the eight limbs of yoga
ASHTANGA YOGA translated from Sanskrit means eight limbs. Pantajali, who lived over 2000 years ago, compiled texts called sutras (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) in which he describes these eight limbs necessary for enlightenment.
“ttajjayāt prajñālokaḥ” Mastery of these eight limbs brings
the insightful light of wisdom (YS III.5)
“tasya bhūmiṣu viniyogaḥ” Progress is gradual (YS III.6)
(YS II.30). moral codes
ahiṁsā (non violence)
asteya (non stealing)
aparigrahā (non coveting)
(YS II.32). Personal observances.
śauca (mental and physical purification)
tapas (spiritual effort)
īśvarapraṇidhānāna (devotion to the divine)
(YS II.46). Pose.
(YS II.49,52). Breath control.
(YS II.54). Control of the senses.
(YS II.1). Concentration.
(YS III.2). Meditation on the divine.
(YS III.3). Union with the divine.
Asana helps us understand and utilize our bodies. It is more comfortable to start with something tangible, like the body, than something intangible, like changing our attitudes. Asana allows us to start to reduce the obstacles that prevent the state of Yoga.
Asana should have a double quality: attention and relaxation. The practice of asana implies bodily exercises. When practiced correctly, there should be attention without tension and relaxation without heaviness.
These qualities can be obtained by recognizing and observing the reactions of the body and the breath to different poses that constitute the practice of asana. Once known, these reactions can be controlled step by step.
tato dvaṅdva-an-abhighātaḥ II.48
If these principles are correctly followed, the practice of asana will help the practitioner bear and minimize the effect of external influences on his/her body: age, weather, alimentation and work.
tasmin sati śvāsa-praśvāsyor-gati-vicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ
Pranayama is the conscious and deliberate control of breath which replaces the unconscious forms of breath. It is only possible if one has a certain mastery of asana practice
According to Sri.K.Pattabhi Jois (gurugi)
“Yoga is 95 percent practical. Only 5 percent is theory. Without practice, it doesn’t work; there is no benefit. So you have to practice, following the right method, following the steps one by one. Then it’s possible. Practice, practice, practice, and all is coming.”
There are three series in the Ashtanga Yoga system. Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa) detoxifies and aligns the body. Intermediate Series (NadiShodhana) purifies the nervous system, opening and cleaning energy channels. Advanced Series A, B, C and D (SthiraBhaga) integrate the strength and grace of the practice, requiring high levels of concentration, flexibility and humility
Each series has to be completely developed before moving onto the next. Likewise, the order of the asanas (poses) has to be meticulously followed since every asana, like every series, solidifies the prior ones and prepares one for the following ones. Above all, practitioners develop concentration, strength, flexibility and the resistence necessary for progress in a safe and balanced way.
Beginner’s course:The beginner’s course consists of two Mysore-style classes during the week within thirty days after your first class.
The weekend beginner’s course: consists of a 1.5 hour class on a Saturday and another 1.5 hour class on a Sunday in which we learn the bases and method of Ashtanga Yoga.read more