Ashtanga yoga is a very structured vinyasa- style class. This type of yoga is not for the faint hearted and is more for advanced students rather than brand new yogis, as you may want to learn the basic poses before you start on an Ashtanga practice. This practice is challenging and quick paced and can be just the remedy for tight hamstrings or hips and it’s great if you love to follow a set routine and structure.
The purpose of Ashtanga is to purify the mind and body and doing so by moving powerfully and quickly through the poses. It involves a set sequence of poses that you follow in the exact same order every time. The beauty of this means that you can practice it at any studio anywhere in the world; and once you’ve memorised the sequence yourself you can practice it anywhere you take your yoga mat! So for some people it might be a bit boring but for others it’s another form of meditation – this time though, a moving one.
Ashtanga yoga classes will always start with 10 Sun Salutations to get you warmed up and then move into either Primary Series or Intermediate Series. So after your sun salutations the primary sequence includes a standing sequence, seated postures and a closing sequence, you’ll constantly be using your ujjayi breath to connect your movements with every inhale and exhale.
Be prepared to get hot and sweaty in this demanding class, especially as some instructors will encourage you not to drink water while you’re practicing – to keep that fire burning in your belly!