The History of Ashtanga

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Yoga is an old approach coming from India that explains the steps essential for accomplishing spiritual enlightenment. Based upon this philosophy, Pattabhi Jois began teaching Ashtanga yoga, a system of vinyasas, or streaming poses, in 1948. Literally implying ‘eight-limbed’ yoga, Ashtanga yoga incorporates the eight principles of enlightenment described in old yoga texts, placing unique emphasis on posture, breathing and reflection.

Vedas and the Yoga Sutras

According to AshtangaYoga. information, the earliest roots of the vinyasa concepts of Ashtanga yoga can be traced back to the Vedas, the first composed text of humanity. The Veda texts, some of which might date back as far as 8,000 B.C., refer to a system of breathing, motion and counting evocative the Ashtanga yoga positions. The philosophical basis for Ashtanga yoga can be discovered in an additional ancient text, ‘The Yoga Sutras,’ composed by Patanjali between 400 B.C. to 200. ‘The Yoga Sutras’ describe eight steps to spiritual purification and enlightenment: yama, which translates to moral codes in taking care of others, niyama, or self-purification and assessment, asana, or posture, pranayama, or breath control, pratyahara, or control of the senses, dharana, or concentration, dhyana, or reflection, and samadhi, self-awareness.

Yoga Korunta and the Ashtanga Vinyasa System

Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga based on ‘The Yoga Korunta,’ a yoga manuscript imparted to yoga instructor Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the very early 1900s and later gave to Pattabhi Jois. Based on this text and Jois’ 25 years of tutelage under Krishnamacharya, Jois developed Ashtanga yoga. Jois began instructing the vinyasas of Ashtanga yoga to students when he opened a school in Mysore, India, in 1948. According to Jois, the bodyheat created by the vinyasas advertises internal purification, a component of the steps that result in spiritual enlightenment as explained in ‘The Yoga Sutras.’

Jois’ Yoga Mala and How the West Found Yoga

Between 1958 and 1960, Jois wrote ‘The Yoga Mala,’ which describes the principles of Ashtanga yoga. Guide was released in 1962, and to date, remains a requirement of reference for Ashtanga yoga. In 1964, a Belgian named Andre van Lysebeth took a trip to India, discovered Ashtanga under Jois and started composing his own books about yoga. After Lysebeth started releasing books on Jois and Ashtanga yoga, Westerners from Europe and the United States began to travel to India to research yoga under Jois. In the 1975, Jois brought yoga to the United States when he was welcomed to teach an Ashtanga yoga workshop in California.

Present Day Ashtanga and Kid of Ashtanga

The popularity of yoga has continued to grow since Jois started to teach the Ashtanga vinyasa system to Westerners in the 1960s and ’70s. Ashtanga yoga is popular worldwide. Celebrity specialists like Madonna and Sting have actually likewise assisted to increase the appeal of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga yoga has several ‘children,’ that include other vinyasa-based designs of yoga whose creators trained under Jois. These include Prana Flow Yoga by Shiva Rea and Power Yoga by Bryan Kest and a number of others.