Ashtanga is a popular form of yoga that originated in India. Ashtanga is also known as the “practice of eight limbs” because it encompasses many types of disciplines.
The goal for practicing Ashtanga yoga is to reach samadhi, or transcendental ecstasy. It may not be the best form of yoga for beginners because it can be physically challenging and requires flexibility, strength, and balance. In this article we will give an overview of the practices of Ashtanga yoga, including modifications and recommended poses to help you decide if it is right for you.
Ashtanga Yoga Overview
Ashtanga yoga is often considered to be the best types of yoga because it focuses on the breath, rather than repetitive stretches. In this way, it encourages oxygen and blood flow to the muscles while they are being stretched. It also teaches proper alignment through a series of easy movements that culminate in a standing pose known as “Sarvangasana”.
The primary goal for practicing Ashtanga yoga is to reach samadhi. When people reach this state of ecstasy, they will awaken to the infinite power of yoga, and become one with the universe.
It is important to note that the practice can be physically demanding and should not be attempted by beginners. Because it involves a series of quickly flowing movements, stretching and strengthening the body into challenging poses, practitioners must be fit and flexible. It is also not recommended for those who suffer from back or joint problems.
The sequence of poses in Ashtanga yoga involve standing poses, forward bends, backward bends, inversions, twists, and many other postures that are performed with precision. Each pose flows into the next in a seemingly endless movement that appears to be choreographed. The sequence begins with poses that are typically held for a long time, such as “Sarvangasana” (also known as “Shoulder Stand”), and ends with poses that are held for only a few breaths at most, such as “Caturanga Dandasana” (also known as “Staff pose”).
Is Ashtanga Yoga Right for You?
There are a few questions you should ask yourself before deciding to practice Ashtanga yoga.
- Do you live an active lifestyle?
- Are you physically fit?
- Does Ashtanga yoga fulfill your goals with regard to physical and mental health?
Do you live an active lifestyle?
Ashtanga yoga calls for daily practice that can be difficult for those who lead sedentary lifestyles and do not engage in physical activity on a regular basis.
Are you physically fit?
Practicing Ashtanga yoga can be physically challenging because it requires strength and flexibility in the legs, back, shoulders and neck. Being in good physical condition is also critical to practicing this kind of yoga safely. Otherwise, you could injure yourself while trying to hold the postures for longer than recommended.
Does Ashtanga yoga fulfill your goals with regard to physical and mental health?
Ashtanga yoga was originally a form of physical exercise for warriors in ancient India. If you want to exercise and challenge your body, this form of yoga might be for you. However, if you are looking for a form of yoga that is more spiritual or meditative, Ashtanga may not be the path for you.
Ashtanga Yoga Poses & Modifications
Ashtanga yoga involves a series of rapid sequences of movements designed to build strength in the body, balance and flexibility. Each pose flows into the next in a seemingly endless movement that appears to be choreographed. The poses are divided into standing poses, forward bends, backward bends, inversions, twists and other postures with variations. Each pose builds strength in the body while strengthening the spine and lungs. Each pose also improves balance and flexibility through twisting rotations that place stress on muscles from different angles.
The poses are divided into standing poses, forward bends, backward bends, inversions, twists and other postures with variations. Each pose builds strength in the body while strengthening the spine and lungs. Each pose also improves balance and flexibility through twisting rotations that place stress on muscles from different angles.
Proper alignment is also key to practicing this form of yoga, so many poses incorporate twists and rotations that involve moving in relation to the spine. There are two types of poses in Ashtanga yoga: seated and standing poses. Each pose is held for a few breaths followed by a brief pause in between.
Ashtanga yoga is often considered to be the best form of yoga because it focuses on the breath, rather than repetitive stretches. If you are interested in incorporating a daily routine and challenge for your body and mind, we recommend that you try Ashtanga yoga and see if it fits your lifestyle.
One thing to note about Ashtanga is that you should not attempt this practice unless you are physically fit. It can be physically demanding, so those who do not engage in physical exercise regularly should be careful with the poses. We hope this article has helped you learn more about Ashtanga and if this style is right for you.