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Video:Ashtanga Yoga

with Reinhard Lorenz

Learn the basics of Ashtanga Yoga, an energetic form of yoga that links breathing and movement.See Transcript

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Transcript:Ashtanga Yoga

Hi, my name is Reinhard Lorenz, yoga teacher and Ashtanga yoga practitioner. We are at the Source, a Community Hub and Yoga Center in Albuquerque, NM for About.com. Today we’re going to give you an introduction to Ashtanga Yoga.

What Is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga is a vigorous and energetic form of Yoga. Similar to other forms of Hatha Yoga, it links the breath to movement. Moving from pose to pose in a smooth way, Ashtanga creates a Yogic flow in the body. On a deeper level, resistance is released and tension is shed.

Ways to Learn Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga follows a set of asanas, that is the yoga poses. It is either taught like a class with a teacher talking the students through the poses, or it is a self-practice in the group, called Mysore style. Here, each Yogi does the practice at their own pace and level of ability. The teacher is there to advise, assist and encourage the students to go deeper into the practice. The further the Yoga practitioner develops, the more asanas from the set he will be able to perform.

The Three Series of Ashtanga Yoga

There are three series of Ashtanga Yoga. The first or primary series consist of 75 poses. It begins with sun salutations - surya namaskara A and surya namaskara B - and then moves on to standing poses, seated poses, inversions and back bends.

The second and third series are for advanced Yogis. These series were created by Sri Pattabhi Jois. He was born in 1915 and taught Yoga all through his life. He was based out of Mysore in India. Having inspired Yoga teachers and practitioners around the globe, who called him Guruji, he passed away in May 2009 at age 93. He taught that Yoga consists of 99% practice, and 1% theory.

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