It is a dynamic Yoga and a philosophical system. The Sanskrit word Ashtau means 8 and anga translates to limbs. Thus referring to 8 essential practices in this Yoga. To cite the rules of behavior, self-discipline, body postures. Also the art of breathing, mastery of the senses, concentration, enlightenment and meditation.
It is a form of Hanta yoga where postures are accompanied by stretching and contractions. The postures are chained according to predetermined series. His achievements become more and more difficult. This is where its uniqueness lies.
Origin of the technique
The ancestral origin of Ashtanga yoga would be the ancient text “Yoga Kuranta”. It is a text written between the year 500 and 1500 years BC by Vamana Rich. Later rediscovered by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in a library in Calcutta. Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is a scholar of ancient Sanskrit. Which had led him to understand the meanings of the texts. It was at the beginning of the 20th century that he created the Ashtanga Yoga. Just at the age of 12, he had taught it in Pattabhi Jois. Subsequently, he opened a yoga school in Mysore. To complete his journey, he traveled through India with his disciples. However, Mysore remains the capital of Ashtanga.
Ashtanga techniques are laid out in books 2 and 3 of Yoga sutras. The Guru or masters transmit its postural practice. The description voice is not enough. Uncomfortable at first, the postures become natural with courage, patience and regular practice.
Benefits on the body
By causing an increase in the internal temperature, it allows reduce toxins.
It also strengthens the joints of the body. This is due to the realization of dynamic and varied postures. This promotes the proper functioning of the joints.
Through his exercises, he increases flexibility and endurance but also helps to losing weight.
Also, it is effective for reduce anxiety and stress. It is the breathing exercises and meditation that promote their management and elimination.
Procedure of an Ashtanga Yoga session
A session lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is done either in Mysore style or in practice guided by a teacher.
We start with sun salutations. It is intended to heat the body and burn off mental and physical impurities. Then, we continue with the triangles which are stretches. This prepares the body for different directions in space. Afterwards, we continue with the series composed of simple torsion, opening of the pelvis and bending. We then do the back bend in order to gently chain a dozen of the inverted posture. It is to return to a state of calm. Finally, we practice savasana. It is a moment of relaxation allowing the assimilation of the session and to evacuate the muscular tensions.