If you are new to yoga...specifically Ashtanga yoga...here are some resources

Most people in the United States have heard of Yoga.  If you are like me before I started a serious study of yoga, I thought it was a type of exercise class that you might find at a gym or community center.  I had a vague notion that it was sort of martial art like and there was some kind of religious tone to it somehow.  Those aspects were both vague and intriguing.

Here is a paper I wrote during my Yoga Teacher Training that goes into more detail about what I learned as I dove more deeply into what seemed mysterious at first.

yoga philosophy paper for TT 2016

I Like Ashtanga Yoga because...

  • It is student centered-- the student is to memorize a series of poses rather than rely on a teacher to call out which pose to do next
  • I can and do a lot of my yoga practice at home.  The traditional way to learn Ashtanga is to go to a lesson to learn a little more each time and then go home and practice
  • This practice is about the quality of my whole being: body, mind, emotions, spirit
  • This is a healing practice more than a fitness program (watch this video for if you are curious)

A Variety of Explantions

There are many excellent Ashtanga websites that give definitions and descriptions of this traditional yoga system.  Here is a list you could explore.

http://ashtangacharlottesville.com/about-us/what-is-ashtanga-yoga/ This is a good and concise explanation

http://kpjayi.org/the-practice/   This would be considered the original explanation

http://www.ashtanga.com/html/background.html   This is a longer and comprehensive one
https://m.yogaoutlet.com/guides/ashtanga-yoga-basics  This focuses on an explanation of the physical practice and a little bit of the history
This is how ashtanga is seen compared to other types of yoga (from a fitness point of view).  The audience for this is someone that has done yoga classes and explains what to expect from an Ashtanga class setting.
https://youtu.be/11C1021vKGU. Kino MacGregor gives a verbal explanation of traditional Ashtanga Yoga
https://youtu.be/JqZhod-eot8. This is a nice verbal explanation of what the 8 limbs are