History of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga
Yoga is an ancient science developed in India, about 5000 years ago.The great sages(rishis), devoted their whole life in developing this science that enhanced the physical and mental well being of the person.
The practice of yog today includes physical practices of Shatkarma ( bio-cleansing), Asana (Postures), Pranayama (regulation of bio energies), bandhas (energy locks), and mudras (mind gestures).
Among all the systems of physical exercises, the hatha yog practised by ancient sages and rishis stands unrivaled and unique. It is the most perfect system. Brain, muscles, organs, nerves are perfected and energised. All the chronic disorders of the body are rooted out.
Asanas pertain to physical body.They render the body firm and steady and eradicate physical ailments. Bandha’s pertain to the pranic forces.They bind the prana and apana and send the united prana-apana along the sushumna nadi(middle pathway), mudras concern the mind.The represent the seals. They seal the mind with the soul.They do not allow the mind to wander outside towards the objects.A combination of all these exercises is needed to have maximum results.
The most popular text on hatha yog are : Siva samhita, gheranda samhita and hatha yoga pradipika.
There are also other very important yoga’s mentioned in the ancient literature of India, that is mahabharata-
- Karma yog (The yoga of right action)
- Bhakti yog (The yoga of devotion towards lord)
- Jnana yog (The yoga of right knowledge)
- mantra yog (The yoga of hymn chanting)
- nada yog (The yoga of sound)
- Kundalini yog (The yoga of serpent power in beings)
All these yoga’s are important to make the mind and the body tranquail, so that the person move towards the highest goal of his life that is self-realization that is knowing the truth of life and freeing oneself from the bondage’s and pains of life permanently.
The Relevance of yoga today
Today, in the 21st century, a spiritual heritage, is being reclaimed of which yog is very much a part.Yogic practices give a direct and tangible benefits to everyone regardless of their spiritual aims.
The physical and mental cleansing and strengthening is one of the ashtanga vinyasa most important achievements.What makes it so powerful and effective is the fact that it works on the holistic principles of harmony and unification.According to the medical scientist, yog therapy is successful because of the balance created in the nervous and endocrine systems which directly influences all the other systems and organs of the body.
For most people in the 21st century, yog was simply a means of maintaining health and well being in an increasingly stressful society. Asanas do remove the physical discomfort accumulated during the day at the office sitting in the chair hunched over a desk.Relaxation techniques help to maximize the quality of ever diminishing time off. In this age of mobile phones, gadgets, and electronic items, yogic practices make a great personal and business sense.The underlying principles of yog provide a real tool to combat social malaise.