Ashtanga is a powerful, flowing yoga practice. It is based on an ancient healing system of sequenced asanas (yoga postures), which help you to strengthen the connection between mind and body. Ashtanga means "eight limbs" (eight branches of yoga) which encourage self-awareness and inner peace. The eight limbs are:
Yama – our ethics, helping us to focus on our behaviour and how we conduct ourselves.
Niyama – self-discipline and spiritual observances, such as contentment, study of sacred scriptures and ourselves.
Asana – the postures practiced in sequence, to take care of our physical health. The asanas help us to develop the habit of yoga practice, discipline and concentration, which are also important aspects of spiritual growth.
Pranayama – breath control. It helps us to recognise the connection between our breathing, thoughts and emotions. Pranayama means to "extend life force," rejuvenating the body in the hope of a comfortable, longer life.
Pratyahara withdrawal or sensory transcendence, to direct our attention internally i.e. to step back and look at ourselves.
Dharana – the practice of concentration.
Dhyana meditation or contemplation.
Samadhi to find the state of ecstasy or enlightenment.
Ashtanga improves your fitness, strength, flexibility and stamina. You may also lose weight with regular practice. Ashtanga helps you to feel calmer, more confident and at peace.
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