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200 Hour Asthanga Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

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Ashtanga yoga is described by the Sage Maharshi Patanjali in the ancient text Patanjali Yog Sutras as eight limbs of yoga. “Ashta” means eight and “anga” means parts or limbs. These eight different parts are described as steps or practices to get in union with the universal consciousness. From purification of the body to the purification of thougths and futher control of mind, the practice of Ashtanga yoga enables the practitioner reaching to the union with higher consciousness. These eight limbs are :-

Yamas – Self restraints/control
Niyamas – Self observances
Asana – Posture
Pranayama – breath control
Pratyahara – Control on senses
Dharana – Concentration or attentiveness
Dhyana – Meditation
Samadhi – Immersion into the universal consciousness
The first five limbs are explained as “Bahiranga Yoga” means external control and the last three limbs are explained as “Antaranga yoga” means internal control. This straight away reflects that first the practitioner needs to be commanding on the physical body and then dive into the delicacy of controlling the subtle energy
The detailing of Ashtanga Yoga is also discussed by one of the ancient sages Vaman Rishi in his text Yoga Korunta. This ancient manuscript holds the details of many asanas and quite original and authentic teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras & philosophy as well.

These teachings of the text Yoga Korunta were delivered to Sri T Krishnamacharya in the early 1900s by his guru Sri Ram Mohan Brahmachari and later Sri T Krishnamacharya passed down this knowledge to his disciple Pattabhi Jois during Jois’s learning period with Sri Krishnamacharya, started in 1927. Pattabhi Jois has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga since 1948, from his yoga shala, The Ashtanga Research Institute as per the tradition of Guru Parampara.

Pattabhi Jois also believed Patanjali’s eight limbs, a perfect path to get united to the universal consciousness. According to him the first five limbs, “external control”, can be correctable but the last three limbs, “internal control”, cannot be correctable. To be perfect in the last three limbs the practitioner has to be very steady and controlled energy on the first five. And the most prior and important is controlled physical energy which gets developed by practicing asanas for a long time in a particular manner. Because doing asanas for longer will increase the adaptability of the body to be prepared for the inner realization and to get more control on the other limbs. To perform Asanas correctly in Ashtanga Yoga one must incorporate the use of “Vinyasa” and “Tristan”

Vinyasa means moving and breathing system. This is very important for the practitioner to indulge the breathing flow while practicing asanas so that a proper flow would be maintained and particularly coordinating movement and breathing in the asanas heats the blood, cleaning, and thinning it so that it may circulate more freely. Improved blood circulation relieves joint pain and removes toxins and diseases from the internal organs. The sweat generated from the heat produced by the practice of vinyasa excretes the impurities. Through the practice of vinyasa, the body becomes healthy, light and strong.

Tristhhana means union of three places of attention or action :- posture, breathing system and looking place(drishti). In Ashtanga yoga, the practice should be always performed with the combination of each other discussed abve as tristhana.>
Postures are the ways for purifying and strengthening the body. In Ashtanga Yoga, the postures are sequenced in different series as primary, intermediate and advanced series. Primary series Yog Chikitsa detoxifies the body and bring the body in a proper alignment. Intermediate series Nadi Shodhana is primarily acting on the purification of the nervous system by opening and cleaning the energy channels. The advance series A, B, C & D sthira bhaga incorporate strength and elegance of the practice necessitating higher levels of flexibility and modesty.

It is important for the practitioner to attain full perfection and control at each level before proceeding to others.

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