ashtanga vinyasa Yoga, usually referred to simply as ashtanga Yoga, is a style of Yoga codified and which is often promoted as a modern-day form of classical indian Yoga. students are encouraged to practice six days a week, preferably in the morning, and to take rest on saturdays as well as the days of the full and new moon. 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.
to perform asana correctly in ashtanga Yoga, one must incorporate the use of vinyasa and tristhana. vinyasa means breathing and movement system. for each movement, there is one breath. for example, in surya namskar there are nine vinyasas. the first vinyasa is inhaling while raising your arms over your head, and putting your hands together; the second is exhaling while bending forward, placing your hands next to your feet, etc. in this way all asanas are assigned a certain number of vinyasas
the purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. synchronizing breathing and movement in the asanas heats the blood, cleaning and thinning it so that it may circulate more freely. improved blood circulation relieves joint pain and removes toxins and disease from the internal organs. the sweat generated from the heat of vinyasa then carries the impurities out of the body. through the use of vinyasa, the body becomes healthy, light and strong.
in ashtanga Yoga, asana is grouped into six series. the primary series detoxifies and aligns the body. the intermediate series purifies the nervous system by opening and clearing the energy channels. the advanced series a, b, c, and d integrate the strength and grace of the practice, requiring higher levels of flexibility and humility. each level is to be fully developed before proceeding to the next, and the sequential order of asanas is to be meticulously followed. each posture is a preparation for the next, developing the strength and balance required to move further" (pace). without an earnest effort and reverence towards the practice of yama and niyama, however, the practice of asana is of little benefit. therefore one must practice every day to master the asanas.