“The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body.”
Ashtanga Yoga History:
Ashtanga yoga history starts and born out by of the sixth chapter of the Bhaga- vad-Gitå. Arjuna urges Sri Krishna: ‘Krishna, you have told me of Yoga as association with Brahman (the Universal Spirit), which is always one. But how can this be perpetual, since the mind is so excited and irregular? The mind is impetuous and resolute, strong and wilful, as hard to harness as the wind.’
Sri Krishna answers: ‘Undoubtedly, the mind is restless and hard to master. But it can be trained by repeated practice and by liberation from desire. A man who cannot regulate his mind Will find it tricky to attain this divine union; but the self-controlled man can achieve it if he tries tough and focuses his energy by the right means.’
THE STAGES OF ASHTANGA YOGA
The right means are just as significant as the end in show. Patanjali lists these means as the Eight limbs or Stages of Yoga (Known as ASHTANGA YOGA in Sanskrit) for the journey of the soul. They are:
- Yama – Universal moral commandments
- Niyama – Self-purification by discipline
- Asana – Postures
- Pränäyäma – Rhythmic control Of the breath
- Pratyähära – Withdrawal and Emancipation of the mind from the power of the senses and outside objects
- Dharana – Concentration
- Dhyana – Meditation
- Samadhi – A state of Super-Consciousness brought about by deep meditation,
in which the particular aspirant becomes one with the object of his meditation – Paramätmä Or the Universal
- Yama and Niyama check the yogi’s passions and emotions and keep him in tune with his fellow man.
- Asanas keep the body fit and strong and in accordance with nature.
- Finally, yogi meets free of body consciousness. He conquers the body and gives it a fit vehicle for the soul.
Initial three stages are the outward journeys.
The next two stages,
Pranayama and Pratyahara teach to control the breathing and through control the mind. This helps to free the senses from the random of the objects of desire.
These two stages of Yoga are recongnised as the inner quests (Antaranga sadhana).
Enjoys the yogi into the innermost. The Illustrated Light on Yoga corners of his soul. The yogi does not look at heavenward to find God. Yogi learns that he is within, is known as the Inner Self. The latter three steps keep him in combination with himself and his Maker (God).
These stages are called the searches of the soul.
“The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body.” — Jason Crandell
The meditative or thoughtful man follows Yoga Marga and realizes his own divinity through control of the mind.
Blissful man who knows how to distinguish the real from the unreal, the permanent from the temporary and the good from the pleasant by his discrimination and wisdom.
Ashtanga Yoga Description
Ashtanga implies eight limbs, thus each of these four external and four internal disciplines presents up the Ashtanga Yoga practice.
For larger people, the most peaceful way to obtain Ashtanga Yoga is via the postural practice. The asana program is designated by the powerful, synchronised breathing and Movement system (Vinyasa); Gaze points (Dristi) and Internal energy locks (Bandhas).
The asanas are appropriately linked together using Vinyasa Sequences based on Suryanamaskara. The aim of the Ashtanga asana practise is to achieve the perfect alignment of the Breath, Drishti and Movement and within doing so, explain a moving meditation.
Pränäyäma of Ashtanga yoga can also be described by the method, slow inhalations and exhalations through the nose, allow prana (vital energy) to be moved around the subtle body. Coupled with the right execution of Tristhana, Stagnant energy in the Nadis (energy channels) and around the Chakras (energy centres), will be released and physical or mental disturbances softened.
Through proper practise of an exact sequence of flowing asanas, the body becomes
- Powerful and Light
- Toxins are eliminated
- Blood purified.
- Ailments are reduced
- Gradual controlled breathing and intense concentration create incredible focus
- And a powerful quiet mind, occurring in a feeling of tranquillity and peace.
What is Ashtanga Yoga?
Astanga Yoga implies ‘Eight-Limbed Yoga,’ and it is an actual practice that can point to freedom and greater knowledge of our spiritual potential. The eight limbs of Astanga Yoga can be defined as eight disciplines. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Of these, asana (the practice of yoga postures), is the most crucial for us to practice, and by it, we can understand the other limbs. Though it features an external and physical discipline, by the consistent effort we find several layers, more and more subtle, which need to be felt directly and can guide to the experience of the latter four limbs.