Showing posts with label postures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label postures. Show all posts

01 October 2010

Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a flowing dynamic form of yoga, where each pose is linked and synchronised using a breathing system called ujjayi pranayama.

Ashtanga yoga practices postures (asana), breath (ujjayi pranayama), focal/gazing point (driste). The discipline of this system allows us to develop a deeper understanding and awareness of ourselves. It is both empowering, and liberating and allows us to move through life with a calmness and steadiness of mind and body.

The linking of breathing and movement creates an internal, purifying heat which detoxifies and purifies the muscles and internal organs. Internal locks (bandhas) are used throughout the yoga practice. The breath is the heart Ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga translates as “eight limbs”. Below are the eight limbs as described by the sage Pattanjali:
  • Yama (abstinences)
  • Niyama (observances)
  • Asana (postures)
  • Pranayama (breath control)
  • Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)
  • Dharana (concentration)
  • Dhyana (meditation)
  • Samadhi (contemplation)
By practising the first four external limbs, the second four internal limbs begin to unfold, leading to self awareness and knowledge.
“If the mind folds itself to a point of concentration or becomes standstill, as it were, it can keep the body and the sesnses under its control, so that there will not be a possibility of their getting disease. If the mind becomes weak, it will be the cause of of many diseases, hallucinations and other mental distortions which give rise to physical diseases. The process of disaplining and purifying the mind is called yoga.”
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois