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Monday, August 15, 2011

Want More Than Vinyasa? Do Ashtanga Yoga!

Well, I blogged about doing my full Vinyasa Flow Yoga series few days back for the first time, and it was such a beautiful experience. Vinyasa means doing the Plank, Chaturanga, and Upward Facing Dog poses from standing and what comes next  after the Upward Facing Dog pose are variations of sequences or flow of Vinyasa with breathing very synchronized as you transition from one pose (asana) to the other. You may view my previous post 'Experiencing the Vinyasa Yoga Pose Series in Cebu' to understand more about Vinyasa Flow.

one full Vinyasa: Plank, Chaturanga and Upward Facing Dog

But there is another type of Yoga, which in my own opinion, is a bit more rigorous than Vinyasa Flow. It is called Ashtanga Yoga. Some are calling it Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga since Vinyasa flows are incorporated in it. My decision to try Ashtanga is when I was commended by my Vinyasa instructor to proceed and try the basic of Ashtanga since she saw in me that I am quite flexible enough and should progress a little bit more with my practice to develop more strength and mind-control. Well, the outcome?
It was a totally new experience for me. Sweating profusely is expected. Standing, seated, and lying poses were taught. Standing and seated balances were instructed. I was able to do my first yoga headstand and it made me feel so accomplished. I would recommend this type of yoga to those intermediate practitioner of yoga who have already tried doing vinyasas.

Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath (the Vinyasa part) with a progressive series of postures (the rigorous part of the practice) —a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

Ashtanga yoga literally means "eight-limbed yoga," as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:

Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Asana [posture]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Dharana [concentration]
Dhyana [meditation]
Samadhi [absorption into the Universal] 

Most Ashtanga practice is traditionally started with the following Sanskrit mantra but many modernized yoga studios just start their session with a 'Namaste' gesture:
vande gurūṇāṁ caraṇāravinde saṁdarśitasvātmasukhāvabodhe niḥ śreyase jāṅ̇galikāyamāne saṁsāra hālāhala mohaśāntyai ābāhu puruṣākāraṁ śaṅ̇khacakrāsi dhāriṇam sahasra śirasaṁ śvetam praṇamāmi patañjalim

I bow to the lotus feet of the gurus, The awakening happiness of one's own self revealed, Beyond better, acting like the jungle physician, Pacifying delusion, the poison of samsara.
Taking the form of a man to the shoulders, Holding a conch, a discus, and a sword, One thousand heads white, To Patanjali, I salute.

and closes with the mangala mantra:

svasti prajābhyaḥ paripālayantāṁ nyāyena mārgeṇa mahīṁ mahīśāḥ gobrāhmaṇebhyaḥ śubhamastu nityaṁ lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu

which is roughly translated into English as:

May prosperity be glorified, may rulers (administrators) rule the world with law and justice, may divinity and erudition be protected. May all beings be happy and prosperous.


Empress_Of_Drac said...

Nagyoga pud diay ka? Ahahah...Wala na jud ko kabalik. How many times a week?

Empress_Of_Drac said...

Imo comment ba, e-enable ang Name and URL bi...ahehehhe...

Drake Danaviir said...

done Empress.. hihihi.. you can now use Name/URL to comment. ^_^
I do Ashtanga Yoga, 3 times a week at least... It's addicting if maka start na ka. I suggest to try it as well. ^_^

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