Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga Can Benefit You Today

Is Ashtanga The Right Practice For You?

Ashtanga is a type of which was developed and founded by K. Pattabhi Jois. This type of yoga is known as the Eight Limb Yoga which revolves in Pattanjali’s enormous idea. It presented that the path of purification comprises the eight spiritual practices.

Vinyasa means ‘breathing system‘. For each movement, there is one breath. For example, in Surya Namskar there are nine vinyasas. The first vinyasa is inhaling while raising your arms over your head, and putting your hands together; the second is exhaling while bending forward, placing your hands next to your feet, etc. In this way all asanas are assigned a certain number of vinyasas.

Ashtanga Yoga
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The first four limbs that represent Ashtanga Yoga are – yama, niyama, Asana and Pranayama. These are considered cleansing practices which are externally correctable. The other set of limbs which are the – pratyahara, dhyana, dharana are the internal practies.

The philosophical basis of Ashtanga yoga can be found in the “Yoga Sutra”.  It is available in many translations with commentaries. The “Yoga Sutra” was written between 400 BC and 200 AD.  Hindu mythology dates it back much earlier, to 10,000 BC.

Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual
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The “Yoga Sutra” is the most important text of classical yoga. The author, Patanjali, collected and systematized the existing techniques and knowledge of his time in this work. The Yoga Sutra defines yoga as “the quieting of the mind” (yogas chitta-vritti-nirodha).

Only with a calm mind can the true nature of existence be realized.

To achieve this goal Patanjali describes a way of eight stages:

  1. Yama (dealing with others)
  2. Niyama (dealing with oneself)
  3. Asana (position)
  4. Pranayama (breath control)
  5. Pratyahara (fasting with the senses)
  6. Dharana (concentration)
  7. Dhyana (meditation)
  8. Samadhi (self-awareness)

This eightfold path, seeking the calming of thoughts in the mind, is the namesake of Ashtanga Yoga: Ashta = eight, anga = limbs, yoga = peace of mind

These limbs can only be corrected by applying the Ashtanga Yoga method properly. When practicing ashtanga yoga you not only improve overall flexibility but also stamina and endurance.

K. Pattabhi Jois said that practicing these Eight Limbs and also its sub-limbs of the external practices which include the niyama and yama is not possible. In doing so, the body should be strong so that it can perform the practices well enough. If the body is weak, and the sense organs are not functioning well, practicing will never be useful at all.

This is a philosophy that K. Pattabhi Jois has applied, this is important to understand so that in doing the practice, you are sure that the body will improve and the keep it stronger and healthier.

Vinsaya and Tristhana is practiced in Ashtanga Yoga.

The Vinsaya style makes Ashtanga and its principles distinct from the others. Vinsaya means the movement and breathing which is used for the internal cleansing process. Each movement done is accompanied by only one breath.

Sweat is the most important product of Vinsaya. When you produce sweat, it only means that you are successfully applying the practice.

When you perform the Asanas, the body creates heat which causes your to boil and excrete the toxins outside of your body. The toxins are found in your sweat. So the more sweat you create, the more toxins are released.

The poses are used to develop the and health of the body fully. The series of practices make this possible. There are three postures used in Ashtaga Yoga.

The three are classified on different levels:

The first is the Primary Series which aims on aligning the body and also detoxifying it.

The second is the Intermediate Series opening and cleaning the energy channels which comes to the process of purifying the Nervous System.

The last series would be the Advanced Series from A to D. in this series, the grace and is measured.

The Tristhana is another yoga principle that represents the union of the three places of action and attention. First is the posture, second is the breathing technique ad last is the Dristhi of the Looking Place. All these three should work together to perform a function.

Ashtanga Yoga Video Shot In India

Breathing techniques are simultaneous and synchronized. It is important to make a single breath for one movement. Ujjayi Breathing is the Yoga Breathing Technique used in the application of Ashtanga Yoga.

Applying this technique must be prolonged after every practice. What you need to master is holding your pose longer at the same time hold your breath. This is an amazing breathing exercise that will increase your internal fire and will strengthen the Nervous System.

Both Ashtanga and Tristhana deal with the series of Dristhi. The Dristhi is described as the point on which you gain your focus or attention while doing the Asana. This enables your mind to be purified and stabilized clearly.

Ashtanga yoga, ensures that you not only obtain a calm and peaceful mind but also a strong and toned body. In fact, it is widely practiced these days as an effective weight management and core strength building routine.

Setting the mind clear and cleansing it takes time and the recommended process is the Eight-Limb Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is as strong as you make it and takes you as deep as you are willing to go.

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