Ashtanga vinyasa was introduced to the world by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and further developed by his student K. Pattabhi Jois, it is one of the systems of Hatha yoga that synchronizes breath and movement in a flowing sequence of asanas (postures).
The sequences are divided into six series:
- The Primary series
- The Intermediate series
- The Advanced series
- Advanced A, or Third series
- Advanced B, or Fourth series
- Advanced C, or Fifth series
- Advanced D, or Sixth series
Ashtanga is often considered a very dynamic form of yoga, progressive with much emphasis on the starting position, the attitude for entering into, staying in, and for coming out of asana, according to the rhythm synchronized with the breath.
Each new student to Ashtanga will begin with the primary series and will progress steadily, thereby memorizing the sequence with its unfold -ing variations of postures and gaining confidence in their application. The repetition and familiarity of the postures provide a daily frame of reference from which to observe your state of mind and your ‘felt sense of your body moving.
This method is unique to Ashtanga Vinyasa, it differs from the usual way of teaching yoga. The class is not “led” as a whole, but rather all instruction is one-on-one within the group class setting. Students practice their portion of the Ashtanga sequence of asanas at their own pace. The teacher assists each student individually by giving physical adjustments & verbal instruction.
Mysore practice really is the foundation from which Ashtanga yoga is built, but also goes back to the very roots of Hatha yoga, where the individual would practice alone or under the direction of his or her teacher.