Ashtanga is a Sanskrit word literally meaning ‘8 Limbs’ as defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The limbs are outlined as follows.

1. Yama (Ethical Restraints)

  • Ahimsa (Non-Violence),
  • Satya (Non-Lying),
  • Asteya (Non-Stealing),
  • Brahmacharya (Sexual Restraint),
  • Aparigraha (Non-Hoarding),

2. Niyama (Personal Observances)

  • Soucha (Cleanliness),
  • Santosha (Contentment),
  • Tapas (Self Discipline),
  • Svadyaya (Self Study),
  • Ishvarapranidhana (Surrender to the True Self)

3. Asana (Postures)

4. Pranayama (Breath Control)

5. Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)

6. Dharana (Concentration)

7. Dhyana (Meditation)

8. Samadhi (State of Oneness)

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Through the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa we gain strength, flexibility and a calm mind. We focus on Prana (Breath), Dristi (Focal Point) and Bandha (Internal Locks). We practice the Ujjayi breath (Diaphragmatic Ocean breath) which increases oxygenation and builds up internal body heat. The Vinyasa system links the Asana (Poses). We learn to let our movement follow our breath, to the extent that it calms the mind, increases lung volume and removes toxins from our mind and body. This causes the body to become healthy, light and strong. We use Dristi, and listen to the internal sound of our breath creating inner awareness and a practice which is internal and meditative. The application of Bandha, seals our energy and the concentration of uniting all three, Breath, Dristi and Bandha gives an introduction to Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a system that is progressive and is suitable for everyone. Each Asana builds strength, flexibility and balance needed for the next. Progression is attained when the student has stability and comfort in each Asana.

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