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Ashtanga yoga in India

The Eight-Fold Path of Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga refers to the eight-fold path of yoga where the term Ashtanga literally denotes eight limbs. Patanjali them as abstinences (Yama), observances (Niyama), postures (Asana), breath control (Pranayama), sense withdrawal (Pratyahara), concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana) and contemplation (Samadhi) in Indian scriptures. If you follow them in the right sequence, you can expect to rediscover your fullest potential at every level.

Ashtanga yoga can be classified into three groups in terms of sequence. The aim of the primary series which is referred to as Yoga Chikitsa is to detoxify and align the body. The intermediate sequence is concerned with purifying your nervous system. This is done by opening the energy channels and then clearing them. Finally, the advanced series helps us to acquire steadiness of mind and body. In order to reap the benefits that come with Ashtanga yoga, you have to develop each level fully before you move on to the next. Also, the correct order has to be maintained with respect to the asanas. This is because they are intrinsically linked to one another and only when you master a specific posture can you prepare for the next.

Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga:

The benefits of Ashtanga yoga are manifold and tocuhes our emotional, physical, intellectual and mental aspects.

Emotional benefits: When we are unable to control our emotions we tend to rely on the negative feelings and that leads to our downfall. Ashtanga yoga helps you to control the emotions and not be a slave to it.

Physical benefits: Ashtanga yoga enhances the physical health and extends your life span. It is extremely beneficial for the body as it cleanses the toxins and restores health at all times. As we deem our body to be our holy abode, we must keep it that way. Ashtanga yoga helps us realize that aspect.

Intellectual benefits: Your conscious or awareness is not dynamic like your intellect. The intellect has the characteristic of growth on the basis of knowledge gain and experience. Ashtanga yoga helps your intellect to grow in the best possible way. It helps you to cognize and differentiate between the real world and the unreal. It projects the world as how it is (prajna)

Mental benefits: Your mind rules your body. To keep your body in the perfect state, your mind should be equally stable. This state of stability is brought by Ashtanga yoga. If you are mentally stable you can take care of any other issues in your life.

Practicing Ashtanga Yoga:

  1. Start with Ujjayi breathing which involves relaxation, concentration and awareness of your breath.
  2. You need to close your throat partially to hear the sound while your inhale and exhale.
  3. Surya Namaskar involves the movement of all limbs. Start Ashtanga yoga with Surya Namaskar.
  4. Vinyasa is to be practiced in between the poses of Ashtanga.
  5. End with a savasana to relax your body and relieve it of the physical activity.
Read about different other forms of Yoga popular in India >>


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Valeri Turso 26/05/2011

Really enjoyed this post.Really thank you! Cool.

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