A strong Ashtanga Yoga program can yield fantastic benefits for both the mind and body. It is a practice that is continuously changing to meet the needs of new generations of practitioners of all age groups and abilities. This blog post takes a look at various factors that set Ashtanga Yoga apart from other forms of yoga practice.
Out of all the yoga practices around the world, Ashtanga is the only one that places an importance on self practice. Most Ashtanga yoga is carried out in the Mysore style, which are constructed around the idea of self practice classes. While it is a lot easier to teach guided lessons, Ashtanga tends to be one of the most rewarding. One explanation for this is because self practice is the only way to become truly meditative in an Asana practice. Most other types of yoga (like Vinyasa yoga, Bikram Yoga, Hatha Yoga, etc) neglect self-practice – only Ashtanga leads to self-empowerment, rather than being led.
Another point that sets Ashtanga Yoga ahead of other practices is the capability of Ashtanga trainers to impart improvements in a students’ practice using their hands. Most Ashtanga teachers are proficient at making adjustments in posture with their hands. One reason for this depth of finesse is the self practice facet of Ashtanga Yoga. More often than not, it is easier to give adjustments in Mysore style classes simply because teachers have more time to pay attention to their students, instead of talking all of the way through.
Despite all its advantages, Ashtanga Yoga does have some disadvantages. As an example, in spite of all the possible variations that can be done in the sitting poses, there are only a few variants that are permitted in Ashtanga standing postures. This means that many practitioners will become sturdy in the upper body; some may even develop their core strength. Nevertheless, not many become solid in the legs. In most cases, hardly any time is invested in standing postures in day-to-day practice, which over the longer term will bring about an imbalance of powerful upper bodies paired with weak legs. This will definitely lead to physical and mental imbalances.
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