Home » Health » Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga - History and Theory

Aug 17, 2007
If you are interesting in taking up yoga, Ashtanga yoga may be the kind of yoga for you. This popular form of yoga has an interesting history.

Sri Krishnamacharya at Mysore Palace originally established Ashtanga yoga. Krishnamacharya is responsible for influencing many modern forms of yoga practiced today. The Ashtanga Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India, is the most faithful to Krishnamacharya's teachings. It was originally developed for teenage boys, but is now popular with people of all ages. It is an aerobic type yoga, which is physically demanding. The main focus is on vinyasa, which are a series of movements combined with specific breathing patterns. There should be one breath for each movement. This breathing and movement seeks to make the blood hot. Hot blood will be thin and aid in purifying the body with better blood flow. It will also produce sweat, which will rid the body of harmful toxins, leaving the body in a disease free state.

Ashtanga Yoga seeks to purify the mind and body through the eight limbs or steps of yoga. The first two steps are Yama (control) and Niyana (rules of conduct) and are the ways in which we deal with how we interact with the world and ourselves. These steps cannot be practiced but are ethical issues. They are meant to create an environment that promotes positive growth.

The third and fourth steps deal with asanas (poses/postures) and pranayama (breath control). Ashtanga yoga holds the belief that breathing is basic to life. Breathing should be even, smooth and possess a natural rhythm. Most people do not breathe correctly and thereby use only one half their total lung capacity. Correct breathing will bring our mind to our heart's center and lead to inner peace. Asanas or poses are meant to help us acquire a comfortable sitting position to help with meditation. Physically asanas help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, maintain a healthy heart and keep us fit. Mentally, they help lower stress and tensions in our lives.

The next four steps cannot be practiced. They are about creating the perfect conditions for true meditation. The fifth step is pratyahara or a withdrawal of senses. This step is about maintaining attention and avoiding distractions from our senses. The next three steps deal with the meditative aspect of yoga. Dhara is concentrating in one direction. Dhyana is uninterrupted meditation and Samadhi is being one with self or total absorption.

There are three sequence groups involved in Ashtanga yoga. The first is the Primary Series, which focuses on aligning the body and ridding it of toxins. The next step is the Intermediate Series. This involves opening and clearing channels and purifying our nervous system. The last step is the Advanced Series. This step includes higher levels of flexibility and combines strength and grace. Advancement through each step is only attained after mastering the previous step.

Ashtanga yoga is practiced at an individual's own pace. An Ashtanga yoga class could consist of the entire class being at different levels. It is an independent yoga. The classes will be quiet with no socialization.

Ashtanga yoga will differ from other types of yoga due to its focus on vinyasas. It strives to establish correct breathing, postures, a control of senses and an awareness of our selves. It is a physically demanding exercise, which will result in a light, strong body and a calm mind.
About the Author
More Ashtanga Yoga Articles at http://www.eYoga-Today.com. Learn how to operate a Successful Niche Website Network at http://eWebCreator.com. Matthew Hick has been designing profitable Adsense Websites for over 5 years.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 161
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources