Ashtanga Vinyasa (primary series)
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is also a form of practicing yoga (asana) with a flow in which each posture and movement are linked by breathing (pranayama), locks (bandha), seals (mudra) and gaze (drishti). This system is based on the eight strands of Ashtanga Yoga by Patanjali, from which it borrowed its name, since it is considered that the practitioner needs to practice all eight strands during this practice and in his daily life.
The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system was codified and disseminated by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois during the 20th century, taught by his teacher, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya is considered the father of modern yoga and is the source for most yoga systems currently widely taught in the West. His students include B.K.S. Iyengar (who introduced Iyengar Yoga), Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga Yoga), A.G. Mohan (Svastha Yoga), T.K.V. Desikachar (Viniyoga), Indra Devi and many others.
Ashtanga Yoga practice requires the practitioner to work spiritually through the body, as he needs to perform some asanas by concentrating his mind, body, breath, and gaze. It is divided into six groups of postures. The first group is called the “Primary Series” and in Sanskrit it is referred to as “Yoga Chikitsa”, which means therapeutic yoga. This series cleanses organs, tissues and glands from toxins, fat and other harmful substances. The first set contains all the ingredients necessary to keep the body clean and healthy, such as sun salutations (Suryanamaskara A&B), anterior flexions, turns, overhangs, dynamic lifts and head rests.
The Vinyasa system works by synchronizing deep, rhythmic breathing and movement. Connecting the postures creates a continuous flow of energy that warms the body, bringing oxygen to the blood, nourishing the glands and internal organs, cleansing the nervous system, releasing unwanted toxins through sweating. As the temperature rises, the toxins burn and leave the system, creating a lighter and stronger body and a clear mind. Heat is not only a natural experience, but also an internal fire that burns the fog of illusion and ignorance.
It is a dynamic practice that does not miss the opportunity for a beginner to attend this lesson as variations are always given, which gradually bring the trainee to the completed position. It consists of very specific positions, which are the same each time and this gives the practitioner the opportunity to observe the changes from day to day, and to practice his patience and concentration.