"Body not stiff, Mind stiff"
-Sri K. P. Jois-
A FLOWING AND POWERFUL STYLE OF YOGA...
alternating dynamic movement and static holding. It can be practiced with both strength and gentleness, depending on what your body needs in the moment and what helps calm your mind. Flexibility, strength, and balance are trained both physically and mentally. This leads to increased concentration, equilibrium, and well-being in everyday life.
Aṣṭāṅga Vinyāsa Yoga consists of fixed Āsana sequences. Tailored and varied to your needs, a recurring sequence is practiced, gradually supplemented. Ujjāyī (a special breathing technique) and Dṛṣṭi (specific gaze points) are synchronized with movements. With muscle activation, the bandhas (energy locks) are engaged, leading to a stable posture and directing energy through the body. Inner awareness and mindfulness are refined, creating a meditation in motion.
Aṣṭāṅga Vinyāsa Yoga is suitable for everyone. The practice can be adapted to almost all needs.
"Anyone can practice. Young man can practice. Old man can practice. Very old man can practice. Man who is sick, he can practice. Man who doesn’t have strength can practice. Except lazy people; lazy people can’t practice Ashtanga yoga."
- K. Pattabhi Jois -
Through repetitive practice of the same series, we become more attuned to our own changes; self-study and observation find space. Each time on the mat, we are different, we feel different. Concentration and mindfulness in the present moment are learned. Our daily lives are already diverse enough; continuous distraction and sensory overload provide a maximum of impressions. In yoga, we aim to minimize these, letting go of more and more unnecessary elements - peeling a way to the essence and entering self-observation. For this purpose, the "Mysore Style" teaching format is best suited, individual instruction in a group setting. Here, we can fully immerse ourselves, at our own appropriate pace of breath.
The origin of Aṣṭāṅga Vinyāsa Yoga lies in the southern Indian city of Mysore. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) taught influential yoga teachers there. He once learned from Sri Ramamohana Brahmachari in the mountains of Tibet. Krishnamacharya is considered the architect of Vinyāsa Yoga, thus significantly shaping the modern yoga world. Aṣṭāṅga Vinyāsa Yoga is the yoga system from which all modern ´dynamic´ yoga styles have evolved. The foundation of Krishnamacharya's teaching was the principle of "teaching what is appropriate for the individual." His students included B.K.S. Iyengar, Indra Devi, and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who ultimately brought Aṣṭāṅga Vinyāsa Yoga to the West.
"Aṣṭāṅga" can be translated as "Eight Limbs" and refers back to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
wherein the eightfold path of yoga is described. The third limb is Āsana, the physical practice on the yoga mat. For our current lifestyle in the Western world, starting with the Āsana practice makes sense. However, integrating the remaining limbs sooner or later is helpful to delve deeper into the philosophy, art, and science of yoga. The first limb consists of the 5 Yamas: guidelines for interacting with your environment. The second limb includes the 5 Niyamas: recommendations for self-care. The fourth limb is Prāṇāyāma, the yogic breathing techniques. The subsequent limbs aim towards meditation and ultimately Samādhi, complete immersion.