Ashtanga Yoga as Yoga therapy: working on the body, on the breath to find oneself

Soften the body through postures, calm the mind thanks to controlled breathing and stop thoughts with meditation

Eleonora Biliotti

Literally Ashtanga means “eight branches” and are those described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras: Yama (Ethical principles), Nyama (Observances), Asana (Positions), Pranayama (Breath Control), Pratyahara (Senses Control), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyana (Meditation), Samadhi (Contemplation and Bliss).

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga it is a very challenging and very dynamic style of yoga. It is characterized by the combination of controlled breathing and the execution of asanas in series (postures), a practice that combines correct breathing (Ujjayi), asanas, vinyasa (breath synchronized with movement), drshti (direction of the gaze) and activation of bandhas (energetic closings).

When to practice Ashtanga yoga

In the morning it is the ideal time to practice this style of yoga, as Ashtanga is very energizing. By practicing in the morning you can continue the day enjoying the benefits obtained.

Ashtanga series and lessons

Ashtanga is based on six series of positions which are sequences in which the asanas have a precise order. There first sequence it is the simplest one and as you become more experienced you rise in level and therefore also in series. It is made up of a series of fixed and repeated positions. To date practice and teaching in Ashtanga classes are linked to two types of lessons.

  • The Mysore style: the student gradually acquires autonomy in the management of his own practice through the individual support of the teacher. The practice is adapted taking into account the characteristics of the student, for example by modifying some postures based on the motor skills achieved up to that moment, in order to promote a gradual, sensible and sustainable development.
  • There guided lesson: students practice in groups, all at the rhythm imparted by the voice by the teacher who names the positions and counts both the duration of the state of posture and the movements of entry and exit, taking care that this rhythm is sustainable by the practitioners.

Benefits of Ashtanga

Physical well-being, mental relaxation, spirituality. With practice, the body is greatly strengthened, lightens and becomes more flexible. As the mind calms down, the ability to concentrate increases and stress decreases. There synchronization of movements with the activation of the bandhas, it creates an intense body heat that purifies and loosens all the muscles of the body and also the internal organs. With correct breathing he re-establishes himself good blood circulation. The result is that of a very strong and very light body.

Contraindications of ashtanga

Being an intense physical activity, it can present contraindications especially for some types of people. Being a rather intense practice, it is recommended for people in good health. The Asthanga, in fact, despite not having particular basic contraindications, is carried out with a rather intense rhythm. The advice is to practice gradually and rely on an experienced teacher.

The word to the Ashtanga teacher

There are many teachers scattered throughout Italy, one of them who still takes up the ancient practice by teaching according to tradition is Giuseppe Panarelloan expert teacher from Turin, to whom we have entrusted ourselves to resume this spiritually and physically intense practice.

Directly from his words: “The therapeutic aspect of yoga is precisely this and it is global. Go through a work on asanasof body care, a method of breath control to rebalance the nervous system, and finally seek silence with the meditation. These three things must be done together, methodically and continuously, but you have to get there gradually, without force or violence. First we put the body in place so that it can sit comfortably and without too much tension. Then we learn to listen and control the breath to quiet the mind and prepare it for listening without judgment. Thus yoga becomes a cure, as well as a magnificent metaphor for life. There are moments on the mat when everything flows very easily and others very tiring, perhaps while you are doing a difficult posture for your body. When we perform a challenging posture and try to have a non-challenging approach, then we are able to enjoy the progress that occurs gradually to achieve this posture without forcing the body. We have to have the patience to accept to develop resilience. Yoga is a profound research on the body and mind. Each body is different and each of us has a different story. Let’s learn to find our practice ”.



#Ashtanga #Yoga #Yoga #therapy #working #body #breath #find #oneself

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.