Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga.

Life has a rhythm and a natural flow that runs from the most elementary species to the most complex, such as humans. This flow, when in balance, preserves the healthy conditions of body and mind. It is a fact that mental health determines the health of the body. There is a unity between body, mind and consciousness - when all these are in balance, life flows in a more harmonious way, even in the face of uncomfortable situations. For example, if we are balanced and attuned to the natural flow and rhythm of life, we will not be so easily affected by the stress of traffic, work, and other situations that shake and destabilize our emotional balance. This attunement to the flow of life is the proposal of Ashtanga-Yoga.



This concept was defined thousands of years ago, in the ancient Vedic civilization, by Rshi Kapiladeva and recorded in the classic "Bhagavad Purana". This sage presented eight model stages of the Yoga system (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi) which was re-presented by the sage Patañjali in the work Yoga-sutra in the fifth century AD. laid the foundation for modern Yoga, with methodology and theory of Yoga practice.


In the late 1930s, an important Master of Yoga (Krishnamacarya) and his disciple (Pattabhi Jois) found in the library of the University of Calcutta an ancient manuscript on Hatha-Yoga techniques applied in six specific sets of postures. This treatise also contained references to postural sequences of Salutations to the Sun, with details of respiratory rate - what is known as vinyasa.


From this research, the disciple Pattabhi Jois developed his system of Yoga known as Ashtanga-vinyasa. This system of Yoga can be conceived as Hatha-Yoga, but its focus is directed to the rhythmic sequence of postures and breaths. Such a system quickly became popular in the United States during the 1990s and gained adherents around the world, mainly Europe and Brazil. The success of it owes to the strong and dynamic style of practice of postures coupled with the sharp rhythm of breathing - which very much resembles the modern pace of life of large cities. The technique has its bases in the sequence of Salutation to the Sun, one of the oldest of Yoga. Just as this series of Salutation to the Sun brings many benefits to the practitioner, so does the series developed by Pattabhi Jois. Among them: benefits in cardiovascular systems, circulatory, endocrine and digestive. The mental state stabilizes and the muscular structure becomes almost completely toned. The mental effects are sensitive in the first practice, because the intense breathing, allied to the dynamics of the postures, brings immediately the internal balance and mental serenity.



As the vinyasa system works the deep synchronization of respiratory rhythm and movements, it awakens the internal fire of vital energy, activating blood oxygenation, revitalizing the glands and internal organs, purifying the nervous system, releasing toxins and retarding the oxidation of cells . As a result of this energy rebalancing of the organic systems, the body becomes strong and revitalized, the mind and the thoughts become clearer and more controlled. Consequently, the practitioner attains an inner experience with his own self. From this experience, or insight, many ancient patterns can be changed naturally, for the vision and the interaction with the world happens to occur with the less judgmental and more peaceful mind. And this is the most important benefit offered by practicing Yoga.


In this way, Yoga does not restrict its effects only to the physical aspect, for it acts in the mind, the root of all evils that affect the body and the subtle energies of the body. The modern lifestyle rules the imbalance of the natural life of being. Stress and anxiety impair concentration, professional and emotional performance. This is because the rhythm of life that in big cities is disharmonious with the rhythm of inner and natural life that we have in essence.


Gradually, we lose the link with our own being and we live on the margins of who we really are. As a result, we see many cases of imbalances that affect the mental field, such as depression, phobias, manias, among others. © 2019 Thus, Ashtanga Yoga aims to harmonize body, breath, mind and spirit - through its movements and flows, enabling the conscious reestablishment of the inner rhythm of being. And this without having to leave aside the commitments and responsibilities of practical life.



It is easy to see how breathing is fundamental in the restoration of health and physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Breathing is the source of life in the body and supports the relationship between body and mind as well as mood to life. In many languages ​​the terms breath and spirit are synonymous, as in Greek, anima (soul); in Latin spiritus; in the Hebrew ruach and even in the Portuguese inspiration, of inspiritus. Even the concept of health, in the view of ayurveda, is related to it's mood, well-being and disposition. When this state of mind is lacking, some stage of illness of the body or mind may be considered.


In Sanskrit, the word prana means the vital energy that is present in all living bodies. It is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of the healthy conditions of the most varied living bodies. The work of activating this intense flow of prana is fundamental in the practice of Yoga and one of the priorities observed in the Ashtanga-Yoga system, which is not so important in other systems. And this characterizes the grid searching for this style of Yoga, attracting both people with a more energetic and active profile, and more calm and contemplative practitioners. In both conditions, the result will be to activate the vital airs of the energy body to bring about a uniform equilibrium. In other words, the practice calms the mental anxiety and favors the natural rebalancing of health.


© 2019

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