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Anatomy & Ashtanga yoga

Entries in mysore (2)


All of our systems are connectedHealing the Total Body: Where Western Anatomy Meets Eastern Spiritual Science

Healing Series, part 1 

Table of Contents:

Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga

Western Science

Eastern Science

(back to Healing Series)


Introduction to Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was imparted through lineages to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois who brought it to the west from Mysore, India. An asana is a yoga position and is connected with vinyasas, meaning one steady and even inhale and exhale breath for each asana—and its purpose is internal cleansing. The movements heat up the body; through sweat, purification occurs. The internal focus is connected to the external gaze (dristhi). We seal in the energy by activating the bandhas (internal muscular and energetic locks located at the lower abdominal and perineum) to give lightness, strength and health to the body, nervous system and sense organs.

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga

This requires many years of practice and is typically performed Mysore-style through a self-led sequence initially learned one-on-one by a teacher, performed in a room full of practitioners each at his/her own pace and level. Mysore-style yoga is practiced six mornings per week with breaks during the full and new moon. (Source:, Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India)