“Yoga is seeing life the way it is”—Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
“If we practice the science of yoga, which is useful to the entire human community and which yields happiness both here and hereafter – if we practice it without fail, we will then attain physical, mental, and spiritual happiness, and our minds will flood towards the Self.”–Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
“The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga series, is a system of Yoga, that is said to have its origin in an ancient text called the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru/teacher- Rama Mohan Brahmachari, which was later passed down to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.
This style of yoga is characterized by a focus on vinyasa. Vinyasas are the linking of breath with movement. An individual’s breath initiates and controls their movements and the length of time held in their postures. This process produces an intense internal heat and a purifying sweat.
The Ashtanga Vinyasa system is an exact science; with a specific breath count for each asana and movement. And when practiced with a progressive series postures in sequential order allows a person to tap into unknown possibilities and uncover hidden potential. This is an ongoing, cumulative and a therapeutic process, further allowing a person to evolve to their fullest potential on a physical, psychological and spiritual level.
The sophistication and simplicity of this type of yoga is that everyone breathes. From an ongoing practice and over time, a person learns to control their breath. When one can control their breath, they can, in turn control their practice. By focusing on the breath an individual’s intention is created, which can initiate an awareness of actions in postures, freeing the body, allowing each movement, asana, to be graceful, strong, stable and always evolving”.
For more information about Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga visit the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Krama Yoga
Vinyasa Krama Yoga classes are grounded in the tradition of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. They utilizes the vinyasa technique of synchronizing breath with movement, while remaining with in the boundaries of the Ashtanga Sequences and the intention of the practice.. The difference between all six series of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga sequences and Vinyasa Krama sequences, is that in Vinyasa Krama classes, the postures can be adapted, deciphered, or the class structured to meet the needs of the students, while still maintaining the integrity of the framework of the Ashtanga Sequences.
“Oh Yogi! Don’t do Asana Without Vinyasa“. -Vamana Rishi
The Eight Limbs/Steps of Ashtanga Yoga
Yoga can be described as a practice, a magnificent science, dedicated to creating union with body mind and spirit. It supports the practitioner by using the breath and body to cultivate and foster a new level of awareness of ourselves and an intimate connection to all: creating a balance so as to live in peace, good health and harmony with the greater whole. There are eight “steps” or “limbs” of Ashtanga Yoga and they are:
Yama: The Yamas can be thought of as the ethical standards or restraints, universal morality or integrity that is necessary for achieving harmony with other beings.
Niyama: The Niyamas can be described as actions that are necessary for achieving balance, self discipline or personal obervances with one self.
Asana: Postures/asanas/poses, that are practiced.
Pranayama: Pranayama is the practice of breath control, through breathing exercises. This is a fundemental aspect of the Ashtanga Yoga system.
Pratyahara: Control of the senses. Our attention is directed internally.
Dharana: Concentration of the mind and cultivating inner awareness. This stage has been described as where the “real yoga” happens.
Dhyana: Devotion, Meditation or Contemplation. It can be described as a stream of consciousness whereby very little of the “Self” exists.
Samadhi: Is the eighth limb of Ashtanga Yoga where, Peace, Union, Joy, Freedom unite. Sometimes referred to as Nirvana.
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