Why Ashtanga Yoga
One the favorite styles of yoga for many people around the world is Ashtanga. Ashtanga literally means "eight-limbed yoga," and is a vigorous form of yoga that combines flowing and static postures. There are series of asanas in this practice, every student is encouraged to master each posture in the primary series before moving on to the intermediate next series.
Important points of Ashtanga yoga
Teachers cue steady breathing throughout each posture. The breathing plays an extremely important part in Ashtanga yoga.
Discipline of practice. In led Ashtanga classes students practice in together in synchronicity which enhances focus on oneself and allowing a feeling of connectedness with other students in the class.
It’s a physical & mental challenge. All of the Ashtanga series build up strength and flexibility for a total body/mind workout. If you are looking to tone-up Ashtanga will get you there however Ashtanga is also much more than that.
Practicing Ashtanga develops concentration. It’s difficult to tune out while doing Ashtanga yoga. To practice it really needs you to be in the moment with your body and breath. The emphasis of Ashtanga tends to be more on the flow of the asanas and the breath and less on alignment.
Ashtanga generates internal heat. In addition to enhancing detoxification, purification & circulation it helps you feel light and strong.
The repetition of the sequence. There is a certain amount of repetition throughout the Ashtanga practice greatly improving progression and development.
It’s a balanced practice. Ashtanga are a combination of sun salutations, standing poses, seated postures, forward bends, twists, back bends, hip & shoulder openers, inversions & balances. It feels like all of your body is included.
The power of the inward journey. With Ashtanga yoga I can truly be with my self and get to know my spirit because pratyahara, withdrawal of the senses, enables me to shut out everything external to my mind and body.
Drishti , the practice of the correct gaze. The focused soft gaze is a an important part of the Ashtanga yoga. Drishti (point of focus & gaze) keeps the eyes from wandering. There are different gazes for different postures.
Improvement. How much of the series you can ‘do’ or how many of the series you ‘complete’ is not important. How ‘good’ you are at each asana or what you look like while you are doing yoga has no importance either. It is the journey that is important, not the destination. Ashtanga is a long term practice for those wanting a method with a purpose for getting results in ways other less disciplined yoga classes can not match.