Yoga means ‘union’, a union of the mind, body, and soul. It is about the present, self-awareness, peace of mind, self-healing, self-realization, detoxification of body, self-discovery, and overall well being. Yoga is about ‘you’, yoga is for all and one. One of the oldest forms of yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, also called Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga has been known to offer a yogi some of the most replenishing benefits. So here are some of the most amazing benefits of Ashtanga Yoga.
What Is Ashtanga Yoga?
“The way you accept Ashtanga yoga is the way you will accept other outside challenges in life”- Rory Trollen
In Sanskrit, Ashtanga means an eight-limbed form and this system of yoga was recorded by sage Vamana Rishi. The yoga style was popularised by K. Pattabhi Jois during the 20th century. Ashtanga Yoga benefits have been reaped by various yogis since years.
What Ashtanga Yoga Does?
According to sage Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutra, Ashtanga Yoga is a way of internal purification for revealing the universal self and consists of eight spiritual practices. Ashtanga is a dynamic flowing practice, which syncs the movements of the body with the breath. The form is designed to purify the body, building core strength and toning the body.
Eight Spiritual Practices of Ashtanga Yoga
- Yama (moral codes)
- Niyama (discipline)
- Asana (proper yogic posture)
- Pranayama (control of breath or yogic breathing)
- Pratyahara (control of sense)
- Dharana (focus or concentration)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Samadhi (salvation)
Key Principles of Ashtanga Yoga
- Swasa (Breathe)
- Vinyasa (Linking breathe and movement)
- Drishti (gazing point)
- Sthithi (key position)
- Bandhas (locking energy)
Ashtanga Yoga Poses
Ashtanga yoga practice follows a series of Hatha yoga poses, starting from standing poses to sitting poses then to finishing poses. Strict adherence to the routine makes the style unique. This yoga style starts with Surya Namaskar or Sun salutation, which is then followed by six standing poses.
Those six standing poses are the foundation of other poses and after this comes a four series. The series could be difficult, so if you are a beginner, it is recommended to practice under the strict supervision of a yoga guru. After all, then comes the finishing position.
Ashtanga Yoga Benefits
As we told you that the style is about connecting the breath with movements, and helps with self-healing. Practicing Ashtanga yoga rejuvenates you and balances your body mind and soul. So here are some Ashtanga benefits.
Physical Strength- Ashtanga yoga focuses on physical strength and muscle training. Ashtanga not only makes your mind calm and soul peaceful, it also works on body strength. Practicing this style of yoga makes your body toned, strong, and controlled. It also helps in weight management, increases flexibility, works on core strength, and builds stamina and endurance.
Mental Healing- We all know that yoga is not only about physical fitness, it also works on your mind and soul. Practicing Ashtanga will benefit you with various mental issues like stress, tension, etc. It opens your mind, allows you to apprehend knowledge and is great for mental rejuvenation. Ashtanga also helps people who are suffering from any issue that involves the brain. For example, people suffer from lower back issues due to tension or headaches due to stress.
Spiritual Well Being- As mentioned above, Ashtanga also works on spiritual healing. Ashtanga promotes openness of the soul, it is a great way to get connected with your inner-self. It will help you fall in love again and also give you a better understanding of the self. Practicing Ashtanga also brings positivity in and around you, and you will also start feeling energetic and happy. Ashtanga benefits are endless, it is meant to awaken our spiritual self.
Emotional Benefits- Emotional benefits consist of controlling and balancing one’s emotions. It is said that most of the sufferings are caused by emotions. For Example, a heartbreak and sad emotions can lead to mental illness or sometimes it will greatly affect your body. A balance between emotions and feeling is needed, Ashtanga helps you with it.
Other Benefits- Ashtanga yoga comes with a lot of other benefits. It helps you to lead a happy, healthy, and fruitful life. Ashtanga Yoga also benefits your intellect. It opens the mind, makes your IQ strong, builds confidence, helps to interact with people, etc., to name a few.
Ashtanga is happiness, inner peace, discipline, learning, devotion, consciousness and letting go. So practice this style to earn them all.