Ashtanga yoga is a practise of yoga referenced by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta, which is an ancient document”said to hold many different lists of asanas, it contains teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras, and philosophy”. Ashtanga yoga means “eight-limbed yoga. According to Patanjali, the path of internal cleansing for revealing the Universal Self consists of the eight spiritual practices:Yama-moral practises
Niyama-the study of self-purification
The first four limbs-yama, niyama, asana, pranayama-are deemed to be external cleansing practices. According to Pattabhi Jois, flaws in the external practices are fixable. However, flaws in the internal cleansing practices-pratyahara, dharana, dhyana-are not fixable and can be hazardous to the mind unless the right Ashtanga yoga method is used. For this reason, Pattabhi Jois focuses on the point that the “Ashtanga Yoga method is Patanjali Yoga”
When yoga is defined it means the controlling of the mind”. The perfection of yama and niyama is the first two steps to be taken to controlling the mind. However, it is nigh impossible to practice yama and niyama when the body is so weak and full of toxins. Daily asana practices must be undertaken to strengthen and make the body healthier, with the body and organs stabilized, the mind can then be controlled. Pursuing and grasping these first two limbs is then possible when the mind is in control.
Practicing asana over time with the correct vinyasa and tristhana will then give the student a clear mind, the body then becomes steady, and cleansing of the nervous system then leads to the beginning of pranayama practice “Through the practice of pranayama, the mind becomes focused in a single direction and follows the movement of the breath” Pranayama forms the foundation for the internal cleansing practices of Ashtanga yoga.
The benefits of Yoga have been proved over countless years in the western world
And this ancient art is still becoming more popular as the pressures of modern society
Inflicts it’s gruesome weight on us all.
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