What is Ashtanga Yoga?
It’s a system of yoga devised by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronising the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.
Purpose Of Ashtanga Yoga
The ultimate purpose of the Ashtanga practice is purification of the body and mind. By moving mindfully and dynamically, you will get a lot of tapas (literally translated as to burn off, discipline) and everything extra, physical and mental, will have to get out the way. This practice has a strong sense of purpose and you are forced to focus and grow.
Benefits Of Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga comes with all the benefits of a regular yoga practice–strength, flexibility, stress management, and inner peace. Because the series is dynamic by nature (and in traditional practice you’re expected to practice most days) you will get really strong really fast. There is no part of the body that doesn’t work hard in this practice.
Is Ashtanga Yoga For Me?
Ashtanga Yoga is for you, if you enjoy a challenge and you love structure. The practice has a fixed sequence which you can practice in any studio, anywhere in the world. If you have sensitive muscles or joints or if you are nursing injury at the moment, then the Mysore style practice would suit you the best. Here, you are able to practice at your own pace with modifications for your body & support from the teacher.
What to expect?
The sun salutation (Sūrya Namaskāra) forms the foundation of Astanga Yoga practice. Here you will establish the calm rhythm of breathing (Ujjāyī) direction of Energy (Bandha) and concentration (Ḍṛṣti). The powerful flow of a moving meditation is born. See the example below of the rhythm of postures.