Ashtanga yoga is both philosophical and physical system which leads to spiritual development, physical and mental healing.
First described in Upanishads, Yoga-sutras and sacral texts which date back thousands years this practice was passed from generation to generation with the chain of teacher-to-student continuity.
Ashtanga yoga was not frozen up in the past. Based on tradition and keeping on its integrity it goes on to develop in agreement and according to recent demands of human being.
Ashtanga yoga is not a religion. It is based on understanding the idea that there is a Power both in Universe and inside the human being’s soul which can be taken control at. If we do it we move from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge.
On this path our tutor is Guru (gu – darkness, ru – light) – the one holds the knowledge and knows how to give the knowledge to students.
Sri Pattabhi Jois is the founder of contemporary tradition of Ashtanga yoga, who gave this knowledge to thousands of students.
Sri Pattabhi Jois for many years studied Ashtanga yoga from Tirumalai Krishnamacharya who on his turn took this tradition from his teacher Ramamohan Brahmacharya.
The chain of teacher-student continuity leads us to Rishi Vamana and Rishi Patanjali, but we know so small about them.
Nowadays the holder of Ashtanga yoga tradition is the student of Sri Pattabhi Jois – Sarath Rangaswami Jois.
Ashtanga yoga in the tradition of Sri Pattabhi Jois is the experience which survived through the centuries. It is wonderful to trust the experience of chain of continuity, which is checked by generations and adopted to student by teachers deep in practice.
Main idea of our tradition is to give next generations life experience – practice, ritual or prescription. This liveliness is like a stream, continuous movement, and in spirituality it is knowledge. When we step into this stream we dive into the knowledge which passed through the minds and experience of our ancestors.
Ashtanga yoga in the tradition of Pattabhi Jois is dynamic practice which consists of exact series of poses (asanas) which are connected to each other with vinyasas (system of movement). It is practiced with certain type of breathing (Ujai), focused gaze (Drishti) and energetic locks (Bandhas).
Ashtanga yoga in its base is the practice of internal purification. Sri Pattabhi Jois taught in the manner, which he received from his Guru Sri Krishnamacharya at the beginning of 20th century.
Yoga teachers of past considered the practice of asanas to be the way of strengthening and purifying body, nervous system and mind. Asanas make body flexible. Vinyasas make body strong.
If practiced in right way Ashtanga yoga leads to meditative state. Series are built in the way when previous pose prepares the body to the next pose.
Dynamic movement in Ashtanga together with Ujai breathing increases the heat inside the body and leads to sweating. Through this the blood runs fast and purifies organs. Ujai breathing and inside concentration helps to escape pain and leads to stillness of the mind. With the sweat toxins leave the body, which prevents body from disease.
Later on practice of Ashtanga becomes the method of research something more deep and important than just making some complicated asanas or jumps through. With the help of Ashtanga you can learn not only what Yoga is, but you can exam yourself and understand who you really are. You can also make your life better living here and now.