An Introduction to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

11 Oct

K. Pattabhi Jois developed a unique school of Yoga called Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Ashtanga Vinyasa is one of the most popular modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. At the age of 12 Pattabhi started his journey with yoga and in 1948, at the age of 32, he established an institute where he can teach his unique way of practicing Yoga. This unique way of practicing yoga is called Ashtanga Yoga. Ashta means Eight and Anga means Limb. So we can call it Eight-limbed yoga. These eight limbs are-Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, in which movement is synchronized to the breath, is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. The breath becomes an important component because the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. If you’re looking for movement, with a variety of always changing poses, then Vinyasa is probably the right type of yoga for you.

In Vinyasa yoga the poses run together and become like a dance. As it has a rhythm and is synchronized, some people call it Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow. Ashtanga Vinyasa is one of the fast paced yoga styles. Vinyasa is a discipline which not only utilizes the postures but also the breathing techniques.

It’s true that the origin of Ashtanga Vinyasa is Hatha Yoga, a holistic yogic path, including disciplines, posture, purification procedures, gestures, breathing, and meditation, differs in some important ways from its predecessor. Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga includes a limited number of Yoga Poses.

Traditional yoga cannot give you advanced cardiovascular benefits that you can easily get from Vinyasa Yoga. Vinyasa yoga ensures highest level of flexibility and balance through the continual movements, from one pose to another. Vinyasa means breathing and movement system. For each movement, there is one breath. The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. The four internal cleansing practices—pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi—bring the mind under control. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot, or as Pattabhi Jois says, boils the blood. Ashtanga Vinyasa has a lot of physio-psychological benefits. So why not try?

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