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Dynamic and challenging: Ashtanga yoga

What you should know about this demanding practice

It is one of the most popular, but also one of the most difficult styles of yoga: Ashtanga yoga. Discipline and patience are required when learning this dynamic yoga practice, which was invented by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, an Indian professor and yoga teacher. He first mentioned Ashtanga yoga in the 1960s in his book “Yoga Mala”. Ashtanga yoga quickly gained prominent followers and spread all over the world.

What is Ashtanga yoga?

Ashtanga yoga is an athletic and dynamic form on yoga that is based on a set sequence of poses. These poses are also known as asanas. What makes this style of yoga so special is that the postures are performed in exactly the same order each time and are combined with a specific breathing technique. This clear structure helps the yogi to achieve a meditative flow state during their practice. Still, Ashtanga yoga can be quite challenging: The exercises are fast-paced with lots of transitions, and make even experienced yogis break out in a sweat. Traditional Ashtanga yoga is made up of six series with different levels of difficulty and a fixed order of postures. Only when the yogi has successfully mastered one series can they progress to the next series. This can sometimes take months or even years.

What are the benefits of Ashtanga yoga for body and mind?

Ashtanga yoga has a whole host of positive benefits on mental and physical well-being. It not only promotes muscle strength, but also flexibility, endurance, and balance. Furthermore, it helps calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure. By completely focusing on a set series of movements, the yogi is able to achieve a state of inner peace and balance as well as mental clarity.

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