Ashtanga yoga is considered the modern form of classical yoga which was developed and popularized by K Pattabhi Jois during the latter half of the previous century. Ashtanga means eight limbs of yoga, of which postures or asanas are just one. The eightfold path towards self-realization through internal purification consist of the following Yoga practice:
- Yama (moral codes)
- Niyama (study and purification of the self)
- Asana (physical postures)
- Pranayama (breath control)
- Pratyahara (control of senses)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Samadhi (absorption into the universal)
It is necessary to practice asanas to improve the body tone and health after which Yama and niyama can be achieved. Asanas are performed with synchronized breathing techniques called Vinyasa. It is believed that synchronizing breathing with the postures heats up the blood and thins it, thereby allowing it to circulate more freely, to remove toxins from the various organs more effectively.
Thus, Ashtanga yoga involves the practice of many years, with correct Vinyasa, posture and focus of sight place. This third facet also contributes to the stable function of the mind during yoga practice. It paves the way for pranayama or breathing exercises and later to the last four facets of Ashtanga Yoga.
As one can gather Ashtanga Yoga is a pretty rigorous regimen and a lot of work must be done in attaining balance during postures, especially because they are accompanied by synchronized breathing as well. It is easy to lose balance even otherwise, so a yoga mat to provide traction is recommended.
What factors influence your purchase of a yoga mat:
- Whether you would be practicing yoga every day — then it makes sense to carry your yoga mat to your Ashtanga yoga studio every day.
- One that sticks to the floor is the one that is popular among the practitioners of ashtanga yoga bruxelles and elsewhere. It shouldn’t be too light either. Since these mats called ashtanga yoga mats are made of synthetic material, it is recommended to throw a rug over it while doing yoga, or it can get very hot.
- Do not buy very cheap ones. Invest in a good quality one, plus a rug to throw on it, should the weather become muggy.
- Durability is important
Benefits of a yoga mat:
- In asanas that tend to be rough on the knees, they provide support and cushion.
- Provides stability for balancing asanas — like the tree pose.
- Gliding transitions in Ashtanga yoga accompanied by vinyasas are easier when on a mat since they provide traction.
- These easy to clean yoga mats are a necessary accompaniment and your bit of space in an Ashtanga yoga studio.