What is Ashtanga Yoga?

 

Another style of a primordial religious practice from India, ashtanga yoga was taught by  Pattabhi Jois who was a former student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, a teacher was known to lived more than a hundred years old. The sequences of this yoga classification are primarily based on the book entitled Makaranda. This ancient spiritual approach is an energetic exercise originally intended for the teenage boys. However, things have changed and are now been performed by individuals of all ages.

The term ashtanga yoga actually means eight limbs namely yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

Yama has five parts such as aparigraha (non- covetousness), brahmacharya (celibacy), asteya (not robbing), satya (honesty) and ahimsa (non- violenece).
Asana is a posture that focuses on breaking free from the tensions.
Pratyahara provides internal strength by getting rid of a different manner of interruptions that will lead to the development of willpower.
Dharana begins with concentration which is integrated with meditation finishing off in samadhi.
Samadhi has four impediments namely abhinivesha (fondness of the world), asmita (egoism), avidya (ignorance) and raga- dvesha (all likes and dislikes).
Dhyana proposes that material attachment, gluttony, slothfulness and subtle yearnings are considered as obstacles.
Pranayama is an examination of the outgoing inclinations of the human brain.
Niyama has five canons such as ishvarapranidhana (self- surrender), svadhyaya (devotion), tapas (austerity), santosha (contentment) and saucha (purity).

Literally defined as the wise combination of things, vinyasa sets apart ashtanga yoga from the rest of the primordial religious practices. This method is done whereby the student budges in and out of the routine through suryanamaaskara, a group of movements that are well- defined. The very purpose of this is to generate high temperature in the body for purification to occur which can be realized through sweating and circulation. Aside from that, flexibility is also improved that reduces the threat of injuries.

Origins of ashtanga yoga are said to have come from the antique account of Korunta authored by Vamana Rishi. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was able to obtain a copy which was given to him by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari at the mountain of Kailash. Later on, Pattabhi Jois was able to have one in his hands. Until this time, this yoga classification has remained to be very faithful to the principles introduced by Krishnamacharya. Aside from Jois, he was also able to educate other great instructors in the 20th century such as Indra Devi and B.K.S. Iyengar.

Ashtanga Yoga – Is it right for you?


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

Yoga, Hernia and Madonna

Energizing Yoga, the oldest system of personal development needs no introduction nowadays and is becoming popular all over the world because of its tremendous physical and medical benefits. People are practicing yoga exercises in millions all over the world, thanks to the media which is highlighting the benefits of yoga for general public.

However, like every other science, yoga is also a precise science. The question is: ‘Are all yoga exercises safe to be practiced by all people with various health conditions?’
“This is the question which requires deeper digging into the subject of yoga itself, otherwise the consequences of doing yoga practice could be more dangerous than beneficial” said Subodh Gupta, the Yoga expert from India.

”While some of the yoga exercises can be taught easily without much complication and have various benefits, others can be very dangerous for people who are having problem of Hernia. For example, the yoga exercises like Sun Salutation, Cobra pose, Locust pose, Bow pose, Standing Forward Bend and Kapalabhati few to name are strictly not recommended if somebody is diagnosed with hernia as these exercises may make the hernia problem worse” said Subodh Gupta, the Yoga expert based in London.

Considering the fact that over half a million hernia operations were performed in the United States last year and more than 2 percent of British people are affected by hernia, the question to ask is if all yoga practitioners are aware of their health condition and precautions before beginning the Yoga exercise. Madonna, the famous singer who practices Ashtanga yoga regularly recently had an operation for hernia (Ashtanga yoga exercise series is a system developed by Mysore based famous Indian Yoga guru Shri K Pattabhi Jois). In fact, the famous Ashtanga yoga series which involves jumping can be very dangerous for people who are having problem of Hernia” according to Subodh Gupta. Hernia develops when the outer layers of the abdominal wall weakens, bulge or actually rip. Among many reasons for hernia the most common is straining due to: jumping, defecation, coughing, lifting heavy objects, etc.

‘Are precautions for various yoga exercises safely delivered by yoga Gurus?’ ‘Are yoga practitioners listening precautions before starting their yoga practice?’
“Well, this is a serious point to consider by all who are teaching yoga and also for people who are practicing yoga. The practitioners need to understand that their ignorance and lack of yoga knowledge may lead them straight into an operation room” said Subodh Gupta.

A noble effort has been done by some of the renowned yoga gurus from India and the teachers from the West to spread the awareness of yoga but unless Yoga exercises are done with precautions, more and more people will get injured without realizing.

Issued in public interest by Subodh Gupta, Yoga Expert from India.