‘Ashtanga’ means ‘eight limbs’, which refers to eight important aspects of Ashtanga Yoga. These include abstinences, observances, postures, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and contemplation. Correct breathing and posture are vital components of Ashtanga Yoga. By synchronising one’s movement with one’s breath, achieving different movements and postures becomes easier and more graceful.
Students of Ashtanga yoga progress through five different series which they must pass in a specific order as they can only move to the next stage once they have mastered their current stage. The five series include sun salutations and a variety of seated, standing, and finishing postures.
The purpose of Ashtanga yoga is to purify the body and the mind. The benefits of practicing this strenuous type of yoga are numerous. Stress relief, increased flexibility, strengthening of muscles, and improved mental health are amongst the benefits Ashtanga yoga can offer.
If you love taking on physical challenges that push your body to its limits, Ashtanga Yoga could be the perfect type of yoga for you.