Ashtanga yoga is a form of yoga that synchronizes breath and a series of poses to produce an internal heat designed to purify the body and improve the body and the mind. This yoga form helps remove impurities from the body and helps strengthen the circulatory system. It is also excellent for building core strength and toning the body.
Ashtanga yoga was developed by Indian yoga teacher K. Pattabhi Jois in 1948. The word “Ashtanga” means eight limbs which refers to the eight limbs of classical yoga. The eight limbs are:
Ashtanga yoga is primarily concerned with “Asana.” Asanas are a set of poses that the students perform. The series of movements performed is vigorous making this class very aerobic. Asanas are designed to produce heat within the body to create a purifying sweat. Then, this sweat removes the impurities from the organs and muscles, therefore, creating a healing atmosphere within the body.
Ashtanga yoga has several health benefits which include:
Ashtanga yoga emphasizes certain main components, namely “Vinyasa,” “Tristhana,” and “Dristhi.”
“Vinyasa” is the flowing sequence of movements that connect each asana to the next. In addition, it coordinates the breath with the transition of vinyasa movements between asanas.
“Tristhana” is the union of breathing system, posture, and looking place. These cover the body, the mind, and the nervous system and they are always performed together.
“Dristhi” is the point that students focus on when practicing their Asanas. Also known as looking place, The Drishti helps to stabilize the mind. There are nine points:
The Ashtanga Yoga comprises a set sequence of yoga poses that range from forwarding fold to backbends, twists, and inversions. The following are some Ashtanga Yoga postures that can be tried.
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