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Home > Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga > Practice > Basic Principles

Basic Principles of Ashtanga Vinyasa

The practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is based on the classical Philosopy of Yoga including the teachings of traditional texts of yogic practice such as Hatha Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita.

Yoga Kurunta is one of the important texts which explains the selection and sequences of Yoga practice . The text book of Yogasanagalu written by Vidwan T.Krishnamacaharya also gives the light on important principles of this traditional practice . The practice of Asanas consist these following basic principles in the practical area.

1) Shwasa
2) Vinyasa
3) Sthithi
4) Dristhi
5) Bandhas

1) Swasa: Breathing: Ujjayee Breathing

For cleaning the body internally two factors are necessary, air and fire. Long even breaths will strengthen our internal fire, increasing heat in the body which in turn heats the blood for physical purification, and burns away impurities in the nervous system as well. Long even breathing increases the internal fire and strengthens the nervous system in a controlled manner and at an even pace. When this fire is strengthened, our digestion, health and life span all increase. Uneven inhalation and exhalation, or breathing too rapidly, will imbalance the beating of the heart, throwing off both the physical body and autonomic nervous system.

2) Vinyasa: Linking the breath and the Movement

The rhythmic synchronization of breath and the movement of the body is termaed as the Vinyasa in the Asana practice. The Surya Namaskar and each of the successive Asanas are comprised of a particular number of vinyasas. The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Vinyasa creates heat in the body, which warms the blood. The warmed blood passes through the muscles, nerves, internal organs and glands, removes toxins from them, and carries them out through the sweat. This is how the process of purification begins. It is important to ensure that the position of the body and the movement of breath are correct in each asana. Vamana Rishi taught Vina Vinyasa Yogena asanadih na karayet do not do yoga without Vinyasa.

3) Sthithi: Key Position

The Final Position of the Posture is called as sthithi or the Key position of the posture. It is the resultant period of the asana practice. In this stage asana practice is maintained in terms of five breathings which develops stability in the pose inducing the maximum relaxation and effect of the Asana

4) Dristhi

The Point of Gazing. The practice of gazing on particular point in the asna practice is caaled as Drishthi or point of gazing. There nine types of gazing points which are practiced in the asana. This practice very important to bring the stability and purification of the mind and body

5) Bandhas: Energy Lockings

The locks in the practice are helpful to maintain the safety in the practice and to channelize the energy in th system . There are three types of Bandhhs, They are Mulabandha,Uddiyana and Jalndhara Bandha

With the help of these basic principles of Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition the practices of Asanas purify, strengthen and give flexibility to the body. They are instrumental in achieving total health to the practitioners of Yoga.

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