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Welcome to our Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga - Dublin – Eight Limbs On this page we will try to give you a comprehensive introduction to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, what it is and how it works. Whether you are completely new to Yoga, or just new to Ashtanga Yoga, you should find the answers here to any questions you might have about Ashtanga and hopefully be encouraged to join us for our next Beginners Course.

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Yoga originated in ancient India several thousand years ago, as a system of practices designed to maximise the health and well-being of the individual both physically and mentally. The aim of Yoga was to provide the tools that would enable everyone to live a happy life. Practices were developed that worked on all of the levels of ones make-up, moving progressively inwards from the muscles and organs of the physical body, through the nervous system and the senses, to the mind itself. This comprehensive approach to health and happiness was called the Eight Limbed Path of Yoga, or Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga in Practice

The most fundamental aspect of Ashtanga Yoga is the physical practice of Yoga Postures. This is the third of Ashtanga’s eight branches/limbs and is called Asana Practice. In Ashtanga we learn a set sequence of Yoga Postures that help us to progressively develop (or recover) strength, flexibility and balance. This improves our respiration, circulation and digestion, helping us to remove toxins from our systems, alleviating many of the stresses and health issues that our modern lifestyle makes us prone to.

What makes Ashtanga different to other styles of Yoga is the particular way in which we practice the postures. In Ashtanga Yoga, every movement is coordinated with the breath, and there are a prescribed number of movements and breaths for every posture. In addition, the way we breathe is a specific Yoga practice in itself, called a Pranayama, which is the fourth branch of Ashtanga. This breathing acts directly to calm the nervous system.

Another key element is that while performing the sequence of postures, we focus our attention on particular gazing points, or Drishti. This is a way of concentrating the mind and keeping the attention focused inwards, and is a practice of the fifth and sixth branches of Ashtanga Yoga.

The great benefit of this system is the coordinated effect on our body, nervous system and mind is all achieved in one simple practice. The only requirement is the commitment to do it!

Is Ashtanga Yoga suitable for me?

Ashtanga Yoga can be tailored to meet everyone’s needs. It is not necessary to be super flexible or fit to start out with. A reasonable level of general health is ideal if you want to learn the traditional sequence of postures, but as we will teach the practice to each student at the level suited to them, there are no limitations in terms of age, fitness or experience. What is needed is a little determination and patience and a willingness to take the time to learn what can be a life changing practice. For more information on the specifics of our Beginner’s Courses, or to book your course, please go to our page Beginners Ashtanga Yoga Courses.

“I have practised Yoga before but not Ashtanga”

If you have practised Yoga before but are new to Ashtanga, then you have two options. You can take the Beginners Introductory Course and avail of our great rate for four weeks unlimited classes (recommended), or you can come to any Mysore style class in the schedule and start to learn the practice in the traditional way. In effect you will learn in the same way as on the Beginners Weekend, but depending on your experience, moving at the pace appropriate to you.

“I have practised Ashtanga Yoga for many years but not at your Shala – how do I start?”

Just come along to any class in the schedule and sign up – you can also avail of the introductory 4 weeks of unlimited classes for €100

“I currently have an illness – are your classes suitable for me?”

If your doctor has given you the go ahead to practice yoga, our classes are ideal as we will tailor a practice for you which will aid your recovery. Mysore style classes are prefect for this, as we can then work with you individually in the group class, to ensure that you get the maximum attention.

“I have never practised yoga and I am very stiff, would your classes be too much for me?”

Absolutely not – please come along. We recommend you come in to any Mysore class in the schedule or do the Beginners workshop as then we can assess your needs and put together a suitable programme for you specifically.