Ashtanga yoga – Definition and Benefits

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga is one of the most challenging types of yoga to practice as it requires a lot of strengh to execute. However it involves many benefits and is considered a great spiritual work out. It involves different series (first series, second series…) and despite being challenging, is accessible to both beginners and advanced-level yoga practitionners.

Ashtanga Yoga means “eight-limbed” yoga, a system considered to have been formed by the ancient sage Patanjali. These eight limbs are a general method to attain spiritual fulfillment: Yama (control over instincts and emotions), Niyama (rules), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (interiorization), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (deep Meditation) and Samadhi (oneness with ultimate power/God). The general understanding of Ashtanga Yoga is nothing but a greatly organized Vinyasa style class. Here are several benefits of Ashtanga yoga, for beginners as well:

Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga

Improvement in flexibility

The regular practice of Ashtanga yoga can improve your flexibility. Generally, it depends on the body, but one can see visible changes after one or two weeks after starting the practice. If you are a person not able to touch your feet, start an Ashtanga yoga practice, and you can accomplish that in a few weeks. 

Strength development

Among the sixty types of vinyasas or flows in the primary series of Ashtanga yoga, you may need to support the whole of your body weight by just one hand or one leg. This is a sure way to strengthen the body. 

Better muscle tone

Ashtanga yoga is capable of improving the muscle tone of your body. It is the definite way to get some abs as per some of the regular followers of Ashtanga yoga practices. 

Good for cardiovascular fitness

Ashtanga yoga is helpful for you to attain cardiovascular fitness. The constant asanas and the vinyasas after each pose can keep your heart rate increased throughout the session. So along with the development of strength and abs, you can work out your cardiovascular system also by Ashtanga yoga. 

Good to reduce weight

Ashtanga yoga is useful to decrease body fat and so to reduce body weight. If you prefer to reduce a few kilos, of all the yoga types, Ashtanga yoga is the most helpful one.  

Increases mental fitness

Ashtanga yoga is not only good for physical fitness, but also it can improve mental fitness. Many studies revealed the capacity of Ashtanga yoga to decrease stress as well as anxiety and improve mental health. Because of that, your overall emotions, behavior as well as performance can improve in all the fields of life.

Improves concentration

The practice of Ashtanga yoga can improve your concentration and creativity. If you are a person with more responsibilities that demands constant planning and decision making, Ashtanga yoga may help you to succeed in those areas and can help you to become more free and relaxed. 

Improves health

Ashtanga yoga helps increase your health. By strengthening your body, it can increase your immunity power, maintain normal blood pressure, and keep you from many types of injuries. 

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