All forms of yoga have the potential to heal the body, the mind and the spirit. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga heals through the breath and through the strength created in the body with practice. It balances and aligns the muscular and skeletal systems. One way in which Ashtanga differs from other yoga practices, apart from the precise link between breath and asana, is that a specific series of postures is done each time. This way they will be eventually memorized and the practitioner will have a personal, healing practice available. This practice, which evolves with the evolving needs of the practitioner, becomes a personal mind-body therapy.
The way Ashtanga should be taught is always in conjunction with personal observation and awareness. Our behavior, thoughts and manner on the mat are an extension of our process in life… the way we approach ourselves and other people is mirrored in the way we approach our practice. Becoming aware of these issues is an inseparable part of the practice.
Bad posture, bad habits, but also old injuries – including trauma of all kinds – leave their mark on our body. Resulting chronic physical problems then often bring pain and difficulty. Through practicing Ashtanga yoga, we can become free of these problems and feel strong and light.
The practice strengthens the body, building strong muscles that can support the skeleton with ease. The spine is erect, the feet step firmly on the ground, and the chest is opened, allowing us to breathe better. This physical aliveness, if combined with personal observation and awareness, can really change our life.