View Full Version : Ashtanga Yoga

Mystical Soul
10 March 2016, 07:36 PM
Am thinking of starting this practice because I have read that it is truly the spiritual practice as opposed to the athletic aspect of the discipline. Anyone here practice? The schedule is 6am till 7:30 am. Starts out three days a week but work up to 6 days a week. It seems quite the challenge but supposedly it really allows you to tune into your spiritual self. It is also called Mysore yoga named for the town where it was first taught. Below is a short description from Wikipedia:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Mysore style of yoga asana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asana) practice is a particular way of teaching yoga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga) within the Ashtanga Yoga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashtanga_Vinyasa_Yoga) tradition as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_K._Pattabhi_Jois) in the southern Indian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India) city of Mysore (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore).[1] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_style#cite_note-1) There are some differences in this method from the usual modern way in which yoga is taught. The class is not "led" as a whole but rather all instruction is one-on-one within the group class setting. Students practice their own portion of the Ashtanga sequence of asanas at their own pace. [2] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_style#cite_note-2) The teacher assists each student individually by giving physical adjustments & verbal instruction.

In Mysore style students learn the fixed order of asanas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asanas) using a specific movement-breathing technique, sometimes called ujjayi breath (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ujjayi_breath). Through vinyasa, there is continuity via the breath from asana to asana. In the Ashtanga sequence, each asana builds from the previous – and prepares for successive – asanas.
Each student is given their yoga routine according to their ability. Newer and beginner students tend to have a much shorter practice than do those with more experience. As one gains more strength, stamina, flexibility and concentration, additional asanas are given to the student. The sense of the word "given" in this context comes from how the practice is taught in India, where a yoga practice is something that a teacher gives to a student as a spiritual practice. In the West, people are accustomed to learning a lot of asanas all at once – such as in a typical modern "led" yoga class.[3] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_style#cite_note-3)
Asanas are given, one by one in a sequential order.[4] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_style#cite_note-4) The structure of the class depends on the teacher being able to keep track of what every student is doing with a quick glance. If students attempt something out of sequence, the teacher is less able to help in the appropriate way. If a student has trouble with a particular asana, the teacher can offer a modification that is consistent with the intention of the practice. One by one also means that once a student is given a new asana, they practice their sequence up to that asana, then do backbends if applicable (backbending is the climax, not a part of the finishing sequence), and then wind down with the finishing sequence. In general, the next asana in the sequence should be added/taught/learned only after obtaining stability in one's last asana.[5] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_style#cite_note-5)
The Ashtanga vinyasa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashtanga_Vinyasa_Yoga) method – as is any hatha yoga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatha_yoga) practice – is intended to be a daily practice. Traditionally, practice takes place every day except for Saturdays and full & new moon days which occur about twice monthly.[6] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_style#cite_note-6)

13 March 2016, 11:03 PM
hariḥ oṁ

from a previous post some years back...

When we look to Patanjali muni for guidance to yoga, we come across the astanga or eightfold yoga reviewed in the Yoga-sutra’s.

yama – restraint and/or controlling the senses
niyama – observance and following regulative principles -
asana – postures; these stimulate balance, yet also kindle kundalini sakti. This kindling belongs to tajas tattva (fire), some say agni
pranayam – one’s control of the breath – some say ordering the breath. Prana is much more then air, and is the vital force
pratyahara – there are a few views on this. Some call this avoiding outside distractions. It has everything to do with the senses and the contact with their corresponding objects (smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing) or restraint of the sense organs. The senses follow the mind. The mind is then influenced and is ‘contained’ by the expansion of consciousness, (just the opposite of tight control). This expansion comes from melding all this diversity into one fullness.
dharana – this is the fixity of the mind one a single object or a particular point in space. One thinks of control of the mind, but it is the contentment of the mind to remained fixed. There is the combination of pratyahara based dharana, where consciousness only is fixed on the object and not the senses. This fixity is the power of mind.
dhyana – is the continuous flow of the same object or knowledge that one is fixed (Dharana) on i.e. meditation. Being fixed without the intrusion of another thought or idea.
samadhi - Patanjali muni says ‘ when the object of meditation ( dhyana + dharana) only shines forth in the mind , as if devoid of the thought of the agent even ( that is with prartahara in place), then that state is called Samadhi’… that is , the obliteration of all reflective thought, this is the pure consciousness state. Now, who can own this? Who can possibly have this level of purity? Surya, the sun. There is nothing that is false in this state. The annihilation of ego has taken place. The Sun is the Natural Atmakaraka of SELF. In Samadhi one is full in ones SELF. It is with this, one comes to Brahma-siddhi.

iti śivaṁ

14 March 2016, 01:20 PM

I have started the same Ashtanga yoga as taught by pattabhi jois only a few weeks back and trust me the results are tremendous. I only practise the 6 Asanas and surya namaskar out of the many asanas. I have got back in shape, my upper body strength has increased and my breathing is harmonious. Remember, you sweat a lot during the process but you should let the body absorb it . Don't wipe it off with a cloth. I feel that it is very difficult to meditate for long without learning this ancient science.