Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a style of Yoga codified and taught by K. Pattabhi Jois. This involves 6 challenging and dynamic series of postures. The first is the Primary Series, second is the Intermediate, followed by 4 Advanced Series.
Ashtanga Yoga translates to “eight limbs of Yoga”, put forward by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, a historic text on Yoga theory and practice. Of these eight limbs of Yoga, only one is that of physical practice. The other 7 include breath (pranayama), moral disciplines, centering and calming the mind and learning to concentrate, and meditation.
What are the benefits?
In an Ashtanga Yoga class, you start with the Primary Series, working through a dynamic sequence of postures interlinked with breath. These classes are strong and help to cultivate strength, flexibility and dedication to practice. You do the same postures each time, so you learn them well.
Can anyone practice Ashatanga Yoga?
Although more challenging than a typical Hatha class, anyone could practice Ashtanga. It’s a good idea to let your teacher know before the class if you have any injuries / movement limitations so that they can help with adaptions.
Why is it for me?
If you’re looking for a dynamic Yoga class that challenges you then this is the one for you. Some practitioners really enjoy the routine of the sequences, they know what’s coming next and can see themselves improve as time goes on. It can also help with establishing a routine and a home practice. If you’re more into practicing varied sequences, or exploring different themes each time you go to class, then Vinyasa may be the class for you.
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