Ashtanga Yoga

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What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga literally means “eight-limbed yoga.” It incorporates eight spiritual practices:

  • Yama (moral codes)
  • Niyama (self-purification & study)
  • Asana (posture)
  • Pranayama (breath control)
  • Dharana (concentration)
  • Dhyana (meditation)
  • Samadhi (contemplation)
According to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who has been teaching this form of yoga since 1948 at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in India, the first four “limbs” are external cleansing practices. The second four are meant to bring the mind under control.

Ashtanga Yoga videos illustrate each of these aspects in practice. This can give you an idea of what to expect from this form of yoga. The proper posture and breathing methods are essential to Ashtanga.

Through this, the goal is to have both the mind and body cleansed and healthy. This is why knowing your limits is important. By first knowing your physical limits, you can begin to improve them.

Let your instructor know that you are a beginner and they will progress you through the steps accordingly. It is meant to be a process rather than a quick fix for something.

   

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