Sharath_Jois

Ashtanga Yoga
- Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, in Swedish often shortened simply to Ashtanga Yoga - is a dynamic, physical, powerful form of Yoga, founded by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, from Mysore, India.

The word Ashtanga means eight branches in Sanskrit. Eight parts that constitutes a yogic practice. One of the   foundational texts of yoga is Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, that describes what yoga is - both practically and philosophically. Simply put, one can say that the goal of yoga is to quieten the activities of the mind, and reach a conscious, peaceful state in ourselves. In Sanskrit, this is known as Samadhi. 

The Yoga Sutras speak of an eightfolded path to reach Samadhi, where the physical positions, or asanas, are only one branch. More over Patanjali speaks of Yamas and Niyamas, our attitudes towards others and ourselves, about breathing and deeper forms of concentration and meditation. Each branch consists of different principles and tools for us to study. There are various forms of yoga that emphazises different branches. 

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said that we need a strong and healthy body in order to move on to the other branches, those that bring us deeper into ourselves. Therefore, in Ashtanga Yoga, we start with practicing asanas - movements.

The eight branches are:

Yama  - 5 moral, ethical principles or guidelines.

Niyama  - 5 principles of self-study and self-purification.

Asana  - physical movements, body positions.

Pranayama  - breathing exercises, breath control.

Pratyahara  - to direct their minds inward. To control their minds. 

Dharana  - concentration.

Dhyana  - meditation.

Samadhi  - The highest state of yoga. A state of calmness, happiness, freedom and deep faith.

Yogashala Stockholm

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