Ashtanga is derived from a Sanskrit word.
Ashta means eight and anga mean limbs.
It is one the 4 main aspects of yoga that is taught in India
1-Karma yoga (yoga of action)
2-Nyana yoga ( yoga of knowledge)
3-Bhakti yoga ( yoga of devotion)
4-Raja yoga ( yoga of mind)
Raja yoga was created to bring a total control of mind through its 8 branches which in todays world are called as ashtanga yoga.
Its 8 limbs are:
3-Asana ( Yoga Postures)
4-Pranyama (Breathing Exercises
5-Pratyahara (Withdrawal of senses)
6-Dharana ( Concentration)
8-Samadhi (Bliss body)
In order to understand and apply its practice, a
legendary guru called shri K Pattabhi jois in mid 90s
presented his work on Raja yoga (ashtanga yoga)to the world.
He used 3 rd limb asana( yoga postures) in order to
understand the other 7 limbs.
He created a set of sequence which includes various yoga
postures using breath, movement and gaze as a biggest
tool to achieve the greatest outcome in the practice.
Our founder Hemant explains how the method works on a practitioner:
“When we practice yoga postures as per ashtanga yoga
method, we use with breath, movement, gaze and a
specific sound produced by our throat that give us as
total check on our breathing pattern.
When all 4 tools are combined comprehensively by a
practitioner, our body’s blood gets heated and it moves
faster. As it moves faster, sweat is produced and sweat
removes any impurity that our body contain. Once the
body is pure then only we are able to sit without any
effort in meditative state for an adequate period of time
in order to uncover and realize our true self.
This practice eliminates the 6 worldly poisons or enemies of the mind.
Those poisons are kama, krodha lobha, moha, mada and
matsarya i.e, lust, anger, greed, desire, jealousy and sloth.
The practice goes for many years in a gentle way to
understand its mechanism and reap the ultimate benefits. It demands a greater level of self discipline, belief and guidance of a teacher.”
Vinyasa is world renowned term which literally means
“arrangement” or in yoga we call it “alignment”.
Alignment generally refers to as physicality in yoga pose
although here is a deeper meaning of alignment that we must understand.
When we synchronize the rhythm of our breath along
with the rhythm our movement then our body & mind
energies unite in such a way so that we feel single mind
ness and extreme lightness in the body. This feeling of
one oneness during the class or state if maintained after
the practice can be called as a perfect Vinyasa.
Vinyasa yoga practice uses one breath for one movement
and sometimes one gaze. The vinyasa yoga practice does
not follow a certain set of sequence and its model of
yoga poses varies from teacher to teacher. The class of
vinyasa can also be used to work on a specific part of the
body for example hip opening vinyasa, seated vinyasa class, etc.
As we all have different ups and downs of our five
elements which are air, fire, water, earth and space.
People who loves motion and movement usually fall in
love with the practice of vinyasa yoga however it is not
only limited to that as any person with greatest devotion can pursue the practice.
One thing to remember that movement occurs due to
the existence of air element so it is advisable to do less
movement practice after the sun sets as it activate our
sympathetic nervous system and keeps us active and
awake which sometimes goes against the PRAKRITI ( laws of nature).
Morning and late afternoons are best suitable time for practicing vinyasa yoga.
‘Ha’ refers to the ”SUN”
‘tha’ refers to the ”MOON”
The world is made with duality. Nothing exists without its
dual nature. Similarly our body is made up of five
elements i.e, air, fire, water, earth and space
and 2 major energy i.e, Sun and moon.
Whens un comes up we functions and create and when
moon comes we slow down and recharge.
These two energies changes eevry moment throughout our day.
A method of yoga which balances our sun & moon energy is called hatha yoga.
The hatha yoga called follows a certain structure in which
class starts with a relaxation followed by warm up and
preparatory exercises. It includes certain yoga postures
which varies from easy to difficult level and finally a class
finishes with a deep relaxation. This class makes you
calm, energetic and gives you a sense of being with nature.
The flow of this particular system is faster than yin yoga
and slower than vinyasa and ashtanga yoga.
Main objective of hatha yoga is that it builds a strong
foundation and is highly recommend to beginners.
We all have heard the term sun-moon, shiva-shakti,
Romeo-Juliet, positive-negative. Ha-tha, day-night, cold-hot.
Therefore, YIN and YANG are also philosophical concept
to describe the two opposite yet interconnected force of
Yin literally refers to the moon energy that is the reason it
is popularly known as a restorative yoga.
Our human body is a great example which contains
the yin energy. Our body restore it functions while we
are asleep by using the forces of nature( pranic energy is one of them).
Yin yoga practice is very similar but it is very effective
practice to restore our bodily function in its awakening
state by using mindfulness and breath as an imperative tools.
The yin practice is mainly static in nature and uses the
crucial commands of yoga teacher to take you deeply
within state of mindfulness by using your breath. Once
we understand then we can access and restore any body
part we want to immensely relax and bring it back to its regular functioning.
The yoga class generally are relaxing, mindful, calming
and uses a long hold on yoga poses.
The best advisable time to practice yin yoga is the
evening time between 3-7pm to reap its full benefits
however it is not limited to only those hours as it can be
practiced whenever you feel you need this practice to
calm and relax and restore your energies, it is anytime safe to do it.
In India, kids are recognised as one of the forms of the GOD as they do not have the 6 poisons that we mentioned in Ashtanga-8 limb yoga.
Kids yoga can practice any style of yoga as their body is very flexible as well as the mind. The meditation is something that they can not practice until a certain age.
We have brought a combination of yoga sequence which kids can practice and reap benefits out it. This particular class at The Om yoga Naples gives them a sense of playfullness with a bit of challenge on flexibility and strength. The class covers few yoga postures with playfulness and exciting techniques to keep them engaged and improve.
‘Dhyana’ refers to meditation in Sanskrit term.
It is the 7th limb of ashtanga yoga (also called
Meditation is a highest form of yogic technique through
which the self realization in this life is possible. There is
no bigger yoga than meditation itself.
There are four parts of the mind which are,
Manas i.e, memory or data bank
Buddhi i.e, intellect
Chitta i.e,, pure intelligence
Ahankara I.e, Identity
-Patanjali yoga sutra, explains what is yoga-
”Yogus chitta vritti nirodha”
In This sutra Maharishi Patanjali explains that yoga is to
cleanse and purify our mind faculties so that we can see the nature of CHITTA in which purest highest form of intelligence reside.
The yoga asana practice literally prepares us to sit still by
keeping our spine erect with unwavering focus and
attention. This is where actual meditation starts to take place.
The yogis in Himalayas prepare their body for several
years with a disciplined practice given by their gurus.
Once a yogi conquers the body and mind is ready to
meditate. After practicing several years hard work and
dedicated practice of meditation, a yogis achieves a state
of Nirodha where mind is not distracted by random
thoughts and is fully observed in the object of pure focus.
I.e, the beginning of accessing the Chitta in which the
while universe is contained.
In reality, it becomes difficult for people to sit even for
few minutes with a straight spine due to various habits in lifestyle.
This is why yoga asana practice is very important because
helps us open up physical body which allows us sit in
meditation for some period of time.
The practice of yoga poses and meditation is life long and
contains various ups and down. It may not be enjoyable at some point of time.
The real nectar of the practice is only achieved once the
student is ready to work hard and develop patience.
The advise to seekers by our master Hemant is that they
must make up their mind before starting any yoga and be
willing to dedicate themselves to maintain a regular yoga
practice for at-least 2 years of time.
As per Hemant, Discipline is the first and foremost
prerequisite of the yoga practice.