Ashtanga yoga is a practice with eight limbs, of which asana is the physical practice found in classes. In a series of poses which are dynamic and demanding, the body and breath are synchronised in a method called vinyasa designed to create heat within the body in order to purify it. Be prepared to sweat and to challenge yourself in this asana practice that will increase strength & flexibility.
What does it mean?
Ashtanga is a Sanskrit term that means “having eight limbs or components.” The term comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and refers to his eight-fold path of yoga.
Who founded it?
Ashtanga Yoga was founded by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois who learned the system from his teacher Krischnamacharya (known as the grandfather of yoga).
Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.
What is a class like?
Ashtanga is practiced as either a ‘Mysore’ or ‘Led’ class. Mysore style is the traditional method of learning whereby students begin and end their practice in their own time during a set period (generally early in the morning), and are guided as needed by their teacher who will introduce new poses once the student is ready. Led classes are where the teacher will guide the students through the series step-by-step, pose-by-pose.