As concentration in Ashtanga yoga increases, the body, breath, mind, and soul come into union. Ashtanga yoga is a focusing technique that joins the main life forces, beating in unison to your internal rhythm. With control of the breath, the mind becomes calm, allowing one to tap into a flow state where there is no sense of time, where externally imposed barriers dissolve and there is a sense of oneness with the universe. As focus increases, there is ease, weightlessness in the harmony of movement and breathing.
What Is Ashtanga Yoga? Understanding the Methods
Ashtanga yoga, also known as power yoga, is quickly gaining popularity among practitioners. So what is Ashtanga yoga? It is the form of yoga most used by athletes and those interested in quickly increasing strength and stamina. Because of that, Ashtanga yoga postures have a higher degree of difficulty than those in other styles. Additionally, they are done as part of series.
Usually, students doing Ashtanga yoga postures will move quickly from one to the other to maintain that focus on strength. That is in opposition to many other forms of yoga where the emphasis is on breathing, relaxation, and flexibility.
Who Should Practice Ashtanga Yoga?
Ashtanga yoga poses are for most anyone who is in decent shape. If you are new to exercise, this is probably not the form of yoga with which you should start. Even the very easiest of Ashtanga poses are very demanding on the body, especially since you will even start with a body warming routine that is designed to activate your muscles. Overall, Ashtanga yoga can provide you with a build up of strength, stamina, and even some flexibility which explains its popularity with those involved in athletics.
If you decide to give Ashtanga a try, you should expect things to progress quickly. You will likely start right off with a sequence of yoga poses. Those will be practiced until the teacher feels you have mastered it fairly well and have complete understanding of its fundamentals. Then, you will move on to another series and a higher level of difficulty. Overall, it is a very fast moving form of yoga.
As for the Ashtanga yoga poses, they range widely in terms of positioning. You will find yourself moving from standing, backbent, inverted, balancing, seated, and even twisting poses. In power yoga, the sun salutation sequence of poses is very popular as well, so you will often use standing forward bend, upward dog, downward dog, and many other poses sprinkled in as well.
Though much of the focus in Ashtanga yoga poses is on the development of stamina and strength, you will also, as with any yoga, be focusing. You will be asked to focus your eyes on a point as you move through the poses given out by your instructor. In order to get the full effect and benefit of Ashtanga, you should make sure that your muscles and perhaps even the rooms are very warm. This ensures maximum flexibility and minimal injury as you work through the demanding postures.
If you are into athletics, exercise, or just want a new physical challenge, perhaps you should consider giving Ashtanga yoga a try. The clear choice of athletes and an increasingly popular form in general, it is perfect for those that are in decent shape and want to increase their strength, stamina, and flexibility. Power yoga is a series of poses taken in a quick and free flowing sequence. Even the classes move quickly with teachers adding more difficult sequences every time one is fairly well mastered. So if you learn fast, like to work hard, and think you are up to the challenge of power yoga, then you may benefit greatly from Ashtanga yoga poses.