Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga

Article by Apoorve Saxena

Is a dynamic yoga system that elegantly synchronizes breath with movement, and provides increased flexibility, strength, endurance, balance, breathing control and relaxation.


Each position (asana) is associated with breathing synchronized movements called vinyasa, which links breathing and movement, so the posts succession in a flow from start to finish. It is predetermined, where in a position you have to breathe in and out. Just as there is an established way to get in and out of each post. Finally out posts in a very specific order. Traditionally performed a full vinyasa between each asana and half vinyasa between right and left side. This serves as a juxtaposition to the previous asana, increases circulation and facilitates stiffness before moving into the next position. By performing vinyasa built and maintained warm in the body and it also causes excessive perspiration, which according to the yoga tradition is necessary atrense body.

Three techniques

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is working both on physical and mental level. Three key techniques is the special ujjayi breathing – also known hvisleåndedrættet – and three body lock (mula bandha (root lock), Uddiyana bandha (mavelås) and Jalandhara bandha (chin lock)) and the visual focal points, called dristi, for example. may be the nose or thumb. When these three come together in a higher entity called tristana, you can experience yoga as meditation in motion. With stomach-lock (Uddiyana-bandha) and root lock (mula bandha-) activated, one creates a boost from the abdomen and stomach, giving a lightness throughout the body.

Three series and two hundred postsThe Ashtanga method, there are over two hundred classical yoga asanas. These are grouped in a certain order, called series. There are three groups of series in the Ashtanga Yoga system and the first (primary), intermediate (intermediate) and Advanced A, B, C and D (advanced). As their names suggest increased severity from one to the next series, and the posts are working deeper and deeper.

The first series is also called Yoga Chikitsa, which means yoga therapy. Its purpose is namely therapeutically to correct, strengthen and cleanse the body.

The Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana) strengthens and cleans then the nervous system. It is more intense than the first series.

The third or advanced series (Sthira Bhaga) is even more intense and develops a high strength, flexibility, body control and endurance.

Most spend a few years to establish a stable practice of the first series before they’re ready to go (of course depending on the starting point). But there is also no hurry, yoga can be grown throughout life – and it is very important for further development, the foundations are in order.

Asana practice (physical postures) begins with solhilsner (an A and a B-version), then exercise, a number of standing postures and then continue with either the first series of posts (primary series), another series of posts (second series ) or third, fourth, fifth or sixth series. You make traditionally seen nothing from the following series before mastering the previous series. Mon finish his practice with a range of final positions, which helps cool the body down after it is warm throughout the practice.


Each series includes heating (greatings to the sun), standing positions, forward bends bagoverbøjninger, body twists and exercises training balance and strength. All series ends with chilling, final positions, followed by relaxation. Each position has its own therapeutic effect. But only when done in conjunction with the entire series, you get the full effect.

Proper execution and order is key

By performing the posts in the correct order, using breathing and vinyasa system, body locks and focusing points, the student will soon prosper.

With regular practice, the almost endless depth in Ashtana vinyasa yoga system is obvious. Development and maintenance of physical well being, equanimity and spiritual development, the benefits gained through this ancient discipline, which is still taught in its original form in South India of the over 80-year-old Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois.

Because of the very dynamic flow in this form of yoga is Ashtanga yoga gained a reputation of being less “real” yoga than other forms of yoga. Objectively, there is no difference in how “real” traditional yoga types are.

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