Ashtanga Yoga means “eight-limbed yoga” - a multifaceted approach to uncovering our truest self. Students begin their study of Ashtanga Yoga through the third limb: Asana (physical movements).
Ashtanga Yoga combines Vinyasa (a breathing-movement system), Tristhana (three places of attention) and Asana (physical movements):
- Vinyasa is a breathing movement system with each breath corresponding to a specific movement. This practice strengthens the mind-body connection.
- Tristhana are three places of attention: Posture, Breath and Drishti (focused gaze). Posture aligns the body, breath detoxifies the body and dristhi purifies the mind.
- Asana are the physical movements - stringing together a series of dynamic yogic postures. The postures are divided into six series :
- Primary Series is the starting point for all beginning students - cleansing and detoxifying the body.
- Second Series cleanses the more subtle body.
- Advanced Series (Third through Sixth Series) continue to purify the body and mind on a deeper level.
Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient yoga system originally taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. Rama Mohan Brahmachari conveyed this text to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900s. Krishnamacharya passed on these teachings to his student, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, during their studies beginning in 1927. Before his death in 2009, Jois imparted his teachings to his grandson, R. Sharath Jois. As Director of the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, Sharath Jois continues to teach Ashtanga Yoga to students from around the world.