10 Incredible benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga yoga is a magical treat for the soul. It really is, forget how cliché that may sound just for a moment. Instead, open your mind to the infinite possibility that something crafted and created around 5000 years ago, is entirely relevant today.
Not only is it relevant, but it may in fact have a sacred power, that our modern-day minds can’t entirely fathom.
Science would of course disagree with many of the spiritual teachings of ashtanga yoga and indeed vinyasa and many other practices.
Anything that has not been proven by science is often disregarded.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a whole heap of things we did 5000 years ago that are not really a particularly good idea today. Science has helped us come an awfully long way.
Ashtanga is ‘trendy’
However, isn’t it pretty incredible that Ashtanga yoga was created and developed, without all of that education and technology? The practice of Ashtanga yoga have remained utilized today, and indeed have now become ‘trendy’ once again, all this time later?
I know, I know, we’ve evolved, we know so much more now! We have science! New training, new regimes like ‘HIIT’! Which is cool, it’s great in fact, we are diversifying.
But perhaps yoga was created with something more advanced that science.
I’m not going to go in to ‘higher consciousness’ and all that jazz today, because you don’t need to be a particularly spiritual person to appreciate this practice. But, undeniably, the benefits can be felt, beyond the physical body.
Yoga for wellness
Ashtanga yoga and the regular practice of it really can improve your overall Wellness.
What happens when you practice regularly?
As you enter in to a regular and routine practice, you start to notice the subtle changes in how you show up to your mat. The energy that you bring to your practice differs for practice to practice and your body responds differently to movements.
Some days you feel strong.
You fire through your chaturanga’s and feel like you can push yourself long beyond the allocated practice time. You feel powerful and focused; Your breath is steady and you feel notably grounded.Mindfulness at its best.
The down days
There are other days, sometimes immediately after your great practice, that you find yourself getting agitated. You may even start to feel cranky at the instructor for the time taken between ques.
You cannot seem to find your breathing rhythm and you can’t stand on one leg and find your balance for love nor money! Ashtanga has this incredible way of bringing your feelings to the surface. Somehow, and some way, you start to realise it’s all connected.
Ashtanga yoga as a teacher
The thing is, Ashtanga Yoga doesn’t change you. Not really. Ashtanga yoga is more of a mentor. It helps you learn about yourself and find some space between the internal chatter and your thoughts. One incredible revelation you may encounter, is the synergy between learning things about yourself, and advancing in your practice.
Advancing in your practice
It’s always when you think you have it all figured out, that your practice grinds to a halt! You think you’re about to nail a back bend or maintain a handstand or whatever it may be. But then, another lesson comes along. Only when you surrender, does the advancement and growth appear to happen for you.
So let’s take a look at the 10 incredible benefits of Ashtanga yoga:
You get a real sweat on and burn calories
Yes, you will sweat. You essentially end up doing what feels like a million push ups throughout the practice. It’s not a cruisy class. You will burn calories and a you will push yourself.
You become more balanced
Your balance will improve physically. With dedication and practice your balance both on and off the mat will advance. You will notice the improvements as you keep showing up to your mat and performing the regimented movements. Balance is practiced every time.
You will learn a lot about yourself
The more you practice Ashtanga yoga, the more you begin to take the mask off and look at what’s really going on beneath the surface. As you tire yourself out from the physical work, you begin to calm the mind and bring awareness to the thoughts that arise.
You’ll learn to meditate
Through the regular practice of Ashtanga, the consistent shavasana and breath work, you’ll be armed with the tools you need to practice meditation at home, where you can really start to enjoy and feel the benefits both physically and mentally.
You’ll start to find more ‘calm’ within you when you leave the yoga room
As you progress with Ashtanga yoga, you will start to notice your ability to retain some of the calmness found through the practice, carried around with you in your day-to-day.
Your flexibility will improve
Yoga is amazing for flexibility! By warming up the body and practicing Ashtanga you will start to see your flexibility improve with time and dedication. All areas of the body are worked in this practice and the benefits start to show fairly quickly.
You can reduce tension within the body
When we are busy working hard and putting in those extra hours, stress and tension can build up within the physical body and before you know it, you can literally feel the weight of the world carried within your shoulders.
Ashtanga can help build strength and flexibility but also teach you to let go of the tension being held within you.
Learn the art of Self-Discipline
Ashtanga is a regimented practice so you need to discipline yourself to practice regularly and eventually daily. There are a million reasons why you ‘can’t but this practice helps you become acutely aware your yourself.
Your decisions to practice or not to practice.
As you become more disciplined with your Ashtanga yoga, you will become more disciplined with other areas of your life.
You will learn to forgive yourself
Yoga has a magical way of helping you dig up some of that old stuff, old emotion that you may be hanging on to. Thigs like guilt or fear can be brought to the surface, perhaps not from something recent.
You learn to let this stuff go.
Eventually, you may begin to physical feel these things leave your physical body and may even feel lighter.
You will feel more grateful for what you have
Yoga teaches gratitude. It’s a practice of the physical body but also of understanding. Not only yourself but others as well. You will begin to say ‘namaste’ and that translates to ‘I bow to the divine in you’.
Try an Ashtanga class and get yourself of the self discovery and development train!
I think you’ll enjoy it, just remember it’s a strong class so it’s to a relaxation class, this is for sweating and growth! For the the best thing about yoga and especially strong yoga classes are the combined physical and mental benefits. I was lucky enough to have an amazing teacher who ignited my love for the practice of both Ashtanga and Vinyassa. Her name is Darci, and it’s only through distance that I no longer practice with her. However, shoud your path be in Northern NSW, you need to visit any class of hers that you can! D’Yoga
Try out my Wellness Challenge here if you’ll like to enjoy some guided daily habits to help with health and vitality.