The physical aspect of ashtanga yoga, which sets it apart from the other yoga styles, is that it is a predetermined sequence of asanas as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois.

 

This style of yoga is physically demanding as it involves synchronizing breathing (ujjayi) with a progressive and continuous series of postures -a process producing intense internal heat and works to balance strength and flexibility. The result is improved circulation,  stamina, a light and strong body, and a calmer mind.

 

Eleanor teaches ashtanga as a led class, talking you through each step of the ashtanga journey as well as teaching Ashtanga Self Practice classes each morning to help deepen your knowledge and understanding in your own time whilst acknowledging where you are in the present moment. Self practice classes are conducted in silence and demand you learn the ashtanga sequence - but it is a friendly and warm environment where are all levels are welcome.

 

Ashtanga yoga literally translates as “the eight limbs”. These eight limbs were collated and discussed by the sage, Patanjali. These eight “limbs”, or steps, are the path to enlightenment. They are as follows:

 

1. yama  [YA-ma]: moral or ethical disciplines

2. niyama  [NI-ya-ma]: personal cleansing using moral or ethical disciplines

3. asana [AH-sah-nah]: posture

4. pranayama [PRAH-naa-yah-MUH]: rhythmic breath control

5. pratyahara [PRAT-ee-ya-hara]: withdrawal of the mind; disconnecting with senses

6. dharana [dhar-un-aa]: concentration of the mind,

7. dhyana [dee-yaan]; meditation

8. samadhi [SAM-aah-dee]:being at one with the object of meditation, utter bliss and peace

 

All these steps are supportive of the next and all enhance each other. Once the first four limbs have been practiced daily on the physical body, then the latter (internalised) limbs will come into being over time and with patience.

check timetable for ashtanga classes
© Sarah Koury 13

ashtanga yoga

dynamic, fiery