If you are an advanced Yoga practitioner and feel the need to express yourself physically on a different level, but haven’t quite found your yoga style yet, then we recommend you try out Astanga Yoga.
Ashtanga is not merely a yoga style but rather a philosophy of life with the idea to synchronize a healthy mind and body using a person’s potential.
Origin of the Ashtanga Yoga
While there is no clear record of when the style was first “created” it was popularized by Sri K. in the beginning of the 20th Century in India. It is mentioned some ancient writing by Vamana Rishi, named Yoga Korunta.
Practice of the Ashtanga Yoga
The main goal of this particular style is to push the practitioner to reach his or hers fullest potential on different levels. This starts with the consciousness and goes through the physical, spiritual and psychological. Correct breathing patterns, postures, and gazing points lead to control of the body and its senses on a deep level within a person’s self. Through regular practice and devotion, a person receives strength and balance within the mind and body.
There are three sequences of movements in the Ashtanga system and each of them serves a different purpose. The main one is called Yoga Chikitsa, and its goal is to detoxify and align a person’s body. The second one called Nadi Shodhana which helps to purify the nervous system through opening different energy channels and clearing them. The third one is named Sthira Bhaga which takes the previous two and synchronizes them into strength. However, it requires advanced levels of flexibility.
Before moving to the next patterns of movements, one must properly develop the previous as each posture helps the person prepare for the next and helps to develop both mind balance and physical strength.
Meaning of the Ashtanga Yoga
The literal translation to Ashtanga is “eight limbs”. Explained by Patanjali as this; Dhyana (meditation), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Samadhi (contemplation), Dharana (concentration), Yama (abstinences), Asana (postures), and Niyama (observances). All of those branches help each other for an individual to reach a proper balance. Postures are supported and established by the breath control, and both of them are the core of the abstinences and observances. Once a person reaches firm control of the first four, the second spiritual four naturally achieve the higher level over time.
Core of the Ashtanga Yoga
“Everything Is God”, but “Breath Is Life”. Breath and practice are the two most important factors to revealing your full potential through this style of yoga. Breathing methods cannot be emphasized enough as they humble the person and grant the body with precise, gentle and steady movements.
Practice helps you develop strength and stamina, but also discipline. One cannot expect results if no effort is put in; it’s the same goes with yoga. We recommend a self-practice class for this style.