Yoga has become, on its own merits, one of the most accomplished and admired physical activities. Those who practice it praise its virtues and benefits and the scientific evidence proves them right: it helps improve our body and our health, relieves the pain of arthritis, reduces lower back pain and avoids stress.
One of the peculiarities that Yoga has is that there are different types, so that each one can choose the one that best suits us. Ashtanga Yoga is one of the most physically demanding modalities, and more focused on the spiritual plane and the body-mind relationship, but also one of the most interesting for those looking for a dynamic option. This is what we need to know about this modality of Yoga before starting to practice it.
What is Ashtanga Yoga?
This type of Yoga has the peculiarity that the order of the asanas is predefined, unlike what happens in other types. This is important since they are done in a very fluid and continuous way, moving quickly from one of the positions to the other. Having the predefined sequence helps.
It is based on the vinyasa practice in which synchronization of movements and breathing They are the main key and focus. That is why asanas are not only predefined in movement, but in Ashtanga Yoga movements and breaths are rigorously designed.
In addition to this, the pillars of this type of Yoga are the Ujjayi breathing, the energy bands or closures (muscular contractions) and the dristi which is the focus of the eyes. These are the bases to work the concentration and the increase of the energy.
How Ashtanga Yoga is practiced
It is a modality of Yoga in which great importance is given to the connection physically. Ashtanga means « 8 steps » in Sanskrit and indeed it is practiced through eight different steps in which in addition to the asanas this connection would work.
As for the asanas themselves, the practice takes place in three different series – although in some parts we can find four or even six: the first one seeks the detoxification and alignment of the body, the second or intermediate works the nervous system and the Third and more advanced would focus on strength and stability. Each of them is increasing in difficulty, but we can participate in all of them since we will be complying with the positions of each series as we move forward.
This is achieved because, normally, the practice is not fully guided and allows each of the participants to go practicing based on your level and pace and, little by little, as the asanas dominate, they evolve.
Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
Among other things, those who participate in this modality of Yoga they need to do important concentration work since asanas are practiced quite quickly and continuously.
It is also a dynamic practice that can help us work at the cardiovascular level. Like other Yoga practices, it can help us reduce stress levels and improve our body posture. Our muscles they will be more toned and strengthened Since this is one of the keys to this type of Yoga.
Who is Ashtanga Yoga recommended for?
In principle it is indicated that any healthy person could practice this type of Yoga. In any case, if we are beginners it may not be the most appropriate modality or simpler to start with.
Of course, if we are looking for a dynamic, dynamic Yoga that makes us work aerobically, it is one of the best options. In any case, it may be better to start in another practice that helps us to get to know something better the usual postures in Yoga and then be able to do them at the level of speed and demand that Ashtanga Yoga has.
In the case of pregnant women, it is a practice that is not recommended.
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