Ashtanga Yoga For Beginners – Why is Ashtanga Yoga so Hard?

Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners is a very refreshing, dynamic, and athletic style of yoga. The changes between the asanas are quick and demanding for the body, balance, and concentration. Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners is one of the oldest yoga methods and is an essential pillar for understanding Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners.


Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners became known through Patthabi Jois, who learned yoga for many years in India. In 1960 he described the six series of Ashtanga Yoga for the first time in his book “Yoga Mala” and founded a yoga discipline that quickly found prominent followers.

Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners is a style that quickly strengthens and shapes the body. No gain without diligence: the respective series should be practiced every day, and even experienced yogis will work up a sweat.

As the exercises or poses in Ashtanga Yoga are called, the asanas are performed as coherent flows.

This means that the individual exercises are connected by flowing transitions, as we know from the ” sun salutation. ” The positions are quickly changed, while breathing is synchronized with movement.

Ashtanga Yoga is a further developed form of Hatha Yoga. The common asanas there are powerfully connected to flow and practiced stringently throughout the class.

The unique thing about it: Everyone does the sequences given by the teacher at their own pace and breathing rhythm.

In Ashtanga Yoga, there are six predetermined series of exercises, from which the teacher can choose one in each lesson. This is also the fundamental difference to Vinyasa Yoga, in which the teacher freely arranges the asanas.

Ashtanga for Beginners was developed and shaped by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in the South Indian Mysore style.

That is why ashtanga for beginners is often taught in the “Mysore style.” Today, ashtanga for beginners is used by many as meditation through movement and is the original form of all dynamic yoga styles.

Transferred, Ashtanga stands for the following eight limbs – four are in us, four outside of us – which include this yoga style in according to Patanjali:

  • Yama (the moral code/principles)
  • Niyama (self-purification and study)
  • Asana (postures)
  • Pranayama (controlled breathing)
  • Pratyahara (Control of the senses)
  • Dharana (concentration)
  • Dhyana (meditation)
  • Samadhi (absolute calm)


What is unique about the Ashtanga yoga practice?

The Ashtanga Yoga System (or Mysore Ashtanga Yoga ) consists of six established series, of which the first is usually taught. Only when a string is thoroughly mastered do you move on to the next. Since the series are all very demanding, few people can get past the second series. For complete, well-rounded ashtanga yoga beginners practice, the first series, Yoga Chikitsa (German: Yoga Therapy), is entirely sufficient. It consists of a regular sequence of asanas: 18 standing postures follow the sun salutations, then 35 sitting asanas, and then a final line with 16 asanas, including savasana and deep relaxation. When practicing, one posture flows into the other.

Traditionally, the students work through the sequence in so-called Mysore classes, in which the teacher walks around and assists everyone individually but does not make any general announcements. The beginning and the end are always the same. Only the asanas in between are modified or omitted depending on the unique possibilities. Of course, this assumes knowledge of the series. Therefore, for beginners * inside their cheat sheets ( cheat sheets ), they are often no longer necessary after a short time.

Practicing independently has a significant advantage: the mind stays clear, you are less distracted.
It becomes easier to focus on yourself and your ashtanga yoga beginners practice. This is supported by the yoga techniques typical of Ashtanga Yoga: Vinyasa (counting breath), Drishti (fixed point of the gaze), and Bandha (energy lock ). You breathe in ujjayi, an audible breath in which you contract the glottis to create a Darth Vader-like noise.

So that you are not distracted by constantly looking around, the practice is combined with a Drishti. This is a point on which the gaze is directed and can be the tip of the nose or the navel, for example. Bandhas are used to jump forwards and backward as light as a feather. They help to stabilize the core of the body. To learn that, you have to do “core strength exercises.” For this, you will then be rewarded with the power of a super yogi. It is tough at the beginning to apply everything at the same time. But also here the motto of the father of Ashtanga yoga Sri K. Patthabi Jois:


Where does Ashtanga Yoga come from?

The founder of the Ashtanga Yoga system is Sri K. Patthabi Jois, who wrote the Yoga Mala * the book with the exact listing of the positions and breath counting in 1958-60 in Mysore, India. He was a student of Krishnamacharya, who is now known as the forefather of modern yoga.

Patthabi Jois began to learn from Krishnamacharya, the forefather of modern yoga, in 1927, when he was only 12 years old. As a student, he kept from his parents that he practiced yoga in the morning and took off in 1930 to study at the Maharaja Sanskrit College in Mysore. His master Krishnamacharya also lived there, so the close teacher-student relationship between the two continued until Krishnamacharya left Mysore in 1953. Patthabi Jois continued the lessons in his sense and took over the sequences for the Ashtanga yoga practise system.

What to expect from an Ashtanga yoga class

Quiet. No music. Pure practice. Mostly also yogis, who bend their bodies in such a way that your eyes fall out of your head. Therefore: It is best to find out in the studio which class is best for you before you go to ashtanga yoga for beginners for the first time. Absolute beginners can also come to the Mysore class. Traditionally, the teacher gives you each asana individually, and you learn the sequence bit by bit—a lovely way to approach yoga. Classical practice makes sense, especially when you have an experienced teacher in front of you.

Some studios also offer softer variants with beginner courses and guided classes in which the sequence is instructed. Many Ashtanga studios do not offer a trial lesson but a trial month because it is simply not possible to get to know this complex system in an hour. But don’t worry, ashtanga yoga for beginners practice is an inspiring affair and the basis of most dynamic yoga styles, such as Jivamukti or Vinyasa yoga.


Who is Ashtanga Yoga suitable for?

  • People who want to put their heart and soul into their work
  • Anyone who is not afraid to practice next to yogis with apparent superpowers and a missing spine
  • Disciplined people who like clear rules and don’t feel like using fabric softener programs
  • Practical philosophers – “learning by practicing” is the motto here



What can I expect from Ashtanga Yoga?

The focus of ashtanga yoga beginners practice is on the postures (usually a series of six asanas) that will quickly make you sweat and get your cardiovascular system going. The blood circulation is stimulated, pain is relieved, the internal organs are activated, and blockages are released.

This releases energy, cleanses and strengthens your whole body. Conscious breathing and concentration on your inner being are essential. Ashtanga yoga for beginners practice usually involves the same sequence of asanas and thus requires continuity and discipline.

You will soon learn to overcome your previous limits of body and mind. You will increase in strength and flexibility, become calmer inside, and more emotionally secure. But you have to have perseverance, patience, and willpower right from the start.


Effects, advantages, and priorities

  • Strengthens and strengthens body and mind, the ability to concentrate, flexibility, and a sense of balance
  • Relieves blockages, tension, and pain
  • Dynamic, often strenuous yoga style
  • Multi-part yoga practice based on the traditional understanding of yoga
  • The entire body is usually stressed


Benefits and effects of Ashtanga Yoga

The synchronization of breath and movement trains the strength, balance, and concentration of the yogi or yogini.

Due to the high dynamics, endurance, strength, and mobility are also improved – Ashtanga is a real all-rounder!

Insiders say that practitioners also learn how to find inner peace and let go through the intense body experience and the repetitive routine. The nice side effect, too, right?


Who is Ashtanga Yoga suitable for?

Although ashtanga yoga beginners can be very strenuous and sweaty, it is suitable for both beginners and advanced yoga practitioners.

Because: The yoga teacher gives a specific sequence of asanas as a flow, but each yoga fan practices for himself during the lesson: at his or her pace, in the right intensity, depending on the form of the day, sometimes faster, sometimes slower.

This “Mysore style” enables beginners and advanced learners to practice in a group. However, you should bring a basic level of fitness. It also helps if you already know the advanced exercises.

What level of practice is required for Ashtanga yoga?

If you want to endure the demanding asanas and the fast flows, synchronize your breath, and maintain balance and concentration, you need yoga experience.

However, no master has fallen from the sky yet, and a little patience is always worthwhile in yoga: in yoga practice, you can constantly improve.

Ashtanga is therefore not for impatient sports gruff, who otherwise value relaxation, meditation, and chanting. For those who have already tried Hatha Yoga and are in the mood for challenging yoga in which the whole body is moved, ashtanga yoga beginners are the right thing for you.

You might also like these styles of yoga.
If ashtanga yoga beginners are too much for you, Hatha Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga is better suited – the asanas are very similar but are not changed quickly.

The difference is that they are usually not taught inflows but instead carried out statically individually. This enables breaks to take a deep breath now and then.

What do you need for an Ashtanga yoga class?

As already mentioned, you sweat a lot in ashtanga yoga for beginners, and that’s a good thing! In yoga practice, however, you should be prepared for it with the right equipment.

In other words: a non-slip yoga mat, a yoga or mat towel, and a small towel are recommended. It is also advisable to choose a somewhat airy outfit made of moisture-wicking functional materials.

It would help if you avoided socks so that you can get a better grip on the mat.

Ashtanga Yoga Poses for Beginners

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Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners is a very refreshing, dynamic, and athletic style of yoga. The changes between the asanas are quick and demanding for the body, balance, and concentration. Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners is one of the oldest yoga methods and is an essential pillar for understanding Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners. WHAT IS ASHTANGA YOGA? […]