Ashtanga Yoga

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

The Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series is a beautifully sequenced set of Yoga postures that move the body in all directions.

The breath is used throughout the practice to take you in and out of the postures making the practice a moving meditation. One breath, one movement.

The Primary Series is known as Yoga Chikitsa or Yoga Therapy due to its therapeutic effects for both the body and the mind.

This is a dynamic practice which builds strength and flexibility. It has strong philosophical foundations and a long lineage.

Yoga Practice Schedule

Led Primary Series

Saturday mornings from May 22nd 2021, 8.30-10am.

No booking required. The cost is £10.

The venue is St Mary’s Church, Sherrards Green Road, Malvern WR14 2EE.

Ashta (eight) anga (Limb) yoga (union)

More than two thousand years ago the great Indian sage Patanjali described yoga as consisting of eight aspects or limbs. These limbs were likened to the limbs of a tree.  This eight limbed path guides us towards a state of bliss where we experience the true nature of Yoga.

The Ashtanga style of yoga involves synchronising the breath with a progressive series of postures.  The postures are linked by vinyasa’s – flowing movements initiated by the breath, providing smooth transition between the postures.

The source of Ashtanga Yoga is thought to be the Yoga Korunta, an ancient text attributed to an Indian sage named Vamana Rishi, and written over 5000 years ago. The text is said to have described lists of many different asana groupings, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas and mudras.

  • Vinyasa describes the flowing movements which are used to link yoga postures together.
  • Drishti is a point of gaze or focus.
  • Bandhas are energetic locks which assist in the flow of subtle energies (prana) within the body.
  • Mudras are symbolic gestures performed most often with the hands and fingers.

Ashtanga Yoga was brought to the West in 1975 by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915–2009) who learned the practice from the age of 12 under the guidance of his guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya.

Ujjayi Breath, Bandhas, Vinyasa and Drishti

These are the fundamental aspects of Ashtanga Yoga. Without them, yoga becomes an exercise in movement alone.  With them, we are able to access a level of awareness and well-being, a level of connection, that has the power to be utterly transformative.

Ujjayi, meaning victorious (over the chattering mind), is the driving force of the physical practice.  The breath sets the rhythm and becomes the focus for the mind which has a capacity to forever wander.  It is the guide which will inform you as to the quality of your practice. Too much effort then the breath will become constricted and forced. Too little focus then the breath can be lost or drowned out by the sound of your own thoughts.

Maintain awareness upon your breath and every movement becomes a meditation

(David Swenson from his book Ashtanga Yoga, The Practice Manual)

Tonia in Warrior Posture

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

The Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series is a beautifully sequenced set of Yoga postures that move the body in all directions.

The breath is used throughout the practice to take you in and out of the postures making the practice a moving meditation. One breath, one movement.

The Primary Series is known as Yoga Chikitsa or Yoga Therapy due to its therapeutic effects for both the body and the mind.

This is a dynamic practice which builds strength and flexibility. It has strong philosophical foundations and a long lineage.

Yoga Practice Schedule

Led Primary Series

Saturday mornings from May 22nd 2021, 8.30-10am.

No booking required. The cost is £10.

The venue is St Mary’s Church, Sherrards Green Road, Malvern WR14 2EE.

Ashtanga yoga Malvern 8 Limbs Samadhi

Ashta (eight) anga (Limb) yoga (union)

More than two thousand years ago the great Indian sage Patanjali described yoga as consisting of eight aspects or limbs. These limbs were likened to the limbs of a tree.  This eight limbed path guides us towards a state of bliss where we experience the true nature of Yoga.

The Ashtanga style of yoga involves synchronising the breath with a progressive series of postures.  The postures are linked by vinyasa’s – flowing movements initiated by the breath, providing smooth transition between the postures.

The source of Ashtanga Yoga is thought to be the Yoga Korunta, an ancient text attributed to an Indian sage named Vamana Rishi, and written over 5000 years ago. The text is said to have described lists of many different asana groupings, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas and mudras.

  • Vinyasa describes the flowing movements which are used to link yoga postures together.
  • Drishti is a point of gaze or focus.
  • Bandhas are energetic locks which assist in the flow of subtle energies (prana) within the body.
  • Mudras are symbolic gestures performed most often with the hands and fingers.

Ashtanga Yoga was brought to the West in 1975 by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915–2009) who learned the practice from the age of 12 under the guidance of his guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya.

Ujjayi Breath, Bandhas, Vinyasa and Drishti

These are the fundamental aspects of Ashtanga Yoga. Without them, yoga becomes an exercise in movement alone.  With them, we are able to access a level of awareness and well-being, a level of connection, that has the power to be utterly transformative.

Ujjayi, meaning victorious (over the chattering mind), is the driving force of the physical practice.  The breath sets the rhythm and becomes the focus for the mind which has a capacity to forever wander.  It is the guide which will inform you as to the quality of your practice. Too much effort then the breath will become constricted and forced. Too little focus then the breath can be lost or drowned out by the sound of your own thoughts.

Maintain awareness upon your breath and every movement becomes a meditation

(David Swenson from his book Ashtanga Yoga, The Practice Manual)