Ashtanga Yoga – Yes or No? The decision is yours

Did you know that our everyday Surya Namaskar is just one sequence of various Yoga asanas that one can do. Interesting right? It was the same with me. I wanted to know more about Yoga and a simple Google search yielded so many results,s that I decided to put them down in writing!

There are around 84 asanas according to a 15th century Sanskrit manuscript, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. In combining some of these asanas we get the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. With some more buttons clicking, I read more about the Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga literally means eight limbs. This practice of Yoga was popularised during the 20th century by K.Pattabhi Jois an Indian yoga practioner. This style is now widely used infused with modern yoga sequences. He also established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institue in Mysore, India.

While browsing through the web I got to know that Ashtanga Yoga is different from Vinyasa Yoga. Wow! This was something new. A web article said that while Ashtanga Yoga consists of three series of postures in a sequence, the Vinyasa series of postures varies with each class. This is so because, Vinyasa consists of one complex pose which a teacher will select for the class and the entire yoga sequence will have postures that will lead up to achieving this peak pose.

Ashtanga Yoga uses the practice of all eight limbs. It usually starts with Surya Namaskar A and B variations for ten repeated sessions, followed by six series of Yoga sequences. I was curious as to what these two variations of Surya Namaskar would be. So once again the internet came to my rescue. The A variant is for the beginners and consists of 9 postures, while the B variant has 14 postures. Usually the B variant is followed by yoga practitioners with years of experience. Surya Namaskar in general is done to improve blood circulation, lose weight and gain stamina.

There I have got you some of the important points of what Ashtanga Yoga comprises of. Now it is upto you to decide if this is the one for you!

Happy Yoga!!!

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