Ashtanga yoga is an intense practice that is meant to be followed every day. Find out more about why people love it, and why you might too.
The ashtanga sequence includes the full primary and secondary yoga series. It’s done daily for anywhere between one to three hours to cultivate discipline and strength. With so many yoga styles out there, it’s hard to try them all. But here’s why you shouldn’t skip ashtanga.
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What is ashtanga
Like vinyasa, ashtanga is a flow where you move with your breath. One breath, one movement. The difference is that in ashtanga, you are always doing the same sequence. It might sound boring, but it’s much more interesting and tiring than you think.
Ashtanga consists of the primary, intermediate and advanced series. Sun salutations, fundamental positions as well as mantras are also included in this practice.
Benefits of ashtanga
Ashtanga is great mental training. The tough sequence helps to build boundless strength, and in doing so, requires lots of mind power. You will be facing the same challenging sequence day after day, though the challenges each day will be different.
It takes dedication to get on your mat every morning, and even more to stick through with it and not get discouraged.
Some studios don’t use mirrors during ashtanga classes as it is a practice that connects your mind with your body. It’s about how you feel in each pose rather than how you look. Ashtanga will advance your practice immensely and you’ll nail all your foundation poses with regular practice.
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Attending an ashtanga class
Before you jump in, be sure to check with the studio to see if the ashtanga class is guided or “Mysore style”. The latter has no voice cues from the teacher, but everyone comes into the studio to do the postures in their own time.
When you first attend a class, you might be surprised to find that your yoga teacher tells you to stop at the tenth pose. It’s not because the practice is easy or because you’re not able to do the next pose, but because ashtanga requires you to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of every single movement.
Practise, practise, practise, and you’ll see your mind and body change incredibly.
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