Ashtanga Yoga – An Overview

Ashtanga yoga was founded out by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the year 1915 – 2009. This is a system of yoga that involves integration of breath with a sequence of postures. This process of yoga produces intense internal heat and profuse sweating, thereby detoxifying organs and muscles. This improves blood circulation, calms the mind and strengthens the body.  There are 6 sequences in Ashtanga yoga discussed clearly in the following content.

Ashtanga Yoga Positions and Moves

The six sequences begin with Primary sequence, Intermediate sequence and then succeeded by the four Advanced sequences (A, B, C, D).

  • Primary or First Sequence – This is also known as Yoga Chikitsa, which means Yoga therapy.  This therapy reorganizes the spine, builds stamina, flexibility, strength and detoxifies the body. It includes nearly 75 postures that take about 1 to 2 hours to finish. It begins with sun salutations (also called surya namaskara A and B) followed by standing posture, seated posture, inversions, backbends and finally relaxation.
  • Intermediate or Second Sequence – This is also known as Nadi Shodana, which means cleansing the nervous system.  This therapy purifies and clears the nervous system, therefore opening the energy pathways. It begins with same sun salutations, followed by standing and sitting postures , but even has more additional variations and poses.
  • Four Advanced Sequences – These are together known as Sthira Bhaga, which means perfect stability. Earlier, it consisted of only two intense sequences, but later they were subdivided into four sequences, to make an easy approach for people.  These four advanced postures improve flexibility, humility, grace and strength.  The body becomes such that it can receive any further complicated asana.

Ashtanga Classes – Led and Self-Led Classes

Led classes means a teacher taking the class and instructing the students about the poses. The place where ashtanga classes are given is known as shala and is usually closed on moon days.

Self-led classes can be opted by the students themselves when they get aware of the sequence of poses perfectly. This is also known as Mysore-style practice, as the founder Sri K.Patabhi Jois taught this particular yoga in this place. Ashtanga yoga can be a classical foundation for those who practice yoga at home.

Can Ashtanga Yoga be Practiced by Anyone?

Ashtanga yoga is very popular and gives an inspiration of violent zeal in its practitioners. It can be practiced by anyone as it can guide beginners to advance in their poses and is considered to be the right way.

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