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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ashtanga Yoga

The dictionary meaning of the word Ashtanga, is eight limbs.

Advised by all yoga experts and promoted by all schools and branches of Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga is practiced in 8 (Asht) defined steps. The main emphasis in Ashtanga Yoga is on the purification of our mind and soul through 8 (Asht) prescribed steps.

In Ashtanga Yoga, The rule of thumb is to get expertise in each and every step moving on to the next, or even attempting it. The 8 steps are as follows:
  1. Yama (Control)
  2. Niyama (Rules of Conduct
  3. Asanas (Poses)
  4. Pranayama (Breath Control) s
  5. Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Sensory Perceptions)
  6. Dharana (Concentration)
  7. Dhyana (Uninterrupted Mediation
  8. Samadhi (Complete Equilibrium)
One should not get confused with order of asanas prescribed in Ashtanga yoga. The sequential order of asanas does not matter in Ashtanga Yoga. Genuinely no specific series (Primary Series, Secondary Series, so on and so forth) has been mentioned in Ashtanga Yoga.

Contrary to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali where asana is described as being still and firm, Ashtanga yoga does not stress on that the actions must be more concentrated or sustained while practicing. Ashtanga Yoga only focuses to get benefits from the traditional eight limbs of yoga (also referred to as Raja Yoga) when it is practiced in prescribed manner as expounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras.

The modern day Pattabhi Jois Vinyasa series (or the roots of Ashtanga Vinyasa are believed to be originated from an ancient text Yoga Korunta. Pattabhi Jois’s Guru – who has a credit to promote the modern forms of Yoga in 20th century generation, has played a crucial part in their development. Many renowned yoga teachers of today, including B.K.S. Iyengar and Indra Devi, Krishnamacharya have learnt yoga in his guidance and further promoted it.

It helps the youths of today to learn how to make their restive bodies more active and how to synchronize the hyperactive young minds with the infinite energy of teenage boys. Ashtanga Yoga is a rather physically demanding practice

Modern day Ashtanga Yoga does not aim to change much from that practice. The Ashtanga Yoga series for adolescents is the resultant of the way Krishnamacharya modified, tailored and customized his teachings as per the specific needs of a person or group. Krishnamacharya himself did not practice those series at the time. Also he did not teach experienced practitioners and adults the same way.

Ashtanga Yoga Demo

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