What is ashtanga yoga?

What is Ashtanga yoga? The history and benefits of ashtanga yoga.
Find out more about ashtanga yoga below.

If you love Vinyasa flow or power yoga, you’re already familiar with ashtanga. Ashtanga is the forefather of “modern” yoga styles like power yoga and vinyasa flow. Yogis love ashtanga because it’s physically challenging and fast-paced, but still seeped in yoga tradition. Because it has a set sequence (meaning you’ll do the same poses every class) it’s great for those who like to know what to expect and want to see measurable progress in their yoga poses. Find out more about ashtanga yoga below. 

What is ashtanga?  

Started in Mysore, India to keep teenage boys attentive, ashtanga yoga was brought to the United States in 1975 by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (just a few years after Kundalini was brought to the U.S.). Ashtanga yoga translates to "eight-limbed yoga", which refers to the eight limbs outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. Every ashtanga class follows one of six set sequences, and each sequence increases in difficulty. Yogis flow from one posture to the next, making this a very athletic practice.  

Benefits of ashtanga yoga:  

Because ashtanga yoga is a set series, many yogis find that because they know what is coming next, they can pay extra attention to their breath. Ashtanga is a very physical style of yoga, so it is also beneficial in that it sculpts your body. With a regular ashtanga practice, you can build strength as well as burn fat.  

Ashtanga Mysore:

In Mysore ashtanga classes, students practice at their own paces in silence while teachers walk around the room making adjustments. Mysore classes are traditionally offered first thing in the morning, but some studios offer evening classes to accommodate student schedules. If you're new to ashtanga, it is best to try a guided primary series first.  

Fans of ashtanga yoga: 

Many celebrities practice ashtanga yoga; it is said to be Madonna's favorite style. International yoga teacher and author of Women's Health Magazine's Big Book of Yoga Kathryn Budig loves ashtanga so much that she named her dog "Ashi."  

Are you a fan of ashtanga yoga? Let us know in the comment section below. 


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