A description of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

You could start practicing Ashtanga without having previously participated in Hatha yoga, but this is not recommended because the Ashtanga asanas are similar to those of Hatha, but with the dynamic changes taking place, so if you already know how to perform them you can devote your attention to other particularities of style in Ashtanga.

If you have not practiced Hatha before everything becomes much more complicated, so it is advisable that before you move to Ashtanga you should become proficient at Hatha yoga.

From here I will describe the characteristics of Ashtanga, so you can get a sense of the overall style.

The points that differentiate the Ashtanga from other styles are as follows:

1. Vinyasa
2. Breathing Ujjayi
3. Bandha
4. Dristis

Without delving into the complex definitions, I will make a brief description of each of these points:

Vinyasa is involved in every movement of Asan, both to enter and to leave it, this is done with the same length of time with both your inspiration or exhalation. That is the length of your breathing cycle which will mark a whole movement.

Ujjayi is a specific type of breathing that is done by closing the glottis slightly (which produces a characteristic sound).

Bandha means seal or lock, and this is done as an exercise in the contraction of certain points of your body to make energy or prana to be directed to other areas, and also provide greater firmness to the entire body.

Dristis are points of observation in which you will bring your attention on each Asan to help you focus and purpose of each is driving you to look inwards. The union of all these areas brings together the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

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