Founded by K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic and physically demanding practice that synchronizes breath and movement to produce heat in the body.
What is unique to Ashtanga yoga?
Ashtanga yoga is stronger than any other form of yoga. It is a balance between strength and flexibility. Every posture is connected to movement of the body.
What role does heat play in Ashtanga yoga?
As the connective tissue becomes heated by our practice, it becomes less “solid” and more “liquid”. Our body is able to reshape. The tight “dead” spaces that may have been shut down and in shock for years begin to open up and allow for the increase of circulation throughout the body. Environmental toxins are then removed from the body.
How does Ashtanga yoga cultivate mindfulness?
Ashtanga yoga is a tool for dealing with the stress and conflict of existence. With continual practice, Ashtanga yoga clears out the confusion and congestion of the mind and body.
What is Ujjayi breathing and what are its benefits?
Ujjayi Pranayama is the yoga science of breath. We use this conscious breathing throughout a yoga practice to control the mind. To create this Ujjayi breath, you create a constriction in the back of your throat, similar to an oceanic sound, and breath out through the nostrils.
The benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama:
- Improves concentration
- Instills endurance
- Exudes self-awareness
- Diminishes distractions
- Regulates the heating of the body
- Releases tension and tight areas
- Relieves pain and illness
- Allows us to take a step back and remain with a steady state of mind when faced with the challenges of our daily lives
Vinyasa yoga is coordinating movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next. Just like Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa yoga is continuously linking a sequence of poses with the breath. In a Vinyasa yoga class, instructors and students are free to mix up the order of the poses and get creative in their practice.
How do you stay focused in a Vinyasa practice?
In Vinyasa yoga, you link each pose to inhales and exhales. Inhales lift you and exhales fold you. The flow of movements are smooth and continuous, which can help you stay present and prevent your mind from wandering off.
What makes Vinyasa Yoga a great cardio exercise?
The continuous sequence of Vinyasa yoga is great for getting the heart going, even when you are flowing slow.
What are the benefits of hot Vinyasa yoga?
- The heat in a Vinyasa class increases pulse rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible.
- Practicing hot yoga requires you to push even further beyond your edge and place of comfort.
- A heated Vinyasa class helps release toxins in the body.
- Your body becomes better equipped to fight infection.
- Breathing through the heat relaxes the mind and helps you stay focused and present.
Is Vinyasa Yoga a good start for beginners?
My first yoga class was a Vinyasa class and it helped me grasp the skills needed to build a strong foundation for a more advanced yoga practice. In a Vinyasa class, you can easily learn the basics of Ujjayi Pranayama since the instructor guides you on when to inhale and exhale during each pose. In addition, Vinyasa yoga is fun! As you flow to the music, it feels like a dance.