What is Ashtanga Yoga?

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga is a very dynamic and athletic form of yoga, made up of six series or levels, with a fixed order of postures. It is rooted in vinyasa, the flowing movements between postures, with a focus on energy and breath.

Where Comes From Ashtanga Yoga?

The definition of Ashtanga Yoga is found in the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, an ancient text on the theory and practice of Yoga thought to have been compiled by Sage Patañjali.

In 1948, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois adapted Patanjali’s concepts with modern vinyasa yoga to form a new type of yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, which is practiced as both exercise and meditation.

Discover what is Hatha Yoga (link to article 16)

What Does Mean Ashtanga Yoga?

The word Ashtanga is comprised of two Sanskrit words: “Ashta” refers to the number eight, while “Anga” means limb or body part. Therefore, Ashtanga is the union of the eight limbs of yoga, into one complete, holistic system.

Those Eightfold Path lead to self-awakening and liberation, which include:

1. Yama (moral codes)

2. Niyama (self-discipline)

3. Asana (posture)

4. Pranayama (breath control)

5. Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)

6. Dharana (concentration)

7. Dhyana (meditation)

8. Samadhi (oneness with the self)

Discover more about the 8 limbs of yoga (link to article 14)

Ashtanga Is A Posture Sequences

Ashtanga yoga consists of six levels of seated poses and standing poses—or asanas—that increase in difficulty and do not vary: a primary series, a secondary series, and four additional advanced levels. The structure of the Primary Series is like so:

• 5 sun salutation A and 5 sun salutation B

• A set of standing postures – including forward folds, twists and balances

• A set of seated postures – including a lot of forward folding, hip opening and twisting. And many of the signature Ashtanga “vinyasas” – jumping back and forward through a flow to keep the heart rate up and to build strength!

• Finishing sequence – including a deep backbend, shoulder stands and headstand

What Are The Benefits Of Ashtanga Yoga?

• improve your flexibility

• improve breath techniques

• improve your balance

• increase your stamina, bone density and muscle strength

• control your bodyweight

• lowers your blood pressure

• calms the nervous system and relieve stress

• helps mentally and spiritually by boosting mental clarity

• creating mental calmness and strength

• developing better concentration in daily life

• boosts psychological well-being

• reduces lower back pain

Discover the 4 branches of Yoga (link to article 22)


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