Ashtanga vinyasa Yoga
often referred to as aerobic yoga is a dynamic system gracefully,
synchronizing the breath with movement, blending together and promoting
flexibility, strength, stamina, balance, breath control and relaxation.
Each asana is connected by breath - synchronized movements called
vinyasa. A full vinyasa is preformed between each asana and a half
vinyasa between left and right sides. This acts as a counter pose
to the previous asana, increasing blood circulation and relieving
any stiffness before entering the next asana. By performing vinyasa
the student develops and maintains heat in the body causing profuse
sweating. This is necessary for the elimination of toxins.
In each asana the student engages a specific drusthi or gaze point.
By focusing on the correct point it enables the student to extend
deeper in to the asana and further centres ones concentration.
With practice the breathing, bandhas and drusthis becomes one with
the flowing rythmic movements resulting in a slow motion gracefully
system of entering, maintaining and exiting the asanas, It is then
the student begins to gain insight into meditation in movement.
Within the Ashtanga metod there are over two hundred classical
asanas. These are grouped together in a specific order known as
a series. There are three groups of sequences in the Ashtanga system.
The first or primary series known as yoga chikitsa (yoga therapy)
is designed to theraputically align the body.
The second or inter-mediat series or Nadi Shodana (nerve purification)
works on the nervous system and it is more intense than the primary
series. The third or advanced series called Stira Baga is even more
intense cultivating tremendous strenght, flexibility, control and
Each series consists of warm-ups (sun salutations), standing poses,
forward bends, back bends, twisting, balancing, inverted asanas,
stregthening and cooling down asanas followed by relaxation.
Each asana has its own therapeutic value as well, but only when
it is performed in the context of the complete series are its effects
properly manifested. With the practice of the asanas in the correct
order, the use of bandhas, drusthis and correct breathing utilizing
the vinyasa system, the student is able to progress very rapidly.
The almost infinate depth of Ahstanga Yoga becomes apparent with
regular practice. The development and maintenance of physical well-being,
emotional equanimity and spiritual unfoldment are the benifits to
be gained through this age-old discipline.
This system of Yoga may be as old as 5000 years and it is still
taught in South India by K.Pattabhi Jois, now over 80-years old.
Read more about the yoga.
Ashtanga Yoga IN THE TRADITION OF SRI K. PATTABHI