A flow of poses integrated with deep and deliberate breathing
Ashtanga Vinyasa was first codified and taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). Sri K. Pattabhi Jois studied under Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) from the age of 12, and Krishnamacharya’s teaching greatly influenced him in the creation of Ashtanga Vinyasa, but he also found guidance in classical Sanskrit works such as Svami Svatmarama’s fifteenth-century yoga manual Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Patanjali’s collection of aphorisms Yoga Sutra (compiled prior to 400 CE). One element Ashtanga Vinyasa has in common with Patanjali’s yoga philosophy is the emphasis on the eight (asht) limbs (anga) of yoga: yama (moral discipline), niyama ([self-] restraint, purification), asana (posture), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawing the mind from the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (union with the object of meditation). Pattabhi Jois thought that it was essential to practise asanas before one could master the other seven limbs. Perhaps because of Ashtanga Vinyasa’s close connection to ancient yogic scriptures, it is often referred to as a modern-day form of classical yoga.
Ashtanga Vinyasa encompasses asanas and breath joined in a flow and cultivates a healthy body in all aspects: physical, mental and spiritual. The classical Ashtanga Vinyasa class starts with five sun salutation a:s followed by five sun salutation b:s. The sun salutations are followed by a sequence of standing and seated postures from three different series: Yoga Chikitsa (Yoga Therapy/First Series), Nadi Shodhana (Nerve Purifier/Second Series) and Sthira Bagha (Centering of Strength/Third Series). You need to master the postures of the first series before moving on to those of the second. All movement is linked with breath into a flow. With Ashtanga Vinyasa, you will become stronger, more flexible, and more focused through progressive techniques of breathing, postures and movement. At Yogateket, you can progress through the classical Ashtanga series and, when you feel ready, discover variations that will take you to the next level of your practice.