Yogah chitta vritti nirodhah.
Yoga is the intentional calming of the fluctuations of the mind.
(Patanjali's Sutra I-II)
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Ashtanga is translated as “eight-limbs”. The classical yoga as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras includes the following eight limbs. The path of yoga is most effectively practiced in this order.
1. yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
2. niyama (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
3. asana (posture)
4. pranayama (moderation of the movements of prana)
5. pratyahara (moderation of the sense organs)
6. dharana (concentration)
7. dhyana (meditation)
8. samadhi (meditative absorption)
In the system of yoga taught to Pattabhi Jois by his teacher Krishnamacharya, the focus is very much on the third limb, asana. Ashtanga is considered the mother of all vinyasa styles of yoga. It is the practice of postures on the mat, and the Yamas and Niyamas off the mat, that will lead practitioners along the path carefully described by Patanjali. Guruji was fond of saying “practice, and all is coming.” The vinyasa system of Ashtanga (coordinated breath and movement) has a unique effect of focusing the mind. The consistency of daily practice, with careful moderation from a teacher, makes the impossible possible and students find themselves growing in the asana, and in life, in surprising ways.
The basis of the practice is the breath/movement technique of vinyasa, posture, and drishti (gazing points). These three practices build focus, strength, and purification of the body, mind, and senses. More
Traditionally, the practice is learned from one teacher, in increments, over the course of time. As one posture is mastered, the next is offered. “Mysore style” refers to the way the practice was taught in the city of its origins, Mysore. In this style, students move at their own pace, and the teacher has the ability to observe and adjust students individually. Class is appropriate for absolute beginners, as well as advanced students. All are welcome.
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