Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga or Dynamic Yoga
Yoga is an excellent instrument that allows us to obtain excellent health of the skeletal muscle apparatus, a constant back pain relief, a flexible and light body, a better functioning of the respiratory and circulatory system, as well as a strong mental balance.
Ashtanga Yoga in particular, is a traditional system of Yoga – transmitted by S.K. Pattabhi Jois – that starts with the movement of the body, in which the synchronization with the breath is the central point, and it goes on helping us to calm and to focus our spirit.
The term Ashtanga, means, literally, 8 branches.
We find this word in one of the oldest and most important writings of Yoga – “Yoga Sutra” of Patanjali – which shows us 8 instruments of the Yoga system that allow the union of body, spirit and soul.
These 8 elements are:
Ethical behaviours that we have to adopt towards others (Yama)
Ethical behaviours that we have to adopt towards ourselves (Niyama)
Postures’ practice (Asana)
Control of the breath (Pranayama)
Control of the senses (Pratyahara)
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is the Yoga “of the action”. Indeed, as Pattabhi Jois told us, the more we practice asana, the more we will attain all the other branches.
S.K. Pattabhi Jois
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois began his studies in 1927 at the age of 12, under the guidance of Sri T. Krishnamacharya. He dedicated himself to the daily practice of asana, meditation, pranayama and to the understanding of yoga by studying the original ancient writings.
In 1948, he created the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, in the South of India, to teach the traditional method described in some of these former texts and received from his Master (Guru). Sri K. Pattabhi Jois became famous due to the teaching of this method, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga: a system that combines the movement of the body with the synchronization of the breath. One of the most famous quote of Pattabhi Jois, which can well synthesize the root spirit of Ashtanga Yoga and that he often told his students during his lessons, is: “Practice! Practice! 99% of yoga is practice, 1% is theory.”