Ashtanga Yoga is a method of yoga that is taught in India by Sri K Pattabhi Jois. This style of yoga involves the synchronization of breathing with a progressive series of postures. This is a process that produces a kind of intense internal heat as well as a drenching, purifying sweat that is supposed to detoxify the muscles and organs of the body. The result is a light and strong body, improved circulation, and a calm mind.
Ashtanga Yoga Background
Ashtanga Yoga is a method of yoga that was recorded by Vamana Rishi in an ancient manuscript called the Yoga Korunta. This article was said to contain lists of a variety of groupings of asanas and highly original teachings on the subjects of vinyasa, bandhas, drishti, mudras and philosophy.
The text of this article was handed down to Sri T. Krishnamacharya by his teacher Rama Mohan Brahmachari in the early 1900’s. It later came into the possession of Pattabhi Jois when he studied with Krishnamacharya beginning in 1927. Jois has been teaching this type of yoga since 1948 from his yoga shala.
The literal meaning of Ashtanga Yoga is “eight-limbed” yoga as put forth by sage Patanjali. According to him, the path of internal cleansing in order to reveal the universal self is based on the following eight spiritual practices:
* Yama which is moral codes
* Niyama which is based on study and self-purification
* Asana or posture
* Pranayama which is controlled breathing
* Pratyahara which is sense control
* Dharana which is concentration
* Dhyana which is meditation and
* Samadhi which is contemplation