The Tradition of Ashtanga Yoga

A majority of the teachings at Yoga East are based in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga lineage as taught by Sri. K Pattabhi Jois, of Mysore, India. Ashtanga Yoga is a classical hatha yoga practice where breath is used to link movement (vinyasa), between a sequential series of postures to build health and vitality in the body and mind.   

Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient method of Yoga developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) of Mysore, India. Guruji started the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in 1948. Guruji developed what is known as the Mysore method of Ashtanga yoga. This method allows students of any age, level of physical health, and proficiency of yoga to work individually, at their own pace and development in the classroom with the guidance of a teacher. 

The method is taught as a sequence of classical yoga postures linked together by synchronized breath movement (vinyasa). The method utilizes deep breathing (ujjayi), concentrated eye gazing (drishti), and energetic seals (bandha) to increase inner heat for purification, circulation and the elimination of toxins.  

Regular practice is recommended for a healthy body and balanced mind. Yoga East can help students of all physical abilities access the Ashtanga practice through our different led classes as well as in the Mysore setting.

Kimberly and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, India, 2001

Kimberly and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, India, 2001

The meaning of Ashtanga as prescribed by Patanjali means an eight limb path:

  1. Yama - relationship to others

  2. Niyama - self purification/study

  3. Asana - yoga postures

  4. Pranayama - breath control

  5. Pratyahara - sense control

  6. Dharana - concentration

  7. Dhyana - meditation

  8. Samadhi - contemplation

Once a dedicated Asana practice is started with correct breathing, pranayama, the yamas and niyamas are followed as a way of living in the world and in relationship with ourselves. The last four limbs will develop spontaneously over time through sincere and reverent devotion to the path.