Yoga Teacher Training Rishikesh

The Main Components of Ashtanga Yoga

The legacy of Ashtanga yoga has passed on from the discovery by Vamana Rishi and later passed on to Sri T Krishnamacharaya in early 1900 from his guru Ram Mohan Brahmachari. The modern practices of Ashtanga yoga have been formulated by Pattabhi Jois who learnt this ancient system from Krishnamacharaya. As per the yoga Koruntas Ashtanga Yoga has the following main components.


[1]   Vinyasa: The literal meaning of Vinyasa is breathing and movement. The system follows a movement with each breath. For example Surya Namaskar contains nine breaths and nine movements, hence it has nine Vinyasa. Every asana in Ashtanga yoga is thus assigned a certain number of Vinyasa. The purpose of the Vinyasa system is internal cleansing of the body. According to the Yoga texts the simultaneous movements and breath boils the blood. This thins the blood. According to yoga principles thick blood contains impurities which cause most of the diseases. The heat generated by Vinyasa boils the blood and cleanses it. The heated blood moves through all internal organs removing the impurities. The impurities are then expelled through sweat. Sweating and removal of sweat is a very important part of Vinyasa. The sweat is the way impurities are removed from the body. A diligent practice of Vinyasa can make the body healthy and fit.

[2]   Tristhana: Ashtanga Yoga also exemplifies the importance of the three sthanas which are important. They are posture, breathing and looking. Asanas purify and strengthens the body, breathing purifies the nervous system and Drishti (looking) purifies the mind and stabilizes it. Cleaning the body internally requires air (oxygen) and fire (heat). Yoga with proper focus and practice of the Tristhana purifies all the systems in the body inside out.


[3]   The Sath (Six) Vyadhis (Poisons) – According to the principles of Ashtanga Yoga, six poisonous things surround the heart which is inclined towards spirituality. The six poisons are

  • Kama (Sexual desire)
  • Krodha (Anger)
  • Moha (Attachment)
  • Lobha (Greed)
  • Matsarya (laziness)
  • Mada (Ego).

The practice of Ashtanga Yoga releases heat which burns away these poisons.

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