Ashtanga Yoga is known for its set sequence of asanas, which are practiced in a specific order, and which become increasingly challenging as the practitioner progresses. The primary series consists of about 75 asanas, and the advanced series adds more difficult postures.
In addition to the physical practice of asanas, Ashtanga Yoga places great emphasis on the practice of pranayama (breathing techniques), drishti (focused gaze), and bandhas (energy locks). The practice is typically taught in a Mysore-style setting, where each student practices at their own pace and receives individualized attention from the teacher.
Ashtanga Yoga is considered a powerful and transformative practice, and is popular among practitioners seeking a challenging and disciplined approach to yoga.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga practice that involves a specific sequence of postures, which are linked together through a series of flowing movements and synchronized breathing. The practice is based on the teachings of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who popularized Ashtanga Yoga in the Western world in the 1970s.
The term “ashtanga” literally means “eight limbs” in Sanskrit, referring to the eightfold path of yoga as described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is primarily focused on the third and fourth limbs of yoga, which are asana (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques).
The asana practice in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga consists of six series of postures, each with a specific focus and level of difficulty. The first series, known as the Primary Series, is designed to purify the body and build strength and flexibility. The subsequent series, called the Intermediate Series, is focused on deeper backbends and hip openers. The later series, known as the Advanced Series, are designed for experienced practitioners and involve more challenging postures and variations.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is known for its dynamic and rigorous style, with a strong emphasis on breath and movement. Each posture is linked to the breath in a flowing sequence, with a specific number of breaths assigned to each posture. The practice is typically done in a heated room to help increase flexibility and detoxification.
In addition to the physical practice, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga also includes other components of the eightfold path of yoga, including yama (ethical principles), niyama (personal observances), and meditation. The practice is traditionally taught in a Mysore-style format, where students practice at their own pace under the guidance of a teacher.
Ashtanga Yoga is a form of traditional yoga that was developed and popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century. It is a dynamic and physically demanding style that emphasizes synchronization of breath and movement, as well as the use of specific postures (asanas) and sequences.
The term “ashtanga” comes from the Sanskrit words “ashta” (meaning eight) and “anga” (meaning limb), referring to the eight limbs of yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. These eight limbs are:
1. Yama (moral restraints)
2. Niyama (observances)
3. Asana (posture)
4. Pranayama (breath control)
5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
6. Dharana (concentration)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8. Samadhi (union with the divine)