Ashtanga yoga was founded by the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India. The physical practice includes powerful sequences of postures in a set order, linked by ‘vinyasa’, the breath-movement synchronisation which is the heart of the Ashtanga system.
The Primary Series of Ashtanga yoga, also called Yoga Chikitsa (yoga therapy) is designed for grounding the body and mind, establishing a strong foundation that we can then grow from – physically, emotionally and mentally.
This is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga yoga, as it was taught by Pattabhi Jois. Rather than the whole class following the instructions of a teacher, each student practises at their own pace while the teacher gives individual verbal and physical adjustments as needed.
The Ashtanga sequences are learned pose by pose, one by one. Therefore, your practice will be relatively short at the beginning, getting longer over time as your strength and stamina increase. When the student is ready, the next pose is added. Typically, a class will have students of different abilities and levels with beginners practising alongside more experienced practitioners.
This approach creates a beautiful, focused atmosphere with a unique intensity that will encourage you to practise in a more self-responsible way and to go deeper into your own personal yoga journey.