Are you looking for a comprehensive guide to Ashtanga yoga? You have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about ashtanga yoga. We will cover the history of ashtanga yoga, the philosophy behind it, and the different poses that are included in the practice. We will also discuss the benefits of ashtanga yoga and how to get started with your practice.
What Is Ashtanga?
Ashtanga yoga is a type of yoga that was developed by Sri Krishnamacharya in the early 20th century. It is a system of yoga that includes six different series of poses, each of which has a specific purpose. The ashtanga practice is meant to be done in a specific order, and each pose builds off of the last.
The ashtanga practice is traditionally done six days per week, with one day of rest. Each day, you will do one of the ashtanga series. The first series, known as the primary series, is designed to detoxify the body and build strength. The second series, known as the intermediate series, focuses on flexibility and opening up the hips. The third series, known as the advanced series, is designed to challenge your balance and coordination.
Here are the basic poses you need to know when starting your Ashtanga yoga practice:
Urdhva Vrksasana – Standing Mountain Pose
This is the starting position for all ashtanga yoga poses. From here, you will inhale and raise your arms overhead. Exhale as you bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight. Inhale as you come back to standing, and exhale as you lower your arms back down to your sides.
Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation
This is a series of 12 poses that are done in sequence. Each pose flows into the next, and the entire series is typically done as one continuous movement. The sun salutation is a great way to warm up your body before starting your ashtanga yoga practice.
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose
This is a simple forward bend that can be done from the standing mountain pose. Inhale as you raise your arms overhead, and exhale as you bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight. Place your hands on the ground next to your feet, and let your head hang down.
Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose
From Uttanasana, lower yourself down to the ground so that your elbows are tucked close to your sides and your chest is parallel to the ground. This is a great arm strengthener, and it will also prepare you for inversions later on in your ashtanga yoga practice.
Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your palms flat on the ground next to your shoulders. Inhale as you press up into Cobra pose, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Exhale as you lower back down to the ground.
Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose
This is an inversion, so it should only be attempted after you have mastered the other ashtanga yoga poses. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs together. Inhale as you raise your legs overhead and exhale as you raise your hips off the ground, coming into a shoulder stand.
Ashtanga yoga is a great way to get fit, as it builds both strength and flexibility. It is also a good choice for those who are looking for a more challenging yoga practice. If you are new to ashtanga yoga, we recommend finding an experienced teacher to help you get started. Thanks for reading!