The ULU Yoga Blog

Woman with yoga mat
Woman with yoga mat

What is Ashtanga Yoga? Ashtanga Yoga is the ultimate way to refresh and restore yourself! By combining classical Indian yogic principles and modern postures, you can create your own custom routine. K.P. Jois learned the system from K.S. Sudha Sundaram, who was also a prominent yogi and teacher in Vrindavan, India.

  • Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga involves a series of asanas (postures) which are designed to strengthen and stretch the body. Most people associate yoga with flexibility, but the truth is, it has a lot to do with strength and endurance just the same. For this reason, those who usually need a break from their same old routine, see Ashtanga as the perfect answer. It is often used as a full-body workout routine and can be helpful for athletes and dancers. The style focuses on improving cardiovascular fitness as well as lung capacity and stamina and has been shown to be a very effective workout for those who want to live a more active lifestyle, 
  • Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga draws on several different styles of yoga to achieve its various results. These include Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Hatha Yoga. These styles can be broadly classified into three main types, based on the postures involved in each posture: Savasana, Anuloma-Viloma and Trikonasana.
  • Savasana, or the standing posture, is a must-have in an ashtanga yoga routine. It’s easy and meditative to perform and will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The poses in the practice are held for seven breaths, and breathing is said to happen “in the mind as the heart pumps.” This type of yoga is a perfect way to be in the present moment and develop a sense of mindfulness. There are different postures for each chakra, or energy center, that can help you become more grounded.
  • Anuloma-Viloma means “the circling of the feet,” and is one of the three main styles of yoga focusing on the hips. A typical ashtanga yoga class begins with an asana (movement), followed by a back stretch, and then a lunge forward, as the hips contract and move into the forward position. The sequence continues this way, ending with a hip stand, as the body stays in the standing position for a few seconds. Trikonasana is another style of ashtanga yoga, and this pattern works the same muscles in the hips as the previous one, but this time, there is a pause at the end of the movement. Thereafter, the hips are lifted and pushed back into the standing position.
  • Other than the three primary postures described above, other ashtanga yoga styles exist, depending on the needs of the individual student. For example, “power-flow” postures help students strengthen their abdominals and boost their energy. “Miles” (short for “metronome”) postures help students pace themselves and stay in time with their class. “Flow,” on the other hand, is for those who prefer more variety and more flexible postures. It also takes into account different breathing techniques and incorporates the benefits of proper alignment.
Ulu Contributor

Ulu Contributor

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