You might have heard about Ashtanga yoga or Vinyasa yoga. However, Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is a completely different form of yoga that comprises the qualities of both the yoga forms.
Ashtanga yoga, also known as 8 Limbs of yoga, consists of eight folds that symbolize various dimensions of life. Yama and Niyama, also called moral codes and observances respectively, are the first two folds that are practiced with the third and fourth folds. It is a mixture of the traditional and modern forms of yoga, giving you a glimpse of the diversity of yoga.
When you practice Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, you learn to implement the eight fold method in relation to Vinyasa flow. Therefore, you work towards the overall growth of your physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions.
The most significant thing you need to be aware of while practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is to be conscious of your breathing. You need to breathe in a rhythm that should be felt deep inside you. Moreover, you need to be conscious of the fact that you inhale through your nose and exhale through your throat.
When you breathe, make sure that your breathing makes a hissing sound like that of a sleeping baby. There are many ways to breathe, and when your breathing comes from the throat, it is called Ujjayi breathing. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word is to have victorious breathing.
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga constitutes another major element, that is, Vinyasa. Vinyasa yoga is also called vinyasa flow yoga that signifies that your yoga poses are going to follow a transition. Since vinyasa yoga follows a sequence in which the yoga practitioner hardly has any rest, it is the flow that needs to be maintained while practicing yoga.
Thus, a flow gets assimilated into your yoga practice because of the presence of the Vinyasa element. It is responsible for the creation of body heat that further helps you to stay in the flow of yoga. Moreover, it results in perspiration and heavy breathing that are fundamental to Ashtanga yoga. Therefore, everything walks in sync with one another.
To explain it in a layman language, a bandha is like a lock that you feel in your body. There is a fair amount of energy that flows through your body. If you do not channelize it, it might get wasted by getting consumed in trivial things.
Thus, when you practice Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, you learn about various bandhas that assist you to channelize your energy. You learn to hold locks in your energy centers that limit the movement of the energy in a single direction. Your energy flows from your root chakra to your crown chakra, and forming a bandha makes it sure it flows seamlessly.
There is a difference between seeing and looking. When you put all of your attention on a single point, it signals that you are seeing the thing and taking in all the details. On the other hand, to look is to ponder your gaze in a direction without concentrating on a single entity.
However, when you practice yoga vinyasa, you come across its fourth element, that is, Drishti. It teaches you to completely absorb a certain object with full concentration. When you practice Drishti, your focus of the eyes shifts to the following nine points:
To the Sky
Far To The Side
Straight In Front
Apart from the above-mentioned, there is a whole new world that opens up before you when you practice Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. You work on your physical body when you practice Vinyasa yoga because of the intensity, and you work on your mental and spiritual dimension when you go on an eight fold path.
In turn, you witness your true self-growth with utmost speed, and you experience true bliss and peace of mind.