People often confuse Ashtanga vinyasa yoga with ancient yoga. But, the truth is Ashtanga yoga is derived from classical Indian yoga by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century. This contemporary form of yoga includes the practice of Ashtanga i.e. the eight limbs; though the first four limbs (Yama, niyama, asanas, and pranayama) are given utmost priority. Although Ashtanga vinyasa yoga was originally taught in Mysore, now it has spread across the world, whether it is Ashtanga vinyasa yoga in Nepal, Kerala, Thailand, Spain, Costa Rica, etc.
Previously, this modern yoga was practiced without being led by yoga teachers. The students were supposed to memorize a sequence and then practice it. The teacher was only meant to guide and correct the students in person. But eventually, the teachers started leading the classes.
Myths related to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga
Pattabhi Jois learned Ashtanga vinyasa yoga and made modifications in the poses or the asanas for the benefits of yoga practitioners. But over a period of time, this form of yoga gained adequate myths that question its birth. Let us bust some of them for you:
- Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is ‘the authentic and traditional’ form of yoga: There is a thick line between Ashtanga vinyasa yoga and Ashtanga yoga that needs to be clarified. As mentioned above, Ashtanga vinyasa yoga was founded by Pattabhi Jois. Whereas, Ashtanga yoga is the authentic and classical form of yoga as mentioned in the yoga sutras.
- It must be practiced early morning for better results: No, whether it is ashtanga vinyasa yoga or any other yoga style what yields good results is your dedication and consistency to practice yoga. You can dedicate yourself to yoga at any time of the day, be it in evening or morning, you just have to be consistent about it.
- Only an advanced level teacher can teach Ashtanga vinyasa yoga: Yes, this form of yoga is more like an intense workout. But, if someone can perform advanced level yoga doesn’t mean that they also practice ashtanga vinyasa yoga. Practicing advanced level yoga and Ashtanga vinyasa yoga are two different platforms. There is a possibility that one may know or may not know but there is no precondition as such.
- It must be practiced 6 days a week: Pattabhi set the norm for practicing this modern yoga 6 days a week. But eventually, it was realized that just like any other form of yoga the more you practice yoga steadily, the more it helps you over a period of time. Hence, one can practice even this form of yoga as per their schedule.
- Benefits of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga
- This Mysore style yoga was modified by Pattabhi with a positive mindset to purify the body, mind, and soul. Moreover, he believed that asanas are the approachable way that leads you into the pathway of yoga. Here are a few benefits of this form of yoga that may tantalize you to practice the same:
- It gives you time for self: This form of yoga promotes self-practice. Therefore, practicing with self allows you to explore your body limits, your strengths, and weaknesses.
- Purifies mind and body: Just like any other style of yoga the practice of ashtanga allows purification of the mind and body. It helps in achieving physical and mental well-being.
- An aid for healthy living: Apart from purifying the body and mind, it also trains the body to be physically and mentally fit. It provides strength to the bones and muscles, improves blood circulation, digestion, and immunity, prevents cardiovascular and heart diseases, etc. Moreover, it supports mental clarity, fights stress, anxiety, and depression, soothes the nervous system, etc.
- If you have been waiting to experience ashtanga vinyasa yoga, now is the time to plan for yoga holidays in Nepal, Mysore, Rishikesh or Koh Phangan or anywhere in the world. In order to live this form of yoga, you may practice it the midst of the Himalayas. All you have to do is plan for yoga in Nepal.