Ashtanga 19/12/2020: The Ashtanga Fundamentals


Ashtanga 19/12/2020: The Ashtanga Fundamentals

Style: Ashtanga
Length: 90 minutes
Focus: The fundamentals of Ashtanga
Props: Block and belt
Date Recorded: 19/12/2020
In this final practise of 2020, we draw together the fundamental aspects of the asana practise as we flow through the sequence. Ashtanga means "8 limbs" and the postures (asanas) are just one limb. In brief - the 8 limbs are:
1. Yamas (5 social ethics; including kindness and moderation)
2. Niyamas (5 personal practises; including discipline, self-study and surrender)
3. Asanas (the physical postures)
4. Pranayama: mindful breathing (in ashtanga, the ujjayi breath)
5. Prathyahara: Turning inward
6. Dharana: Concentration - focus and attention
7. Dhyana: Dropping all effort and letting go
8. Samadhi: Bliss - complete harmony between the self and the universe
These fundamental limbs are threads that flow through our physical practise, but also once we step off the mat into life.

In this asana practise, we draw on the ujjayi breath to harness the prana (life-force); we engage the bandhas (energy locks) to enable to flow of prana through the body. We use the drishti (gaze) to focus our energy and attention so we can turn inward. We honour the vinyasas, the connection of movement and breath and therefore the breath and the body. And we are mindful of the alignment in the postures so we can practise safely but also to allow ourselves to experience the inward sensations, dropping the effort and letting go, all the while cultivating compassion and kindness to ourselves, being led by our personal exploration (self-study). Finishing with a 10 minute savasana =) Namaste wonderful yogis x