Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory – Sri K Pattabhi Jois

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is the system of yoga brought to us by Sri K Pattabhi Jois.  It is a scientific approach to asana (postures) linked on breath (vinyasa). Circulation is maximised, the spine is re-aligned, heat is created and toxins are expelled. On a subtle level the nervous system is purified. Physical, mental and emotional strength develop.

To perform asana correctly in Ashtanga yoga, one must incorporate the use of vinyasa and tristhana.

Vinyasa is a breath-linked movement. For each movement, there is one breath. The synchronized breath and movement improves circulation, generating heat and sweat, removing toxins and impurities from the body.

Tristhana is the union of three places of attention: posture, breath and focal point (drishti). These three are very important for yoga practice, and cover three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and mind. They are always performed in conjunction with each other.

The 8 limbs of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga are

1. Yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others

2. Niyama (observances) – how we relate to ourselves

3. Āsana (posture) – how we relate to our body

4. Prāṇāyāma (breath extension) – how we relate to our breath or spirit

5. Pratyāhāra (sensory withdrawal) – how we relate to our sense organs

6. Dhāraṇā (concentration) – how we relate to our mind

7. Dhyāna (meditation) – moving beyond the mind

8. Samādhi (meditative absorption) – deep realisation and inner union

It is believed we must purify our bodies, by practising asana, in order to move to deeper aspects of the mind and spirit.

Practice and all is coming – Sri K Pattabhi Jois