Yoga » Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900`s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies With Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.
Vinyasa means breathing and movement system. For each movement, there is one breath. The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot, or as Pattabhi Jois says, boils the blood.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is both a dynamically aerobic and meditative practice. It was primarily introdused to practitioners in the West by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, a dedicated yogi and sanskrit scholar. As taught by Jois, Ashtanga is a form of Hatha Yoga which focuses on asana (posture), pranayama (breath control) and vinyasa (the linking of postures by breath and movement).
The practice is 99% practical and 1% theoretical. The exploration of the self in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga occurs primarily through the body and its connection to breath and movement. When asana is practiced without these connections, or without an understanding and observation of the first two limbs of the eight-fold path, the movements become merely acrobatic. When combined with the other limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, asana practice becomes an essential element of self-realization.
The entire practice is a continuous flow of movements and breathing which generate an internal and physical heat that purifies the body and clarifies the mind. This purification is achieved through pranayama, which entails a deep sort of breathing we call ujjayi or victorious breath. By controlling ujjayi breath, we can activate the body`s three bandhas, or energy locks. Throughout the practice, we not only control our breath, but also our eye gaze or drishti.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is made up of six series (Primary, Intermediate and four Advanced Series) each of which has a set order of poses.
The Ashtanga Primary series is called Yoga Chikitsa, meaning yoga therapy, because of the cleansin and toning effect it has on both body and mind.
The Ashtanga Intermediate Series is known as Nadi Shodana - meaning Nerve Cleansing.
Mysore is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga yoga, named after the city in India where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the guru of Ashtanga Yoga, lived.
Mysore is open to all levels, from absolute beginners to more experienced students. The class is not led and all instruction is given on an individual basis. As you gain strength, stamina, flexibility and focus, poses will be added on to your sequence.