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Let yourself be carried away by the sunrise

Ashtanga Yoga is a system of yoga which focuses on asana (posture) and pranayama (breath control) and works with the synchronisation of deep, rhythmic breathing (ujjayi) and movement (vinyasa). By linking all the postures, the vinyasa system – combined with the practice of locks: mula and uddiyana bandhas - creates a continuous flow of energy that heats up the body. This heat brings oxygen to the blood, nourishes the glands and internal organs, cleanses and purifies the nervous system. The result is a lighter and stronger body, and a clearer mind.


The practitioner moves through a set sequence of asanas and experiences a flowing and meditative practice thanks to the vinyasa system threading all the asanas together.


Through the practice of breathing (ujjayi), poses (asanas) and gazing point (dristi), concentration increases, mind becomes calmer, senses withdraw, allowing the practitioners to experience a deeper awareness of themselves.


The term Ashtanga literally means "eight limbs" and is described by Patanjali as:Yama (abstinence), Niyama (observances), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (contemplation).


The Ashtanga system comprises 3 groups of sequences:

(1) The Primary Series (Chikitsa Yoga) is called yoga therapy because it detoxifies and aligns the body. It comprises about 60 postures which begin with sun salutations, then continue through standing postures, sitting postures and then a closing sequence.

(2) The Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana) purifies the nervous system by opening and clearing the energy channels.

(3) The Advanced Series A, B, C and D (Sthira Bhaga).



The traditional method of teaching Ashtanga Yoga is known as "Mysore self-practice" (self-guided asana practice). Practitioners are taught individually within a group environment and practice at their own pace with one-to-one guidance and support as well as one-to-one personalised punctual adjustments given by the teacher. By memorising the sequence of postures, practitioners are able to cultivate a personal self-practice allowing them to turn their focus inwards and to access the meditative realms of yoga practice.

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