What Is Ashtanga Yoga? Benefits and Poses
Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is an ancient form of fitness with a concentration on endurance, strength, and flexibility. It is also known as “Ashtanga vedanta yoga” or “Ashtanga vedanta rupa yoga”. This form of yoga originated in the Ashtanga region of India, hence its name. Practicing Ashtanga yoga can help you achieve strength, suppleness, balance, and can improve your posture. To understand what is Ashtanga Yoga, we need to know about its history and learn about the different practices associated with it. Let’s get started!
What is Ashtanga Yoga?
Ashtanga yoga is a form of yoga which originated in India. It’s one of the most comprehensive forms of yoga and was developed by K. Pattabhi Jois. It has a set of eight interconnected poses called the ashtanga primary series. The ashtanga yoga poses are dynamic, challenging and will help you build endurance, strength, and flexibility. Although Ashtanga yoga is the most popular form of yoga in the West, it is important to know that it is just one branch of yoga among many. In fact, Ashtanga yoga is one of the few yoga traditions that is traditionally written down.
History of Ashtanga Yoga
The history of Ashtanga yoga can be traced back to the 14th century when the Mysore Palace was used as the first yoga shala. Asanas were practiced under the trees in the evenings and at sunrise. The palace gardens were used for pranayama exercises, as well as for discussions on Vedanta. Ashtanga yoga was brought to the West by Pattabhi Jois, a student of the renowned Indian yogi, Krishnamacharya. Prior to the 1940s, there were no written records of yoga poses, as they were transmitted verbally from teacher to student. In the 1940s, Krishnamacharya wrote down some of the asanas in a notebook. These included the sun salutation (Surya Namaskar), and the eight poses of Ashtanga Yoga.
Types of Ashtanga Yoga
There are two types of Ashtanga Yoga: a) Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga — This is the traditional form of yoga that’s been passed down for generations. It’s the yoga you’ll find in most studios and online. b) Ashtanga Yoga with a Twist — This variation adds in challenging twists to every pose. They’re designed to work every muscle, joint, and organ in your body. You may not see this variation in every studio.
Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
- Flexibility — The set structure of the poses will help you work through the flexibility spectrum.
- — Strength — Ashtanga yoga is one of the best ways to build strength in your muscles. The poses take a lot of effort and strength to perform, which is one of the best ways to build muscle.
- — Balance — The poses in Ashtanga Yoga work to improve your balance, coordination, and posture.
- — Core strength — The poses in Ashtanga Yoga can help to strengthen your core, especially if you perform the poses properly with added resistance.
- — Improves Mood — Ashtanga yoga can improve your mood and help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
- — Improved Sleep — Studies have shown that practicing yoga can improve sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster.
- — Improved flexibility — Practicing Ashtanga Yoga regularly can increase the flexibility of your spine and joints.
- — Increased energy levels — Ashtanga can improve your circulation and increase your energy levels.
- — Stress relief — Yoga can do more than just relax you on the couch. It can be a powerful way to reduce stress, improve your mood, and sleep better.
- — Weight loss — Practicing yoga can improve your overall health, which can help you lose weight.
Poses in Ashtanga Yoga
There are five series of poses in Ashtanga Yoga which are linked to each other and progress sequentially. The five series are the sun salutation, standing poses, seated poses, finishing poses, and the twists.
The sun salutation is the first series of Ashtanga Yoga poses. It is a set of 12 poses that start with the sun salutation, followed by the standing poses, seated poses, finishing poses, and twists.
The standing series consists of 6 poses that follow the sun salutation and the standing poses. These poses include variations of the cobra pose and variations of the locust pose.
The seated series consists of 6 poses that include variations of the locust pose and variations of the bow pose. — The finishing poses are a set of 6 poses that are usually followed by the twists. The twists are a set of 6 poses in the Ashtanga Yoga practice.
The history of Ashtanga yoga can be traced back to the 14th century. There are two types of Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga with a Twist. The benefits of Ashtanga yoga include flexibility, strength, balance, core strength, improved mood, improved sleep, increased energy levels, stress relief, and weight loss. The sun salutation, standing poses, seated poses, finishing poses, and twists are the poses in Ashtanga Yoga. Now that you know what is Ashtanga Yoga, it’s time to get ready to get fit! There are various benefits of Ashtanga yoga, which include flexibility, strength, balance, and improved mood.