Ashtanga vinyasa yoga or Ashtanga yoga as it’s more commonly known was first recorded by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta and introduced to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs.
This kind of yoga is known as the Eight Limb Yoga. It presented that the path of purification is made up of the eight spiritual practices. The first four limbs that represent Ashtanga Yoga are – yama, niyama, Asana and the Pranayama. These are considered cleansing practices which are externally correctable. The other set of limbs which are the – pratyahara, dhyana, dharana are the internal practices.
K. Pattabhi Jois said that to practice these Eight Limbs the body should be strong enough so that it can perform the practices. If the body is weak, and the sense organs are not functioning well, practicing will never be useful to the person at all. The philosophy which K. Pattabhi Jois has applied is that you must keep in mind that after doing this Ashtanga Yoga the body will improve and it will be stronger and healthier.
Vinsaya and Tristhana are practiced in Ashtanga Yoga.
The Vinsaya is a style that makes Ashtanga and its principles discrete from the others. Vinsaya means the movement and breathing which is used for the internal cleansing process. Each movement done is accompanied by only one breath. Sweat is the most important product of Vinsaya. When you produce sweat, it only means that you are successfully applying the practice.
When you perform the Asanas, the body creates heat which in turn heats your blood causing it to excrete toxins outside of your body. The toxins are found in your sweat. So the more sweat you create, the more toxins are released.
These yoga poses are used to fully develop the strength and health of the body. The series of practices make this possible. There are three postures used in Ashtanga Yoga.
The three are classified on different levels.
The first is the Primary Series which aims on aligning the body and also detoxifying it.
The second is the Intermediate Series opening and cleaning the energy channels which comes to the process of purifying the Nervous System.
The last series would be the Advanced Series from A to D. in this series, the grace and strength is measured.
The Tristhana is another yoga principle which represents the union of the three places of action and attention. First is the posture, second is the breathing technique and last is the Dristhi of the Looking Place. All these three should work altogether to perform a function.
Breathing techniques are simultaneous and synchronized. It is important to make a single breath for one movement. Ujjayi Breathing is the Yoga Breathing Technique used in the application of Ashtanga Yoga.
Applying this technique must be prolonged after every practice. What you need to master is holding your pose longer at the same time hold your breath. This is an amazing breathing exercise that will increase your internal fire and will strengthen the Nervous System.
Both Ashtanga and Tristhana deal with the series of Dristhi. The Dristhi is described as the point on which you gain your focus or attention while doing the Asana. This enables your mind to be purified and stabilized clearly.