Ashtanga Yoga is a therapeutic and individual practice. It is a tool for self-observation, that during its course, leads us to a physical and mental clearing, using the consciousness of the body-mind. This process bring us awareness of the “here and now”, helping us to realize who we are.
The practice has as its central concept the Vinyasa, that means the link of breath and movement as one thing. In this way, all asanas are attributed a number of Vinyasa, and the purpose is purification of all the system and organs. The Vinyasa also means a gradual step by step approach of learning something. For each step, there is a breath.
This synchronization is held in three centers:
1.Asana (firm and stable position). It purifies, strengthens, gives flexibility and awareness to the body. 2.Breath. Puraka and Rechaka, that means inhaling and exhaling. Both should be constant and uniform, and the duration of inhalation should be the same length as exhalation. Breathing deep and slow purifies the nervous system. 3.Drishti. Focus and introversion in the asana. “Looking inside”. Dristhi helps to stabilize the movements of the mind.
The sum of these 3 points – breath even and smooth; posture align trough the roots (bandha); and focus on one place – gives rise to the concept Trishtana. These important centers of action should always be present and carried out simultaneously in the practice, connected with the constant flow of Vinyasa, where every movement is related to the breath. Thus, the Yoga practice becomes a meditative state of mind.