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Ashtanga Yoga FAQs

Ashtanga Yoga FAQs: Everything You Need To Know

Ashtanga yoga is an ancient Indian science of the mind. It is an ancient system of self-realization and is a powerful and effective means of discovering truth and attaining freedom. Through the practice of the Eight Limbs of Yoga described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, we can “suspend the fluctuations of the mind” and find sustainable inner peace and stillness. Ashtanga yoga integrates the practices of postures, breathing techniques, lifestyle choices, and mental exercises to bring the mind under control and enable a life of peace and happiness.

 

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Ashtanga Yoga

 

Before joining any course, people feel curious and anxious and have several questions in their minds. Same with Ashtanga Yoga, people have many perceptions and questions regarding this yoga practice. 

Here we have described some frequently asked questions related to Ashtanga yoga TTC:

What Is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga is the ancient practice of yoga, meaning eight limbs or branches, and is described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It is an old system of self-realization of which asana is just one component. Ashtanga yoga integrates the practice of the eight limbs – including breathing techniques, postures, mental exercises, and lifestyle choices – to bring the mind under control and enable sustainable inner peace and happiness. Through dedicated practice, one can ‘suspend the fluctuations of the mind’ and attain freedom from suffering.

The modern method of Ashtanga yoga is technically known as the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. It is a series of asana sequences of increasing difficulty that work to strengthen, cleanse and purify the body in preparation for meditation and other higher practices of yoga.

Is Ashtanga Yoga Sequence For Beginners?

Ashtanga Vinyasa is suitable for everyone! If you practice with the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher, they will assist you in modifying the sequence to suit your body. The external appearance of the postures is not important, as the main focus of the practice is internal awareness and the breath. With regular practice, your body will strengthen and open, and you will progress further in the physical practice of the sequence.

What Is The Primary Series In Ashtanga Yoga?

The first series of asana sequences in the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga system is known as the Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa, Yoga Therapy). This series works to heal and align the body, with a particular focus on realignment of the spine and detoxification. Dedicated practice of the first series builds foundational strength, flexibility, and endurance in preparation for the following sequences.

What Is The Meaning Of Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga literally means ‘eight limbs’ (In Sanskrit, ‘Ashta’ means eight, and ‘Anga’ means limb). It is an ancient Indian science of the mind and is practiced to attain self-realization and discover the truth. Patanjali writes that yoga must be practiced with devotion and consistency. With regular practice and faith, the mind and body become strong, steady, and open, and the mind becomes clear and lucid. It is through practice that we are able to realize the truth.

What Is The Difference Between Vinyasa And Ashtanga Yoga?

In a vinyasa yoga class, the teacher creates a different sequence each time. Often there is a focus on strengthening or opening a specific area of the body. There is usually a slower warm-up followed by a stronger sequence of asanas leading to a ‘peak’ of the class and then cooling postures. Classes are more or less vigorous, depending on the teacher. Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is a dynamic yoga practice synchronizing breath and movement. The same sequence of asanas is followed each time, allowing the body to realign and detoxify. As students progress, they move to more advanced sequences. The first sequence is known as the Primary Series and focuses on building foundational strength and flexibility, including forwarding bends, twists, and hip openers.

How Many Levels Are There In Ashtanga Yoga?

The Ashtanga Vinyasa system comprises three groups of asana sequences that increase in difficulty and are designed to detox, realign, strengthen and purify the body in preparation for higher yogic practices and meditation. The series is designed to build upon each other, with practitioners focussing on integrating the physical and energetic benefits of each series before moving on to the next. The mind and body open when practiced regularly with correct alignment and focus.

The first sequence is known as the Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa, Yoga Therapy). This series heals, detoxifies, and realigns the body so that the benefits of the subsequent sequences may be fully realized. Comprised of many forward bends, twists, and hip openers, this fundamental sequence builds strength and flexibility, with a particular focus on realignment of the spine and purifying the body of toxins.

The second sequence is known as the Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana, cleansing of the Nadis). Following the dedicated practice of the Primary Series to prepare the body, practitioners will be ready to access the benefits of this series. The Nadis are subtle energy channels in the body, and by practicing the Intermediate Series, they are purified and balanced. The series continues to open and strengthen the body, including back bending, arm balances, and inversions.

The third sequence is known as the Advanced Series (Sthira Bhaga, Divine Stability). It is divided into four parts (A, B, C, and D) to make it more approachable. The practice of the Advanced Series cultivates inner strength and compassion. It requires high levels of humility and determination. The series includes deep back bending, deep twists and binds, advanced arm balances, and deep hip openers.

What Is Led Ashtanga Yoga?

In a led Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga class in Rishikesh, the teacher instructs you through the sequence, explaining how to enter and leave each asana. The breath is counted, so all students flow through the sequence at the same pace. The teacher may also perform adjustments and provide vocal cues to aid students in their alignment and their understanding of each asana.

What Is Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga?

In Mysore-style Ashtanga classes in Rishikesh, there are no spoken instructions. Students self-practice the sequence at the pace of their own breath, synchronizing their breath and movement. There is a larger focus on teachers providing individual guidance and adjustments where necessary. For many practitioners, a deeper understanding of the sequence is developed. In Mysore Style practice, one is able to build a deep internal awareness due to fewer external stimuli, and there is no need to modify the pace of breath to match the rest of the class.

Who Is The Founder Of Ashtanga Yoga?

The modern approach to Ashtanga yoga is technically known as Ashtanga Vinyasa and gained popularity in the West following Sri K Patthabi Jois’ teachings in the late 20th century. The system had been passed to him by his guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya who had, in turn, gained his knowledge from his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari.

To Conclude

Ashtanga Yoga is a challenging form of yoga that involves memorizing a set series of sequences but gives numerous health benefits. Whether you’re a keen yoga practitioner or a complete beginner, we hope this blog covers all you need to know about this popular yoga practice! If you are also a yoga lover or fitness buddy, why not make Ashtanga yoga your career by joining Tattvaa Yogashala Ashtanga Yoga TTC Course? 

Tattvaa Yogashala, located in Rishikesh, the Yoga Capital of the World, offers world-class offerings in Ashtanga and other styles of yoga. All of our classes are taught by certified, experienced teachers who create a safe environment for each student’s unique practice, teaching from a compassionate place that encourages growth. Enquire today to get information about our full range of yoga teacher training courses. 

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