To begin our exploration of the various types of yoga, today we will talk about Ashtanga Yoga. Praised for many years on the other side of the Atlantic, ashtanga yoga is gradually digging its place in Europe and yoga schools are flourishing across the world for greatest benefits.
Ashtanga yoga, much more than a meditative activity, can today be considered as a physical activity in its own right.
Ashtanga yoga is indeed a dynamic and physical yoga which solicits the body as a whole and provides it with all the benefits of a gentle but complete and deep gymnastics.
At the heart of the practice of ashtanga yoga is breathing. Practitioners must learn to be aware of their breath and do work on their breathing. Thus, the postures and movements of the ashtanga are accompanied by deep inspirations and expirations underlined by light throat sounds.
Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
- Strengthening the sense of balance
- Improved maintenance
- Stabilization and harmonization of body and mind
The rib cage inflates and deflates while the belly is held, thus increasing its tone. Breathing work requires a lot of concentration. The practitioner must then focus on himself, on what is happening in his own body.
It thus abstracts from the outside and enters a semi-meditative phase allowing to forget the stress, to release the tensions, tocalm her mind and reconnect with her body.
Added to breathing, the sequence of postures (Asanas) and specific movements (Vinyasa) allows body energy to circulate better and muscles to strengthen in depth. A one-and-a-half hour ashtanga yoga session allows you to perform nearly 50 more or less acrobatic postures depending on the level of practice.
This discipline therefore requires skill, confidence and training, and it is important to be aware of your abilities and not try to skip ahead.
Course of the exercise
- Stand up straight with both feet next to each other. Breathe in and then breathe out deeply several times.
- Stretch both arms out to the sides, palms facing the sky.
- Transfer the weight of the body to your left leg. The sole of the foot should be rooted in the ground.
- Lift your right leg while pointing your toes towards the floor. At the same time, turn your knee outward as soon as possible.
- Bring the right foot onto the inside of the left thigh so that your heel is level with the crotch.
- Bring the palms of hands close together and place them above your head.
- Hold the position for 5 to 10 breathing movements (inhale + exhale) while fixing a point straight at your eye level.
- Lower your arms and let them hang down to your sides. Turn your knee inward and rest your foot flat on the floor.
- Inhale and exhale several times, then repeat the exercise on the right leg.
Ashtanga yoga, this dance of the body mixed with the rhythm of your breath, will help you to shape your silhouette, to refine it, to find curve, strength, stability and flexibility for your well-being both physical and mental.