Ashtang Vinyasa Yoga: what is it and what are its benefits?

Yoga is ideal for connecting the body and the mind, and unlike what many believe, it can also be dynamic. What is Ashtang Vinyasa Yoga?

Generally, when we think of yoga, we associate it with the more traditional style of practice, that is, that of static exercises to develop control of the body and mind. However, there are also more dynamic forms, with a series of aerobic asanas that combine breathing and movement.  

You should remember that yoga is an ancient Hindu practice that strengthens the body, mind, and spirit through breathing and meditation techniques. Ashtang Vinyasa yoga involves a different and coordinated movement for each inhalation and exhalation. 

Due to this, it allows us to work all the muscles and joints of the body to achieve greater flexibility. Here are more details about it.

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Main postures of Ashtang Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga can be practiced by anyone, regardless of gender or age. For this reason, in recent years it has gained a lot of popularity. In fact, many of the postures have variations to facilitate their practice for beginners.

1. Sun salutation

The sun salutation is a combination of postures continuously. In total, there are twelve basic positions that must be accompanied by correct breathing. 

ashtang yoga sun salutation position

Now, sun salutation ashtang vinyasa yoga is often used to warm up as it is ideal for preparing the muscles and joints. It is recommended to start gently, but you can gradually increase the intensity. It is our own body that must determine how far we push ourselves.

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2. cat posture

We must get on all fours, with our arms outstretched, our hands resting on the ground and our knees aligned with our hips. When we inhale air, we have to lower our head and push the ground with our hands to raise our back, so that it is rounded. 

Always keep your hands and knees as support points. As we exhale, we return to the starting position.

As we can see, movement and breathing must always be synchronized. This exercise serves to stretch the neck and back. So this ashtang vinyasa yoga is highly recommended if there is discomfort or pain in those areas.

3. Side plank

This Ashtang Vinyasa Yoga asana is one of the most complicated since it requires greater balance and use of strength. However, it can be applied with variations in case you don’t get the pose at first. It is ideal for strengthening the abdomen, arms, legs, and wrists. It is done as follows:

side plank
  • We start in a position on all fours.
  • We stretch our arms, with the support of our hands on the ground.
  • We raise our knees and stretch our legs  to be in a plank position.
  • We place our body on its side, with the support of only one foot and one hand. The other leg and arm we can raise and stretch up.
  • After completing the series of breaths, we can reverse the supports and repeat the exercise on the other side.

4. Pincer stance

Although this ashtang vinyasa yoga seems simple to do, it can be difficult at first. Therefore, we can appeal to variations to be able to do the exercise in case we still do not have enough flexibility.

It serves to tone the muscles, strengthen the back area and relax the abdominal organs. It is done as follows:

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Pincer stance yoga pose
  • We start standing.
  • Inhale and raise your arms above your head.
  • The soles of the feet should always be on the ground.
  • Then, we exhale and bend the body forward until the hands touch the ground.
  • If we do not reach the ground, we can grab our ankles, or bend our knees.

What are the benefits of Ashtang Vinyasa Yoga?

When we perform Vinyasa Yoga, we practically put all the muscle groups to work through strength, flexibility, and resistance exercises, in coordination with our breathing and the mind.

It is a very complete dynamic activity that helps us improve in many aspects. In addition, it has been shown that the frequent practice of Ashtang Vinyasa Yoga can improve cardiorespiratory fitness and promote body weight loss as an alternative method to traditional aerobic exercise.

Let’s see other benefits related to ashtang vinyasa yoga:

  • Helps strengthen and tone the body.
  • It burns calories, so it favors weight loss.
  • Improves coordination.
  • Provides more balance.
  • Strengthens the joints.
  • Provides greater concentration.
  • Improves the cardiovascular system, as it promotes blood flow.
  • It acts against stress and anxiety.
  • Reduces physical ailments of the body in general.
  • Improve posture.
  • It allows a better rest.

Ashtang Vinyasa Yoga, a form of exercise for the body and mind

Practicing ashtang vinyasa Yoga is a great option to get fit and maintain well-being in general. It is an activity that, in addition to the effort, has a lot of relaxation and enjoyment.

Although at first, it is complex to achieve certain poses, there are simple variations that allow you to gain flexibility and dexterity until you reach a more advanced level. 

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