Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga in Albuquerque / Santa Fe

albuquerque ashtanga yoga class picture

At Versatile Vitality, we are trained in many forms of Yoga including Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is the royal eightfold yoga, standardized by the ancient sage Patanjali. This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures, a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind. We could call it the yoga of techniques.

The physical postures of yoga are knit together with careful attention to the breathe and the practitioner’s point of focus. There is much more to yoga than bending, folding and twisting your body. Indeed yoga also stretches your mind by asking you to challenge your beliefs about yourself, your body, your consciousness, your identity and your community. In doing so yoga creates real and lasting change in the lives of its many practitioners. The physical postures produce the added side effects of cleansing the body, ridding practitioners of unwanted fat and healing of older injuries.

 

The benefits of yoga may be grouped into four categories: physical, emotional, mental and intellectual benefits

  • The physical benefits consist of making the body free of disease, making it light and strong so that it can be a suitable vehicle on the path to freedom. Through yoga the body is made to absorb and retain prana, which extends the life span.
  • The emotional benefits consist briefly in being able to not be a slave to one's emotions. Emotions can, at times, be the cause of much suffering. These emotions may become unbearable by identifying with them and often may cause negative results if we follow their urge. It's important to know the difference between emotions and feelings. A feeling is an authentic sensation arising in the present moment such as love. An emotion is a reliving of a previously imprinted condition. For example because we have been hurt in the past we are acting in the present moment not out of love but out of jealousy or fear. Whenever we are emoting, we are in the past; whenever we are feeling, we are in the present. Yoga makes you feel more intensely because it removes layers of old conditioning.
  • Mind is an application, which projects past onto the future. As long as one is in the sway of the mind, one is, according to yoga, a living corpse. … Recognizing oneself as the immortal, infinite consciousness is to be alive for the first time.
  • Everything that grows and evolves is, according to yoga, made up of the various combinations of the three elementary particles (guna) of nature (prakrti), which we may call mass (tamas), energy (rajas) and information/intelligence (sattva). It is only the intellect, which has been made sattvic through the practice of higher yoga, visualization, meditation and samadhi that is capable of seeing the world as it really is (prajna).