How to Practice Ashtanga Yoga

Filed under: by: John K

One type of yoga that is very popular today is Ashtanga yoga and you can easily take a closer look so you understand what this sort of yoga is all about.

Sri Krishnamacharya at Mysore Palace was the initial creator of Ashtanga yoga. He was also the person responsible for influencing the different modern forms of yoga that we have today. The Ashtanga Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India, is that yoga which is truest to the teachings of the creator. The yoga is an aerobic type of yoga and it is physically demanding too. The main focus of the Ashtanga is the vinyasa which is the series of movements which are combined with certain specific breathing patterns. One breath is required for each type of movement. What this breathing and movement tries to do is that it tries to make the blood hot. Hot blood is thin and it aids in purifying the body which in turn creates better blood flow. It also ends up producing sweat and this sweat gets rid of the harmful toxins and leaves the body free from disease.

Ashtanga yoga aims to purify the body through the eight limbs or steps of yoga. It starts out with the Yama which is the control and Niyana which are the rules of conduct. These are ways which we deal and with which we can interact with the entire world and ourselves at the same time. These steps can't be practiced but they are ethical issues. This way you can create an environment that promotes positive growth.

The third and fourth steps are the steps that have to do with the asanas which are the poses and postures. Pranayama the fourth step deals with breath control. The Ashtanga yoga focuses on the belief that breathing is essential to life. Breathing should always be even, smooth and have a natural rhythm. Most people who aren't able to breathe properly only use about half of their complete lung capacity. Correct breathing will also help bring your mind to the heart's center and provide inner peace too. What asanas help you do is that they help you gain a better sitting position that aids your meditation. Asanas also help you reduce your lower blood pressure and cholesterol and have a healthy heart and remain fit. In terms of mental fitness they lower stress and tension in our lives.

The other four steps can't be practiced. These steps are about creating optimal conditions that provide you with true meditation. The fifth step is known as the pratyahara or a withdrawal of your senses. What this step helps us do is maintain attention and prevent us from being distracted from our essential senses. The next three steps are focused on the meditative aspects of yoga. Dhara is focused on helping you concentrate in a single direction. Dhayna is an uninterrupted meditation and Samadhi is about being completely with self and experiencing full absorption.

Three main sequence groups are involved in the practice of Ashtanga yoga. The first of these is the Primary Series, what this is about is the perfect alignment of the body and getting it rid of the toxins. After this you have the intermediate series which is about opening and clearing channels and ultimately purifying the nervous system. The final step is the Advanced Series and what this step entails is higher levels of flexibility as well as strength and grace. Advancement in each stage can only be gained after you have successfully mastered the previous step.

Written By:- Darren Williger

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