What are the Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga, one of the most ancient styles of Yoga marks the idea of self-realization and utter attentiveness. The vibrant form of Yoga covers almost all the facets of a human life. Practically and philosophically, Ashtanga Yoga is the perfect resemblance of what a yogic life should be. It is an assortment of all those mental, physical, and spiritual teachings that Yoga boasts of. Before we pass on Ashtanga Yoga’s benefits and importance, let us understand what Ashtanga Yoga is and what it stands for.


Ashtanga Yoga

The word, Ashtanga is an amalgamation of two Sanskrit words- ‘Ashta’ meaning ‘Eight’ and ‘Anga’ meaning ‘Limbs’. The Eight-limbed Yoga is a journey of a human being towards internal purification for exposing the enormous potential of the body, according to the Yoga Sutras. The Ashtanga is termed as the most dynamic form of Yoga for the practices involved in the Yoga style lay immense focus on the theories of an ideal life. The practice of Ashtanga Yoga follows eight spiritual steps, each having unique elements:

Yama– Moral codes for harmony with other beings.

Niyama– Harmony with oneself

Asana– Body awareness with postures

Pranayama– Breath awareness

Pratyahara– Control over the senses

Dharana– Concentration

Dhyana– Meditation

Samadhi– Integration into the universe

The first four limbs- Yama, Niyama, Asana, and Pranayama are practiced for the purification of the external body parts and the next four- Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are the methods of internal cleansing. While the principal idea of Yoga is to control the mind, it can not be possible without a healthy body for which the mind, body, and soul should be balanced.

The primary benefits of Ashtanga Yoga:

Enhanced mental concentration

The Focus is the key to Success. And what better to gain that concentration with than Ashtanga Yoga? The practices of Pratyahara and Meditation are the primary contributors to an attentive mind. Many a time, when the mind feels the pressure of the competitive environment in the outer world, nervousness becomes inevitable. Meditation is an exercise that prepares the mind to face the challenges of life with courage. Ashtanga Yoga, through its eight limbs, schools the mind to act on an issue only after thinking about the scenario. This makes a person a fine decision-maker.

Control over the body and mind

One of the best depictions of Yoga can be traced in the beauty of its Ashtanga form. The practice of Ashtanga Yoga helps one gain immense control over the mind and body. The vigorous attitude of Ashtanga Yoga means that the body gets a significant form of movement along with the attention of the mind. Both the mind and the body work together for the making of a wholesome life. The Yamas and Niyamas are the guiding principles of the life that lead to a better living style with the roles and responsibilities of a human being.

A better understanding of the Self

Ashtanga Yoga denotes the perfect understanding of oneself. It lets people discover what their abilities and potentials are. Through asanas, we become aware of our physical boundary and with constant practice, we extend that boundary gradually. The mindful practice gives an outlook of our inner soul. It acts as a mirror delving into which one can experience the utter truth of life. You become more than aware of your weaknesses and strengths.

Healthy body and Flexibility

Ashtanga Yoga is vibrant. It is full of spirit. The asanas are full of movements and intensive exercises that are intended to warm up the body, purify the body parts and make the body ready for higher challenges of the life. The physical asanas aim at making the body more muscular and flexible. Flexibility helps in a number of ways such as in many sports it holds the key. A healthy body can only bear a healthy mind and Ashtanga Yoga helps in keeping diseases away from it.

There are numerous Ashtanga Yoga benefits that are highly relevant and crucial for a blissful living. Practicing the various exercises of this ancient Yoga style offers one a wider picture of the world and Self. Through this, one can look at the universe and compare the situation of his life with others and vice versa. To witness and experience the profound beauty of Ashtanga Yoga, just immerse into the traditional yogic science.

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