Astanga Yoga practice starts with a simple, highly effective method of aligning movement with breath (vinyasa). Each vinyasa links a sequenced number of held postures (asanas) known as a series. Learning a series incrementally and then repeating it regularly commits the practice to memory. By working in this way the student is able to progress at a pace that is appropriate for him or her. Astanga Yogais suitable for all levels of practitioner including complete beginners
The sequenced series of asanas, practiced regularly, can improve strength, stamina, balance and flexibility. The practice is a tonic for joints and muscles. It also stimulates the nervous and digestive systems. The heat created by vinyasa has been described as ‘stoking an internal fire’ with sweat as its detoxifying bi- product.
Regulating the breath can create a strong sense of well-being. The breath is a bridge between the body and the mind. If we are relaxed, so is our breathing. When we are agitated or fearful our breath can become rapid or shallow, often without our realizing. Taking control of the breath can change these default settings and improve mental health.
Mysore style, aka ‘self-practice’ is the traditional way of learning the Astanga Yoga system. Mysore is the town in India widely regarded as the birthplace of this method.
Self practice focuses on teaching each student individually within a group setting. The student works at his or her own pace, learns the series incrementally and receives adjustments and guidance from the teacher when appropriate.
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