Ashtanga yoga is more than the asanas, and it’s important to understand the method of this practice as you take this step on your yoga journey. The traditional definition of the Ashtanga method comes from Patanjali’s yoga sutras, and I’m taking a deep dive into his definition and how it applies to our yoga practice in this special episode of The Yoga Inspiration Podcast.
The method of Ashtanga yoga is not the perfect execution of the pose. Not all of our triangle poses need to look the same, and this strict kind of discipline is actually the opposite of what Patanjali teaches us. When we first approach the yoga mat with the intention to practice Ashtanga, the first thing Patanjali promises us is suffering.
You will burn through impurities with this practice, and that is the truth. But that deep burn we feel in our muscles, in our minds, in our heart’s center, is the purifying fire through which we cleanse ourselves of bad habits and negative thoughts.
To be human to suffer, and yet we define ourselves by this suffering. It feeds into our habits and our egos. It creates an endless cycle of suffering. If you do not stand up for yourself and spark this flame and walk through it, the cycle will not end for you either. This flame that burns through our impurities also lights the lamp of knowledge and gives us the tools we need to overcome the obstacles set before us.
That is the Ashtanga method. It can take centuries of practice to reach enlightenment, but Ashtanga provides you with the tools you need to get on the mat and keep practicing. It influences what you eat, what you think, and what you say, and Ashtanga yoga inspires you to face those thoughts head-on so you can burn through them and come out stronger on the other side.
Of course, getting the discipline to practice is difficult. How do you find that perfect balance between discipline and tenderness? When is it appropriate to apply discipline? When is it appropriate to be gentle? Ashtanga allows you to work with the mind and train it to find this equilibrium within yourself.
Tune in now as I discuss more about how to find this balance and check out the Ashtanga resources in my blog at Kinoyoga.com. View my teaching schedule and sign up for a class. Not a member? Get your free 30-day membership on Omstars.com & use code: PODCAST.
If you have an interesting experience on the yoga mat to share, get in touch with me at email@example.com. You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast.
Stay connected with me at @kinoyoga and @omstarsofficial.