Ashtanga Yoga

Is it really true that we are separated from what surrounds us? The gaze that captures unity is alive, when the mind is still and silent. The path is called Ashtanga Yoga, to understand oneself and others.
We start with the body, our outer shell, through the practice of asanas, eventually reaching the last step of the yogic path: the meditative state of mind.  Ashtanga Yoga makes it possible to experience a true understanding of one’s being.
The essence of this form of Yoga is in its very name; Ashtanga, in fact, means eight limbs that indicate the yogic path.

The first limb’s name is Yama: a call for sincerity towards oneself and others, non-violence, and the absence of greed.
The second branch, Nyama, turns the gaze towards oneself, developing a straight channel in the spiritual journey.
The body’s work with postures, called Asana, is the third level of Ashtanga Yoga.
The fourth level, Pranayama, practices breath control with all of its benefits for the body and the mind.
Pratyahara, the fifth branch, brings our attention to our own compulsions, recognizing our inner desires, and self-restraint towards these.
The sixth branch, Dharana, is the capacity to concentrate on a single point.
Dhyana, the seventh branch, is entering into a meditative state, in which the mind is quiet and blissful.
The eighth branch, Samadhi, is the last level of reaching contemplation, when illuminated beings realize their true nature.

The Practice

In the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga tradition, the teaching is transmitted under the guide of a teacher, a Guru. The practice develops throughout five series:

  • First series: Yoga Chikitsa – detoxifies and aligns the body.
  • Second series: Nadi Sodhana – purifies the nervous system by opening the energy channels.
  • Third, fourth, and fifth series: Sthira Bhagah Samapta – integrate the body’s inner strength.

The Practice

In the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga tradition, the teaching is transmitted under the guide of a teacher, a Guru. The practice develops throughout five series:

  • First series: Yoga Chikitsa – detoxifies and aligns the body.
  • Second series: Nadi Sodhana – purifies the nervous system by opening the energy channels.
  • Third, fourth, and fifth series: Sthira Bhagah Samapta – integrate the body’s inner strength.

The Method

The sequential order of asanas is to be meticulously followed, in order to reinforce and balance the overall effect of the sequence.

Acquiring the capacity for a deep, long breath, the mind becomes calm and concentrated; each movement flows from one posture to the next until the sequence is completed.

When breath and movement flow together effortlessly and in perfect harmony, then the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga transcends knowledge and evolves into the lightness of a moving meditation.

Vinyasa Bhanda Drishti

Vinyasa means breath syncronized movement. The breath, called Ujjaiy, is the heart of this Yoga and links one asana to the next one. The Ujjaiy breath is obtained through closing partially the glottis and the constant control of the abdominal muscle belt. Both these “locks” have to be maintained constantly during the performing of the practice. By synchronising breathing with movement and practising Mula and Uddiyana Bhandas, the locks, an intense internal heat is produced.

Bhanda means lock, constant abdominal and pelvic control, control that onblocks the pranic energy and helps the breathing. This control, together with the ujjaiy breathing, induces the body temperature to rise in a way that helps the blood detoxification and fluidification, freeing the pranic energy. This heat purifies muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones and mineral salts. The breath rules the vinyasa and guarantees a good blood circulation, the final result is a light and strong body.

Each posture concentrates the look, Drishti, towards a specific body spot, to makes it easier for the breathing flow to calm the mind.

Vinyasa Bhanda Drishti

Vinyasa means breath syncronized movement. The breath, called Ujjaiy, is the heart of this Yoga and links one asana to the next one. The Ujjaiy breath is obtained through closing partially the glottis and the constant control of the abdominal muscle belt. Both these “locks” have to be maintained constantly during the performing of the practice. By synchronising breathing with movement and practising Mula and Uddiyana Bhandas, the locks, an intense internal heat is produced.

Bhanda means lock, constant abdominal and pelvic control, control that onblocks the pranic energy and helps the breathing. This control, together with the ujjaiy breathing, induces the body temperature to rise in a way that helps the blood detoxification and fluidification, freeing the pranic energy. This heat purifies muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones and mineral salts. The breath rules the vinyasa and guarantees a good blood circulation, the final result is a light and strong body.

Each posture concentrates the look, Drishti, towards a specific body spot, to makes it easier for the breathing flow to calm the mind.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was Sri T. Krishnamacharya student, a master of southern India yogic tradition.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois has discovered Yoga Korunta, a text that seems to have been written in 2000 b.c. in a Calcutta’s library.

In 1948 has founded Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, to teach the traditional method described in the ancient texts.

Thanks to him Ashtanga Yoga has been spread troughtout the world; He has taught this ancient and traditional method until the end of his life.

Was usual to say to his students during his conferences: “Practice, practice, 99% of this yoga is practice, 1% is theory”.