Ashtanga Yoga Chiang Mai
Modern Day Ashtanga Yoga
In the last 50 years with the boom of Yoga in the west, the practice of yoga has become popular worldwide, one yoga practice which predominates is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga not related to the teachings of Pantajali of the yoga sutras (check below). Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga has became popular in the west and was taught by Pattahbi Jois who opened Ashtanga Yoga research institute in 1948 in Mysore India. This popular style of Yoga Asana is known as vinyāsa (flow-continuous) style, which incorporates a sequence of yoga poses which flow from one to the other; The Ashtanga Yoga practice consist of 6 Yoga asana sequences; 1 Primary Series (basic), 2 intermediate and the last 4 are the advance series; Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga could be a challenge for a complete yoga beginner as the first sequence known as the primary series, has some more difficult and challenging intermediate poses to advance poses, which a yoga beginner would find impossible to manage.
Ashtanga Yoga in Chiang Mai is easily found in various schools around the city.
Original Ashtanga Yoga
The Origins of Ashtanga Yoga – The 8 paths of Yoga Discipline
Originally Ashtanga Yoga was related to the eight limbs of Yoga of the Indian Sage Pantajali, the teaching of Ashtanga Yoga are found in the famous text known as Yoga stutras, which consist of 196 sutras on yogic principles, written around 400BC and was revived around 100 years ago by the onset of Yoga spreading to the west and now the Yoga sutras are considered a valuable asset to present day yoga practitioners.
Yamas are ethical rules in Yoga and can be considered external moral conducts. There are five yamas listed by Patañjali his Yogasūtra 2.30:
The Yamas consit of the following
1. Ahimsā अहिंसा: Nonviolence, non-injury to other living beings
2. Satya सत्य: Truthfulness, honesty & non-falsehood
3. Asteya अस्तेय: Non-Stealing
4. Brahmacārya ब्रह्मचर्य: Regulation and control of sexual energy
5. Aparigraha अपरिग्रह: Non-avarice (greed) & non-possessiveness.
The next part of Patanjali's Yoga path is known as niyama, which includes virtuous habits, behaviors and observances which develop personal growth.
1. Śauca: purity, clearness of mind, speech and body
2. Santoṣa: contentment, acceptance of others, acceptance of one's circumstances as they are in order to get past or change them, optimism for self
3. Tapas: persistence, perseverance, austerity
4. Svādhyāya: Study of Spiritual texts. study of the self, self introspection of thoughts, speeches and actions
5. Īśvarapraṇidhāna: contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality)
Asana is related to ones seated pose when meditating, so not to be confused with modern yoga asana practices but developing them so you can hold one seated pose, such as padmasana (lotus) or shiddhasana (accomplished) comfortably for extending period of time, for meditation and helping the yogi to the next stage of 8 limbs of yoga.
Prāṇāyāma is comprised of two Sanskrit words prāṇa (प्राण, breath) and āyāma (आयाम, holding, extending and lengthening). Using specialize yoga breathing patterns to help facilitate, cleansing, purification and physical and mental relaxation.
Pratyāhāra is a combination of two Sanskrit words prati- ( प्रति-, "against" or "contra") and āhāra (आहार, "bring close, fetch"). Pratyahara is the first process of internal awareness. It is a process of withdrawing the external sensory experience from external sensory stimulus. Pratyahara is the point of change of one’s yoga practice from the first four limbs which are physical and external to the last 3 limbs which lead the yoga practitioner to their goal of higher consciousness.
Dharana / Sanskrit: धारणा refers to concentration, introspective focus and one-point focus of the mind. The root of word is dhṛ (धृ), which has a meaning of "to hold, steady and maintain". Dharana is to bring one’s mind to one point focus without any fluctuations there, leading the Yoga practitioner to true meditation.
Dhyana / Sanskrit: ध्यान literally means "contemplation, reflection" and "profound, abstract meditation" Dhyana is the step we achieve once we have true concentration, Meditation starts at this point.
Samadhi / Sanskrit: समाधि means, to join together, union, harmonious whole". Samadhi is the final stage of the 8 limbs of Yoga, this is the culmination of meditation, the mind has no fluctuation and the Yogi has total oneness with the act of meditation. We would consider this stage as the first stage of enlightenment and surely from here deeper levels of awareness will manifest as this is the beginning of real Yoga and unification of body, mind and spirit. Yoga = Union the eight limb of Patajalis Yoga sutras which is Samadhi.