Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy By Gregor Maehle
This book is the perfect tool if you want to learn about the history of Ashtanga and the fundamentals of the practice such as breath, bandhas, drishti and asanas!
It contains a detailed breakdown of each of the poses, as well as a guide to the Yoga Sutras and yoga terminology. This is the perfect guide for both home practitioners and aspiring teachers.
Learn With An Experienced Teacher
Learning with an experienced teacher can make all the difference to your practice and also to your understanding of the practice. Your teacher will be able to offer you guidance and any advice you may need.
I consider myself lucky as my teacher had been practicing and teaching for a decade when I started learning. She also went to Mysore to study with Sharath Jois every year and then became Authorized, as did I several years later. And it was thanks to her and her dedication to the practice that I then made my own pilgrimage to Mysore on a yearly basis.
And so an experienced Ashtanga teacher will have a good understanding of the practice and will be able to explain aspects that may confuse you. They will also understand how certain poses are meant to feel and will also be able to guide you in and out of postures in a safe manner that will also allow for your progression.
Benefits Of Ashtanga Yoga
The benefits of Ashtanga yoga are numerous. It is known to be strenuous, so it is great for athletes and people that are looking for a good workout. Like most styles of hatha yoga, Ashtanga focuses on breath, poses, and meditation. A regular yoga practice can improve your flexibility, breathing, and balance. It can increase your stamina, bone density and muscle strength, control your bodyweight, lowers your blood pressure and relieve stress. The benefits of the Ashtanga yoga are not only limited to physical factors. It also helps mentally and spiritually by boosting mental clarity, creating mental calmness and developing better concentration in daily life.
Tips For Home Ashtanga Vinyasa Practice Yoga Video
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a practice with many health benefits. This Youtube Yoga Video helps you at home and keeps you motivated.
What is ashtanga yoga? Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a form of dynamic yoga. It differs from hatha yoga by the practice of vinyasa.
Vinyasa literally means synchronized breathing and movement system. And these movements are those that link one posture with the other.
Each posture is meticulously designed with a set number of movements and breathing so that an advanced student will link the postures by faithfully following the rhythm of breaths and movements.
The sequence of postures will always be the same and the student will add postures as their practice progresses.
Limit Interruptions But Learn To Deal With Them
Let everybody in your household know precisely when and where you will be practicing, and that you would like to be left alone. However, learning to deal with interruptions will always be part of a home practice – hello toddlers, the delivery man, and noisy neighbors. Don’t let distractions stop you from practicing, but use them to become more mindful of your body and how you feel.
Take away from outside distractions by setting up your yoga space in a way that calms you. Put some instrumental music on, light a few candles, and add a little of your favorite essential oil into a diffuser. Setting the atmosphere can really help you get into ‘the zone’ when practicing in a non-silent household.
Practice Efficiency In Your Home Practice
Use the same Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga discipline at home that you would use in a shala.
03:07-05:22–“Tip number two, practice efficiency. This is an area that you can place your focus into during your practice.
What I mean by practice efficiency is having a clear understanding of every position that needs to be touched on in your sequence and it’s associated breathing .
Being very aware of this allows you to flow effortlessly from one position to the next, without adding any positions in between, without stopping for breaks and without skipping any part of the sequence.
When you go to the shala, your teacher will tend to hold you accountable by pointing out when you are not practicing efficiently.
When you practice at home on your own, you will be the only observer of your practice and you will need to hold yourself accountable uh, when your practice is not moving fluid.
Practicing efficiently also helps to build and maintain heat and energy in the body, um, which can be very powerful while you’re practicing on your own.
Uh, when you’re in the shala, there tends to be a general energy of the room. And, um, a lot of the time it can also be very warm from all the other yogis moving through their practice.
Whereas when you’re at home, you need to generate all of that for yourself, which will be very difficult to do if you’re continuously stopping for breaks.
Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. I didn’t make that up. I heard that quote recently, and it really stuck with me.
Practice Your Ashtanga Yoga Routine In The Now
This makes sense because, as they say, the only moment we really have is now. So enjoy your Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice today.
05:23-06:35–“And finally tip number three, practice for now.
There are many reasons why one would practice Ashtanga yoga, and none of them are more powerful than being exactly where you belong in the present moment.
When I practice with this in mind, I feel like I could practice forever. I feel that I have no desire to end the sequence, no desire to end the pose. I am purely present and aware.
And I know that even at the worst of times in this practice, I love every aspect of the Ashtanga yoga practice. I love even the struggle. I love the way that I feel in every position of the practice.
Even if that position only comes by for one breath and as the breath turns, you move away from the position and don’t have the opportunity to experience it again until the next day.
So every position gives you a new opportunity to experience your love for the practice, experience your consciousness, and experience your breath, experience pure awareness.”
Track Your Progress With An App
Use technology to your advantage with the Ekaminhale Daily Yoga Practice App. This App lets you note down your practice in a calendar, something that is perfect for home practitioners who may need that feeling of accountability. This could be a game-changer and even has the moon days noted.
This is where you can get the app from
How To Set Up A Home Yoga Practice
Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Douglas Brook tells how to set up your home practice: “All you need is a small amount of space and some floor.”
Establishing a home practice is a great way to maintain your practice if you can’t get to the studio everyday. If your time is limited you can still practice wherever is convenient. I often practice at home before work so I don’t miss out. When travelling or on holiday you can continue your practice as well. My favourite thing on holiday is to find a place to practice in different hotels or places I am staying.
Stick With A Set Sequence
Practicing the same poses every day repeatedly is a powerful way to keep consistent with your practice. This repetition offers you a clear vantage point from which to watch yourself grow and change. The nature and sequencing of Ashtanga Yoga offers this beautifully. You don’t have to think about what pose you want to do next, so instead you can focus on your breath, bandhas and drishti. This takes you into a deeper meditative and focused place, so that you will step off your mat feeling more present and peaceful.
You Can Modify Any Of The Postures
There are also many modifications for each posture in the series. So if your body isn’t ready for the full version of a posture, your teacher will show you a variation that still works the same muscle group but is a little more accessible.
As you’re practising the same sequence every day your body will gradually begin to open up. But your practice will be strong and sustainable because it will grow with you as you build endurance, at your own pace.
What Is The Purpose Of Ashtanga
The intensive physical processes in Ashtanga are all about pushing through mental blocks, and emotional baggage to cultivate mental clarity, mindful breathing, physical strength, flexibility, and endurance. The structure and frequency of the practice is designed to help you quickly improve your body and overall wellness. The set sequence of posture creates a strong framework that allows one to focus on the inner limbs of the yoga sutras.
Can I Do Ashtanga Yoga Everyday
We traditionally practice six days a week. Of course, you can practice less than that. It is a good idea to not practice more than that as the body also needs time to rest.
There are also two days. a month that we also traditionally don’t practice. These are the moon days . For more information on why we don’t practice on those days read my article: Why Not Practice Ashtanga Yoga On Moon Days?
What Is The Definition Of Ashtanga Yoga
What is the ashtanga yoga definition? According to Wikipedia, the definition of Astanga Yoga is…
“Astanga or Ashtanga is a Sanskrit compound translating to “having eight limbs or components”. It may refer to:
- Ashtanga , the eight limbs of yoga as defined by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras
- Raja yoga, Vivekananda’s popularisation of Ashtanga Yoga
- Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, a style of asana-based modern yoga founded and developed by K. Pattabhi Jois
- Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, divided into eight limbs”– Source:
Apart from the vinyasa system, other elements will be decisive for the practice: the breathing , the bands , the dristi help the practitioner to concentrate and increase energy throughout the practice.
Vinyasa Ashtanga yoga is fairly recent, developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century, although he claimed it was based on more ancient practices.
It’s a very physical practice and takes some more effort than some other practices.
We Recommend This Video Because
With the help of this video you can do a well-rounded Ashtanga yoga practice at home. You will also become familiar with the traditional exercises of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.
We have intentionally chosen forms of the postures that makes the practice accessible for beginners. Our goal is to help you make progress and independently develop your own personal practice. In this way you will experience the soothing effects of a regular yoga practice.
How To Practice Ashtanga Yoga At Home
Yogi approved by Keira Shepherd, Certified Yoga Instructor with a 1st Class Honors in Education Studies.
So you’re looking to take your Ashtanga practice into your home? The great news is that although this style of practice is complex and may feel like it requires a guide or a teacher, you can absolutely practice Ashtanga yoga at home.
Ashtanga yoga was initially designed to be practiced six days per week, so actually, it may well be more comfortable to take your practice home! It’s unlikely that your local studio offers Ashtanga classes every day, and even if it does, that much studio attendance may be tricky to fit in around your schedule.
There’s a beauty in practicing Ashtanga yoga at home in that you’ll learn the sequence off by heart much faster than you would if joining a teacher-led practice. Think of it this way – satellite navigation can quickly get us to our destination, but we’ll never learn the way.
If you take the time to follow the road signs and understand the different streets, you’ll memorize the route much more effectively. A complex yoga sequence is the same!
An at-home Ashtanga practice will save you time, money, and help you to advance in your practice. By learning the flow like the back of your hand, things like travel and studio closures won’t mean that your practice has to take a holiday too – you’ll be able to take your Ashtanga practice everywhere with you!
Read on for our best tips on how to practice Ashtanga yoga at home.
How To Start An Ashtanga Yoga Home Practice And How To Fail At It
There is no easy way to say this but the reality is that Ashtanga Yoga is in fact really hard. The longer you practice the more you forget what a marathon the Primary Series really is. For total yoga newbies this can seem utterly intimidating and defeating. It takes on average 90 minutes to complete the Full Primary Series — longer than the most yoga or fitness classes. The traditional method also asks you to practice six days a week, which is an often daunting task.
I know, I felt the same, I had so many questions in my head even before I took my first class that I wish I had someone to give me some tips and suggest where to start from. I hope you find some answers from here! If you live in a place with no teacher or maybe moved away from a place of your shala and still want to continue yoga at home, I will add some resources below towards the end of this page for you to look into. This means rolling out your mat, doing what you can and keep showing up for your practice. According to the Ashtanga yoga tradition by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, yoga begins with the third limb, asana. By practicing asana with the proper vinyasa technique you develop a light, strong and healthy body as well as clear and peaceful mind.
Apr 11, There’s a lot of rhetoric around the Ashtanga practice about working I first started learning the Ashtanga practice from Beryl Bender Birch’s book, “Power Yoga” Sharing the challenges of home practice can help keep you.
The Power Of Ashtanga Yoga Ii: A Practice To Open Your Heart And Purify Your Body And Mind By Kino Macgregor
A follow up from the primary series, this book moves on to teaching the intermediate series of Ashtanga. Kino goes further in detail on the purification aspects of the practice and pranayama techniques.
But remember, this book is for advanced practitioners of Ashtanga and only for those who have completed the primary series!
What Is The Difference Between Kriya And Pranayama
So, based on the elaboration of pranayama and kriya yoga, it can be observed that kriya yoga is suited for experts in yoga while pranayama can serve as a conduit for beginners to know about the miracles of yoga! Another prominent difference between the two is observed in the requirement for kriyas or exercises for …
How To Get Started With Yoga At Home
Yoga is all about mindful movement — doing exercise that supports your physical body while also allowing you to access a meditative state. It should calm you, while also energising your body and releasing tension. You should keep this in mind when starting your at-home yoga practice.
To get started, you’ll need to first decide what kind of yoga you want to practice and how you would like to practice it. This comes down to choosing your space for your practice, learning some yoga poses , and ensuring you have everything you need to get the most out of yoga.
Different Styles Of Yoga
There are many different yoga styles that exist, and each have their different benefits. As a beginner, there are nine prominent styles of yoga that you may like to know about:
Hatha is traditionally a catch-all term for all physical yoga practices . That being said, classes that are labelled as ‘hatha yoga’ are typically aimed at beginners and are more gentle than other yoga styles.
Ashtanga is a style of yoga that includes performing the exact same poses in the same sequence every time you practice. It does not deviate from these poses unlike more fluid forms of yoga and can be physically demanding.
Vinyasa yoga often includes fluid transitions between poses and can be physically challenging like Ashtanga. However, the main difference is that each class is unique rather than performing the same set of poses in every practice.
Hot yoga is yoga that is set in a sauna-like room. It typically gets you very sweaty, and isn’t a style that you will be able to practice at home, as it requires strong heaters.
Bikram yoga is a popular style of hot yoga that consists of the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises performed in the same order every class for exactly 90 minutes.
Iyengar is a structured style of yoga that focuses on accuracy of poses, timing, and commonly uses props such as blocks and bolsters. The classes are often less fluid and slower than other styles like Vinyasa.
The Power Of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing A Practice That Will Bring You Strength Flexibility And Inner Peace By Kino Macgregor
Kino MacGregor is one of only fourteen people in the USA to receive certification to teach Ashtanga from its’ founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She is a popular teacher within the yoga community and this book is a favourite for learning the principles of Ashtanga!
Kino breaks down each pose into actionable steps, as well as the fundamental connection of breath, posture and gaze.
Transitioning From Stillness To Movement
The following asana practice will be the most physically active part of the yoga practice. During this phase you will be introduced to the traditional practice sequence of the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition. All of the postures are modified to be accessible for beginners. That being said, be mindful and honor your body: do only what feels right for you and do not force anything!
It is during the moving meditation of the Ashtanga yoga practice that you begin to develop your body and mind. Your body will become progressively stronger and more flexible and your mind will become calmer and more well-balanced. The breath connects these aspects of your being and harmonizes them. It is also the metronome of your practice. For this reason, the breath deserves very special attention here.
Pick Your Yoga Gear For Your At Home Yoga Routine
What are you mosting likely to do when you get on your floor covering? The initial concern to ask is …“What do my body and mind requirement?”.
Something active to obtain the juices streaming or something more soft, corrective, to peaceful your mind and body? If you do not know, you can let us aid you discover your design or utilize our ‘Surprise me’ button. The even more you do yoga exercise, the a lot more you discover the effects of different practices and the even more you learn to acknowledge what it is your mind and body require at different times.
If you pick an online course, do not get embeded reading a lot of course descriptions. The nature of the mind is to search for the ideal course to solve everything. That class doesn’t exist; you need to make it on your own.
Select a design, instructor, details usage and also preferred course period from the drop down food selections on the classes page, look for a title that speaks to you and also go for it! The means you make the course best for you is with practicing with full understanding, with as little resistance as feasible. If there belongs you do not such as, breathe with it and observe your responses. Remember that just how you respond on the floor covering leaks via in how you respond in every day life. In life, you will likewise discover circumstances you don’t such as and choose not to alter or are not able to transform. Keep In Mind Pattabhi Jois’ words –“Do your practice as well as all is coming”.
Health Benefits Of Ashtanga Yoga
What are the Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga? Ashtanga health benefits are many.
“Yoga, known for its mental benefits, has substantial fitness benefits, too.”– Source:
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a gentle exercise for your heart that has many other benefits for your body. See our list of the most common ones below.
We will be writing a follow up that describes all of the health benefits of Ashtanga in more detail.
In the meantime check out our other post Yoga Benefits for a Healthy Lifestyle.
If you wish more information you can always get The Power of Ashtanga Yoga Book – Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace. Available in Amazon on Paperback and Kindle versions.
Why Buy An Ashtanga Yoga Book
Since Ashtanga is such a demanding and disciplined style of yoga, it’s definitely beneficial to have a home practice. But if you’re just starting out and learning the practice, it can be difficult to remember all of the asanas!
Ashtanga yoga books are a really helpful way to learn each pose and master your practice outside of yoga classes. They include helpful guides to each asana including cues for proper alignment and form.
Not only this, but they’re a great way to learn about the history and philosophy of Ashtanga yoga if this is something that interests you!
This Course Is Valued At $600 But You Can Get It Today For Only $117
• 10+ hours of practice with Kino • 6+ hours of informative Technique driven workshops • Bonus workshops: Breath & Bandhas , Ashtanga Yoga Philosophy •Full Primary Series Traditional Sanskrit Counted led class + conference Join me, a world-renowned Ashtanga Yoga master, in this Ashtanga Immersion Course. Whether you’re new to Ashtanga Yoga, a newer practitioner looking for sound technical and anatomical directions or a teacher interested in learning how to make this traditional practice accessible to all, you will find great depth and purpose when you take this course.Ashtanga Immersion was originally recorded as a live workshop. Look out for future live immersion workshops on Omstars.
International yoga teacher, Kino MacGregor has over 20 years of experience in Ashtanga yoga & 18 years of experience in Vipassana Meditation. She is one of a select group of people to receive the certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga & practice into the Fifth Series of Ashtanga Yoga. With over 1 million followers on Instagram & over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube & Facebook, she spreads the message of yoga around the world.To Kino, yoga is more than making shapes. It is a daily ritual where people tune deeply into their spiritual center & experience the peace of the Eternal Divine. Her goal is to make the tools of traditional yoga accessible for all different sizes, shapes, ethnicities, & ages. She believes yoga is truly for everyone.
Learn this Exclusive Knowledge forJust $117
Use Your Drishti And Breath To Help Concentrate
When we practice alone at home it can be very difficult to concentrate. Practicing with others in a studio designed for this practice really does help the mind stay focused. And yet, at home, this is when we really need to up our game and fine-tune our Drishti and breath to support our practice.
And it is important to be aware of the fact that concentration may be a bit more challenging at home.
I remember as a student at university, the joke was that during exam periods, students’ bathrooms were the cleanest you would ever find them. Anything to not study, right?
And the same is true with our practice at home. The unfolded washing, the dirty dishes, bills you forgot to pay easily distract us from our practice.
And a steady drishti and deep breathing with sound may eventually help us distance our minds from those distractions and stay present with the practice we are doing. And after savasana, when we are ready, then all those things will still be waiting for us. Fortunately and unfortunately!