What is Ashtanga?

Ashtanga Primary Series

Ashtanga Yoga…It sounds official, right?  Maybe mysterious?  Well, lets break down the walls and explain what it really is so that you don’t miss out on the fun!  Stars such as Madonna, Gweneth Paltrow, and Bethenny Frankel all prefer this athletic power yoga style! Ashtanga Yoga is a set series of poses in each practice.  Many of the poses are the same poses that you experience in Vinyasa and Hatha classes. However, in Ashtanga classes, you do the routine in the same order each time, allowing you a chance to perfect each pose within the series before deciding to move into more challenging poses.  Each pose is done in a required sequence to prepare the body for the next pose by building flexibility, creating internal heat, strength and balance.

Ashtanga means 8 limbs. Each limb relates to an aspect of achieving a healthy life and builds upon each other through a series of asanas (poses).  Ashtanga yoga links the body movements to the breath to produce internal heat. This heat cleanses and detoxifies the muscles and organs and creates great circulation and flexibility.

We start with the easiest poses by doing a series of Sun Salutations to warm up our bodies, then build up to a nice workout doing standing poses and seated posed linked by vinyasas.  Finally we finish with some cool down stretches before meditating and savasana (deep relaxation).  To get an idea of the asanas in this series – take a look at the picture attached to this post.

Join us at DRISHTIQ Yoga on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 and Sat morning at 8:30 am to give this practice a try (9:30 AM Friday mornings will be added in April)!  This class is a fairly athletic class but can be modified for all levels. What you will find is that the more you come, the faster you will master the poses because its repetitive and you know what to expect each time! You never know what trying something new may uncover for you!

See you on the mat!