Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga steeped in tradition popularized by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). Ashtanga literally translates from Sanskrit as "eight-limbed yoga." The eight limbs of yoga, or the eight sutras, provide the steps to enlightenment and a deep state of mental, emotional and physical purification. The sutras include:
SAMADHI: "Enlightenment” The deepest, highest state conciousnesses - you are at one with the Self or God.
DHYANA (Purple): The deepest state of meditation.
DHARANA (Navy): Concentration
PRATYAHARA (Turquoise): Stillness, ability to still the mind.
PRANAYAMA (Green): Breath Control
ASANA (Yellow): Postures
NIYAMA (Orange): “I feel” Observances. (Do’s)
YAMA (Red): Restraints (Don’ts)
Ashtanga yoga coordinates breath (pranayama and pratyahara) with poses (asanas) to flow with dynamic movement from one hold to another. The high energy imparted from this style of practice generates deep internal heat purifying the organs, tissues, and breath; and improves circulation while strengthening and toning the body. Ultimately, using your body's deep cleansing breath to power your movement will create a deep sense of harmony within.
The teachings come from an ancient manuscript called the Yoga Korunta by Patañjali and have been passed along from guru to student for centuries.
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