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Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900's by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927. 

The term “Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga” is derived from Sanskrit 3 words – Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Yoga. The word "Vinyasa" literally means breath-synchronized movement. All the steps are interlinked and support subsequent and previous ones. The Ashtanga Vinyasa system of Yoga basically, there are 3 groups of sequences:

* The Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa) is designed to detoxify and align the entire body, internally and externally.
* The Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana) is intended to – and does – purify the nervous system. This happens when you open and clear your energy channels.
* The Advanced Series A, B, C, and D (Sthira Bhaga) amalgamate the strength and grace of the practice. This, however, calls for higher levels of flexibility and humility.
The practitioner has to fully develop each level before he/she can proceed to the next. Besides, the sequential order of asanas has, necessarily, to be followed scrupulously. Each posture is a preparation for the next, developing the strength and balance required to move further. In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga the breath is the centre of practice that conncts Yoga pose to pose in a specific order. By synchronizing your physical movements with your breath, you succeed in producing a powerful internal heat in your body. This, of course, is in conjunction with practicing Mula and Uddiyana Bandhas. These are specific bodily locks in Yoga. The intense heat produced purifies the entire body. The results are felt in the muscles and organs. By getting rid of unwanted toxins and introducing release of hormones and minerals favorable to the body you come to experience the stupendous results of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Further, through synchronization of breath the practitioner is ensured efficient circulation.


Sri K. Pattabhi Jois is the recognised guru of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. For the past thirty years, yoga practioners from all over the world have traveled to his home in Mysore, India to learn the Ashtanga Mysore from him, his dauther and grandson.

"Mysore" refers not just to the town where his Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute resides, but to the form of this practice which is supervised self practice.

What to Expect in an Ashtanga Yoga class: If you want the authentic form of Ashtanga yoga, you want to seek out a Mysore style class. You can find authorized teachers of this method in your area by looking at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute website. In a Mysore class, a teacher is there to support and guide each practitioner as he or she practices the Ashtanga yoga series at their own pace. Many yoga studios will offer a teacher-led Ashtanga class as well. The student starts by first going through a series of Sun Salutations A and B and then moves onto a standing sequence which is followed by a seated sequence and then finishing postures. Depending upon the student’s level of skill, back-bending will also be done. There are six series in the Ashtanga yoga system, but most practitioners practice the Primary Series. The following series, Intermediate, Advanced A, B, C, D are progressive in the difficulty of their movements.

Download the Primary series sheet