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Ashtanga means "eight limbs" in Sanskrit. It refers to the eight limbs of yoga laid out in the yoga sutras of Patanjali.

The Ashtanga method stresses daily Vinyasa flow practice done with the application of the ujjayi breath, the bandas (locks) and the dristi (specific points of focus).

Astanga Yoga is a breathing practise the Asanas are secondary, without the breath it is just exercise.
The breath is the key in Ashtanga. The breath keeps us present. The body follows the breath not the other way round.


Or victorious breath. Makes a deep sound to filter the air, warm it and help the focus by listening to the breath.

To create a Rhythm and ride it gracefully through the Practice. Listen to the Breath.

"The most important is to trust yourself and the postures to guide you to the best way to breathe".


Bandhas regulate the Flow of Prana (life-force) within the subtle body through the Nadis (Energy channels).

Mula Bandha (Root Lock)At the base of our nerve tree, the spinal column.

Contract the sphincter muscle.

Uddiyana Bandha (Abdominal Lift) Suck abdominal muscles in and upward lifting the Diaphragm.

Maintain a stillness 3 fingers bellow the navel.

To allow space for the diaphragm to drop during each Inhale so the lungs can expand into side ribs, back, and the chest.

Keep upper portions of the torso soft.

Not too much effort. Do not harden the belly.


Jalandhara Bandha (Chin Lock)

Extend the Chin forward and draw it into the jugular notch where the 2 clavicles meet. To apply during the retention of breath

To put pressure on the internal and external carotid arteries.

To control the vijnani nadi “Channel of consciousness”

Slows down the heart and the nerve impulses.


Mahabanda or “great lock” when the 3 locks are engaged.



“The marriage of Breath and movement” is the Link between each asana.

They exist as one.



Point of focus

“Looking Out / Looking In”

The Dristi is meant to direct our attention to the Bandhas, the Chakras and the mind.


∆ Tip of the Nose ~Nasagrai

∆ Thumbs ~Angusta ma dyai

∆ Third Eye ~Broomadhya

∆ Navel ~Nabi chakra

∆ Up to the sky ~Urdhva

∆ Hand ~Hastagrai

∆ Toes ~Padhayoragrai

∆ Far Left ~Parsva

∆ Far Right ~Parsva



Is the union of the 3 focus of Ashtanga Yoga : Vinyasa, Bandhas, dristis.

“Essence and energy, body and breath, are indivisible : When the body does not move, essence cannot flow; when essence cannot flow, energy becomes stagnant”.


Ashtanga Yoga organizes asanas into three groups :

Primary series: Yoga Chikitsa, which means yoga therapy, realigns the spine, detoxifies the body, and builds strength, flexibility and stamina. The series of about 75 poses takes an hour and a half to two hours to complete, beginning with sun salutations and moving on to standing poses, seated poses, inversions and backbends before relaxation.

The Intermediate Series : Nadi Sodhana purifies the nervous system. It cleanses and strengthens the nervous system and the subtle energy channels throughout the body. This series is only introduced when the primary series is strong.


The Advanced A,B,C and D Series : Sthira Bhaga, which means divine stability, integrates strength with grace of movement









According to the Yoga Sutras of the sage Patanjali (an ancient text that is the basis for the philosophy behind yoga), there are eight “limbs” of yoga. Each limb relates to an aspect of achieving a healthy and fulfilling life, and each builds upon the one before it.

The first four limbs are EXTERNAL. They are linked to our own efforts.

The fifth is a bridge from External to Internal.

The final three are INTERNAL. They come as a result of our efforts.

1. YAMA:

Five ethical guidelines regarding moral behavior towards others:

Ahimsa: Nonviolence

Satya: Truthfulness

Asteya: Nonstealing

Brahmacharya: Nonlust

Aparigraha: Noncovetesness


Five ethical guidelines regarding moral behavior towards oneself:

Saucha: Cleanliness

Santosa: Contentment

Tapas: Sustained practice

Svadhyaya: Self study

Isvara pranidhana: Surrender to God

3. ASANA: Practice of yoga postures. Physical aspect.

4. PRANAYAMA: Practice of breathing exercises.

5. PRATYAHARA: Withdrawal of the senses, meaning that the exterior world is not a distraction from the interior world within oneself.

6. DHARANA:Concentration, meaning the ability to focus on something uninterrupted by external or internal distractions.

7. DHYANA: Meditation. Building upon Dharana, the concentration is no longer focused on a single thing but is all encompassing.

8. SAMADHI:Bliss. Building upon Dhyana, the transcendence of the self through meditation. The merging of the self with the universe. Sometimes translated as enlightenment.