energy and inner strength.
  • The drishti, that is to say the focus of the gaze and the mind on a fixed point, helps to develop concentration.
  • Improves the circulatory system and the immune system .
  • The constancy and repetition in the practice, the conscious movements and the Ujayi breathing bring serenity and mental calm, peace and lightness.

Furthermore, each Ashtanga series focuses energy on developing a specific skill : the first, “Yoga Chiktsa” aligns the body and purifies it of toxins. The second, "Nadhi Sodhana" detoxifies and calms the nervous system. The third, “Stira Bahija”, develops strength and stability.

Traditionally, the authentic devotees of Ashtanga Yoga practice 6 days a week: 5 of them Mysore and one of them, a guided class, except on full or new moon days. It is said that these days the body is more prone to injury.

So, if what you need is an orderly routine in your day to day, if you are one of those people who need mental order and a sequence to memorize and practice regularly, Ashtanga Yoga is for you. You can start with some guided classes and later delve into self-practice .

Mae Knapnougel

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