Benefits of Ashtanga Yogat

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga is an extremely potent form of yoga developed by the late Pattabhi Jois that contains predetermined sequences or series of postures where the breath is linked with movement.

Ashtanga means “eight limbs or branches (components)” in Sanskrit. The Eightfold Path, according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, is a practice that leads to self-awakening and liberation. As the name implies, Ashtanga yoga encompasses all eight limbs of yoga and promotes mental and spiritual well-being.

The Primary Series, Secondary Series, and four levels of Advanced Series are among the six levels of Ashtanga yoga sequences or series. A newbie would usually start with the Primary Series and work their way up once they’ve learned and mastered it.

Ashtanga Yoga is the most physically demanding of the yoga styles, consisting of a long sequence of poses with a vinyasa in between each one. To become an Ashtanga Yoga master, you’ll need a lot of strength and stamina.

The benefits of Ashtanga yoga have become a talking point due to the rising global popularity of this practice.

History of Ashtanga Yoga

Yoga itself, is said to have originated in India around 5,000 years ago. Many distinct beliefs and practices arose from these beginnings. Around 200 to 250 BC, the great sage, Maharishi Patanjali proposed the eight limbs of yoga, which became known as Ashtanga.

These eight limbs, according to Patanjali, consist of:

  • Yama – Moral or ethical codes and disciplines
  • Niyama – Self-observation
  • Asana – Posture
  • Pranayama – Breathing control
  • Pratyahara – Control/withdrawal of the senses
  • Dharana – Concentration
  • Dhyana – Meditation
  • Samadhi – Fully integrated supreme consciousness

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, a well-known Yoga teacher of the twentieth century, made Ashtanga Yoga his primary focus. He went to the Himalayas to learn the technique from Ramamohana Brahmachari and to memorise Patanjali’s ancient works. 

Pattabhi Jois, Krishnamacharya’s disciple, is often credited with introducing Ashtanga yoga to the Western world. He began his studies under Krishnamacharya when he was 12 years old in the 1920s, and went on to become a prominent yoga teacher and leader in his own right.

Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga

  1. Increases Physical strength

One of the main benefits of Ashtanga yoga is that it considerably increases the physical strength off the practitioner. The main series of Ashtanga yoga has sixty vinyasas, which build core strength and increase general body strength. You place all of your body weight on your hands while balancing on one leg in many poses, which helps to tone your muscles while boosting core and total body strength.

2.Heightens coordination

Ashtanga Yoga is a wonderful technique for optimizing the balance of your body. It aids in the enhancement of concentration, balance, and coordination. A quick and intense asana series improves your sense of rhythm and develops your awareness of your body’s movement and flow.

3.Enhances flexibility

Ashtanga, like any other style of yoga, will help you become more flexible over time. While it’s crucial to listen to your body and go carefully, studies show that after a few weeks of training, flexibility improves. Are you unable to touch your toes? We bet you would be able to do so in a month if you practice Ashtanga Yoga consistently and consciously.

4.Cardiovascular fitness

You’ll know how much you perspire in Ashtanga if you’ve ever completed a full primary set. Maintaining a steady flow of vinyasas between each posture keeps your heart rate steady throughout the workout. You not only increase strength and flexibility, but you also train your cardiovascular system by this activity.

5.Facilitates mental well-being

When practiced on a daily level, Ashtanga will bring you back to yourself and keep you centred. This practice teaches us to transcend our minds, to find inner peace, and to realise our full potential. Begin practicing Ashtanga yoga to achieve a calm, invigorated, relaxed, and liberated state.

6.Provides emotional stability

Asanas can stabilize not just your body, but also your emotions. You will establish a balance between feelings and emotions through practicing Ashtanga. These asanas will assist you in coping with emotionally challenging situations. They will aid in the processing of pain and suppressed emotions, as well as their resolution. Your entire body will perform more efficiently when you balance your emotions.

7.Promotes spirituality

Ashtanga yoga can awaken your inner self. The first four limbs purify your exterior and teach you to interact with the world around you. The next four limbs focus on withdrawal, cleansing, and your relationship with your mind. You can explore the boundless nature of your inner self by practicing postures, focus points, and breathing.

8.Reduces back pain

The postures in the Ashtanga Primary Series stretch and develop the lower back muscles. Because you’re performing the same postures every time you walk on the mat, keeping those muscles stretched will assist to alleviate lower back pain.