Ashtanga Yoga is a quite young, but very forceful and effective modern hatha-yoga style that gives you all well-known benefits of a regular yoga practice. Together with the increasing of the strength and flexibility of your body and mind, it also helps to reduce the stress impact on you, giving you physical and mental stability. Thanks to its highly-structured and dynamic classes you will get stronger and well-toned very soon, because every single part of your body, including the joints and tendons, will work really hard. Actually, Ashtanga yoga is one of the most required yoga classes for control and weight loosing and in order to get the perfect physical shape.
Compared to traditional Hatha-yoga practice with the goal to achieve the perfect body alignments, in Ashtanga yoga you are mainly concentrated on your breath. The breathing style used in Ashtanga yoga is called Ujjayi. It is distinguished by the use of constriction of the throat and a diaphragmatic breath to create an elongated breath. The regular and rhythmical sequence of inhaling and exhaling pacifies the nervous system and mind, relieves insomnia and anxiety. This breathing is maintained during the whole practice, both while holding the pose for 5-8 breathes and during the vinyasa active movements.
The synchronization of breath and movements generates strong internal heat the causes increased sweating, oxygenation, advanced blood circulation, what in its turn detoxifies the body.
The other specific Ashtanga Yoga particularity, strongly coupled with the breathing, is the practice of different types of energy locks called bandhas. In other words it is a muscle contraction/locking that help you to concentrate energy in your body. It stimulates the functioning of internal organs, removes energy stagnation and lets the life force – prana – circulate free. Together with the pranayama and bandhas each asana is followed by gaze concentration called Drishti which develops your ability to direct and hold attention.
With the consistent and regular practice the effects of Ashtanga Yoga will not be long in coming. Remember, that yoga classes require undistracted attention, physical and mental devotion, but consequently give you strong, slim, elastic and healthy body and mind.