What Is Ashtanga Yoga? Benefits and Tips for Beginners

by Kate
Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is a yoga exercise style that was created by Pattabhi Jois during the 20th century. What makes it unique is the fact that it’s a modern-day form of classical yoga. Unlike other yoga styles, this one synchronizes your breath with movements, while also being very energetic. The asanas are linked through movements as well.

The meaning of Ashtanga Yoga

You have 5 different Ashtanga series and you must focus on mastering a series before you move on to the next. The main purpose of Ashtanga Yoga is that it purifies your mind and body. On top of that, you get to achieve a strong sense of focus, growth, and purpose. Some consider the exercises to be tough, especially if you go towards the higher levels.

Ashtanga means eight limbs in Sanskrit, and thus the exercises are relying on the eight limbs of yoga. This includes yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. By unifying all these things together, you have access to Ashtanga Yoga and all of its benefits.

What are the benefits of Ashtanga Yoga?

One of the main benefits of Ashtanga Yoga is that it allows you to improve your flexibility. On top of that, it allows your body to strengthen up, especially when it comes to the core area. You can use this yoga practice to boost muscle tone, while also enhancing cardiovascular fitness. It’s really good at helping you lower the body fat too, not to mention it can help eliminate stress and anxiety.

With help from Ashtanga Yoga, you can also lower the blood pressure and prevent injuries. Also, this type of yoga can also boost your creativity and focus. You will be happier and also a lot more productive every day, which is really helpful.

The structure of the primary series

When you start practicing Ashtanga Yoga, you will go into the Primary Series. Here you have 5 sun salutations A and 3-5 sun salutations B. You also have a set of standing postures (balances, twists, and forward folds). Then you will focus on seated postures (twisting, hip opening, forward folding) and you enter the finishing sequence with headstands, shoulder stands, and a deep backend.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Sun Salutation A
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Sun Salutation A
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Sun Salutation B
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Sun Salutation B

Tips for beginners

  • It’s very important to not be intimidated. Even if Ashtanga Yoga might seem difficult at first, practicing it often will show you that everything is possible.
  • Focus on your breathing. The Ashtanga Yoga practice helps you improve the way you breathe, and it also teaches you to breathe control, among many others.
  • You should always treat every vinyasa as the first since you can really focus on it and deliver your all for the best experience.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you fail the first series a few times. It’s a series focused on eliminating disease and toxins, so that’s why it can feel difficult. It has astonishing health benefits, and that’s the thing you want to focus on the most.
  • Try to practice it with others. You will notice that Ashtanga Yoga is a lot more fun if you have a buddy that does the same thing.
  • Listening to audio led classes can help you keep the rhythm even if you’re performing Ashtanga Yoga at home.
Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series

Conclusion

Ashtanga Yoga is great for everyone, and it comes with astonishing health benefits. While it does take a little bit of time to get used to, the truth is that it will bring in front amazing benefits, and it’s exactly why you want to give it a try right away. It’s certainly worth giving a shot today, and you will be very impressed with the results and overall evolution!

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