Brought to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), Ashtanga Yoga combines breath control (pranayama) and physical postures (asana) with sense withdrawal (pratyahara) and concentration (dharana). The result is a powerfully transformative experience that produces deep internal healing.
Following a precise sequential order, postures (or asana) are organised in six different series – Primary (Yoga Chikitsa) which detoxifies and aligns the body; Intermediate (Nadi Shodhana) which purifies the nervous system; and the Advanced A, B, C and D (Sthira Bhaga) integrating strength and refinement of the practice.
‘Astanga’ literally means ‘8 limbs’ and was devised by the great sage Patanjali: he was the first to start a systematized approach to yoga through the Yoga Sutras. These 8 ‘limbs’ or steps, which support each other and work together to guide practioners towards the pathway of Yoga – the divine union of mind, body and soul, leading towards a state of self realization and liberation. They are a very important part of the path towards connecting with to truth. They help us to make sense of the way forward while on this deeply transforming journey, enriching our daily lives and our physical practice.
My Experience I received a Level 2 Ashtanga Teacher Qualification at the KPJAY Institute in India in 2008, which took 3 years to complete. My first trip to Mysore in 2005 lasted 6 months and thereafter I visited for 2 months at a time. After Mysore I would also visit the beautiful Ashtangi couple Rolf and Marci in Goa, for usually another month to further deepen my practice. Marci comes from a very strong Iyengar background which was a refreshing approach in which to deconstruct and rebuild alignment in postures. I teach Mysore or Ashtanga Classes in strict adherence to Ashtanga lineage and in more general classes I use Ashtanga as my foundation incorporate other elements.
You can view a video about 'Mysore Style' in India below ..