A whole eight limb Ashtanga Practice
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a challenging and energizing sequence of Yoga asanas (postures) linked together through breath, in a meditative flowing series. "Vinyasa" means breath-synchronized movement. It is breath that intimately interconnects the sequence of asanas. The specific sequence has an important scientific relationship of pose and counter pose that is intended to ultimately be memorized. The sequence is learned gradually, until all poses are finally integrated into a complete moving meditation series. With practice, one's own "internal teacher" emerges more fully, and the external teacher assists that process. The basic sequence---called The Primary Series---is composed of sun salutations and other standing postures, seated forward-bending and twisting postures, balancing postures and a finishing sequence of back-bending and inverted postures. The bandhas are internal muscle locks, or valves, that regulate the flow of energy and generate purifying heat. Applying the bandhas within the asanas and the vinyasa flow produces internally generated heat that purifies muscles and organs, expels toxins and releases hormones and minerals that nourish the body. Ashtanga practice produces strength, flexibility, endurance and clarity of mind. Each class concludes with a session of guided, deep relaxation. We seek to integrate awareness of the full eight limbs of Ashtanga into our asana practice. The ongoing practice of Ashtanga Yoga unifies the internal and the external, the spiritual and the physical, and the invisible and the visible realms of existence.