“Yoga doesn’t just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.”- B.K.S. Iyengar
Yoga has the power to transform you and your life for the better. Yoga is not just a physical training, it is an internal practice. It is practiced to form an in-depth connection with the Self, a practice that rejuvenates, re-energizes, and reignites the body, mind, and soul. There are many types of yoga forms and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is one of the most incredible classics. The yoga style focuses on the synchronization of body movements with the breath and is based on the rapid flow of asana sequences.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Ashtanga yoga or Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is a classical form of yoga style that majorly emphasizes on breathing and alignment. It is a vigorous form of yoga that follows a series of asana sequences. Due to its vigorous style, it often gets confused with power yoga, power vinyasa yoga or vinyasa power yoga, another form of yoga derived from Ashtanga yoga.
The Eight Spiritual Practice of Ashtanga Yoga
The style of yoga was popularised by K. Pattabhi Jois. In this style of yoga, a person follows a particular asana series flow and practice the same day. The yoga style also focuses more on self-practice. The form is designed to strengthen the body, tone the muscles, and purify it. It is based on the eight-limbed practices. Focusing more on the third limb- Jois considered it the ideal way to master the other seven.
- Yama (moral codes)
- Niyama (discipline)
- Asana (yoga postures)
- Pranayama (breath control)
- Pratyahara (control of senses)
- Dharana (focus)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Samadhi (enlightenment, salvation or universal consciousness)
Series and Sequence Flow of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
The practice flow is framed and moves accordingly- from one sequence to the other. Ashtanga practice starts with five repetitions of Sun Salutation A and then five repetitions of Sun Salutation B, followed by standing postures, sitting, and resting.
Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
With more focus on the physical training, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga also works in the favor of mental, spiritual, and emotional benefits.
For the body
Practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga helps you to release muscle tension, stretch, tone, and strengthen the body, lubricate joints, increase circulation, prevent cardiovascular diseases, massage internal organs, help in weight control, boost the immune system, manage blood pressure, lower cholesterol level, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
For the mind
Mental illness is common these days and many of us are not even aware if we are suffering from any mental problem. Yoga practice soothes and balances the nervous system, calms the mind, promotes inner peace, clears our thoughts, improves concentration and focus, ignites self-awareness, and supports mental clarity.
For the soul
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is the best way to heal your soul. It helps us connect with the inner-self, makes us fall in love with ourselves again, brings positivity, boosts the energy level, calms our soul, fills us with tranquillity, encourages self-acceptance, and awakens the spirituality within.
For the emotions
It is proven that our emotional imbalance contributes a lot towards the mental illness. The way we react towards our emotions and feelings, it affects our brain and mental stability. Feelings of being sad, lonely, heartbreak, emotional breakdown, loss of someone, etc., can lead to stress, depression, insomnia, anxiety, and other mental conditions.
The yoga style syncs the body and breath and intimately connects it with the mind. Controlled breathing and holding Asanas create harmony and promote a healthy and better living.