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Ashtanga Yoga

The founder of Ashtanga Yoga is K. Pattabhi Jois who started his work on this form yoga at a tender age of 12 in the year 1927. In 1948 he opened up a school that became popular for teaching Ashtanga. The sanskrit meaning of Ashtanga is “eight-limbed”

The follower of Shri K.Pattabhi Jois, Gregor Maehle learned this form of yoga for seventeen years. He was certified by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois to teach others Ashtanga Yoga.

In Ashtanga no particular form of postures are followed. The one who practices Ashtanga follows a series of poses and then gets expertise in each level. Once getting expertise in a particular level one can move up and practice another level. Before moving from one level to another one has to get expert in the previous level as the steps followed in Ashtanga helps the body to get prepared for the next phase of steps.

Poses of Ashtanga Yoga

The detail of the eight limbs is explained as:

  1. Yama refers to the moral codes to be practiced in Yoga.

  2. Niyama Yoga is done for one own mind and body purification.

  3. Asana refers to the various postures of body.

  4. Pranayam is the process of maintaining control on breathing.

  5. Pratyahara is the module which helps in retreating the mind from sanity

  6. Dharana teaches bout concentration

  7. Dhyana is linked to the process of deep meditation

  8. Samadhi is the position that unites the body following the procedure of mediatation.

The former four kinds of limb that is yama, niyama, asana and pranayama should be practiced for the outer purification of the body and the later four that is Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are for the purification of one’s soul.

The series of postures to be followed starts with practicing surya namaskar also referred as sun salutation. After Sun Salutation total of six poses are to be done in the standing position. These six poses are the base for the next steps of yoga to be done. After performing these basic poses there are a sequence of four steps that need to be followed in Ashtanga Yoga and they goes as follow:-

  1. Chikitsa Yoga which is the basic series

  2. Nadi Shodana is the middle level series

  3. Sthirabhaga is practiced in advance level of type A

  4. Sthirabhaga is practiced in advance level of type B

Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga concentrates on harmonizing the process of breathing with the various postures of the body. This kind of yoga practice generates internal heat thus cleansing the sweat that helps in detoxification. This further helps in better blood circulation leaving the body light and composing the mind.

The Ashtanga yoga is the amalgamation of various body postures, breathing process, focus and contemplation. The procedure of following Ashtanga yoga is very dynamic and energetic. Whoever practices yoga gains the following aspects in terms of body and mind: emotional, psychological, physical and rational. This further helps in expanding the life span.

The person who practices Ashtanga regularly gets emotionally strong. This helps the mind and body to be calm as the major reasons for the disturbance in the body emotions is the root cause. The cause of getting emotional is related to the past incidents in one’s life. The practice of yoga helps in reducing the stress from both mind and soul.


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