Ashtanga yoga is also known as power yoga. I would not be wrong if I say that this is one of the most difficult style of yoga. which got popular in West in 19th century. Due to its benefits for both athletes and those who want to increase their stamina, body strength and mental power.
Traditionally the word Ashtanga means the eight limbs. Which are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyarana, Dhayana and Samudhi. In Sanskrit where it has been translated as Moral codes, self-purification and study, posture, breath control, withdrawing of the mind from senses, concentration, deep meditation and union with the object of meditation in English respectively.
As you can see these eight limbs of contain everything. Strength, control of breathing, mind peace and flexibility. So, calling this form of yoga as magic would not be wrong. It works on every aspect of your body and mind to provide a peaceful sleep, strength, flexibility and posture.
Ashtanga yoga is not for beginners in any way. Its required you to hold the same posture for longer periods of time. while a beginner who practice could be easily injured. That’s why the Guru who teaches yoga always suggest to their students to practice other forms of yoga first. this will make their body flexible before they put their feet in Ashtanga yoga.
Ashtanga yoga could be performed alone or with other types of yoga. It depends on the motive behind doing yoga. For athletes it is a way of increasing their stamina. This helps them to perform better. While some people also do Ashtanga yoga to burn fat and for weight loss because of its flexible poses.
It is not suggested for those who are extremely over weight because some of the Ashtanga yoga poses required you to move your body quickly. So, if you have ability to hold on your body weight, then you can practice and get benefits from Ashtanga yoga.
Is Ashtanga yoga for you?
Well, its depend on your strength and how flexible your body is. Also what type of goals you want to achieve through Ashtanga yoga. As i mentioned before, it has a series of difficult poses. So you need to get involved in other types of yoga before you think of starting Ashtanga yoga.
It has been also believed that the early poses are easy. This is a big misconception because there is no pose in Ashtanga yoga which can be classified as easy pose. Some poses may look easy to perform but it requires lots of stretching and strength. But it does not mean that Ashtanga yoga is not for you.
If you have practiced other forms of yoga in the past you may perform ashtanga just fine. If you take part in other types of workout and have the ability to carry your own body weight you may also try it. Anyone can be an expert after taking few classes or practicing by your own at home.