means breath synchronized
movement. The breath is the heart of this discipline, and links asana
to asana in a precise order. By synchronizing movement with breathing
and practicing Mula
and Uddiyana Bandhas
an intense internal heat is produced. This heat purifies muscles and
organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones
and minerals, which can nourish the body when the sweat is massaged
back into the skin. The breath regulates the vinyasa and ensures efficient
circulation of blood. The result is a light strong body.
are three groups of sequences in the Astanga system.
The Primary Series
(Yoga Chikitsa) detoxifies
and aligns the body. The Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana) purifies
the nervous system by opening and clearing the energy channels. The
Advanced Series A, B, C and D (Sthira Bhaga) intergrate the strength
and grace of the practice, requiring higher levels of flexibility and
Each level is to be fully developed before proceeding to the next, and
the sequential order of asanas is to be meticulously followed. Each
posture is a preparation for the next, developing the strength and balance
required to move further.
- The continuity
of deep, even breathing cannot be overemphasized in the Astanga Yoga
system. When breath feeds action, and action feeds posture, each movement
becomes gentle, precise, and perfectly steady.