What Is Ashtanga Yoga

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Ashtanga Yoga (sometimes alternatively spelled "Astanga" Yoga) is a precise and systematic approach to yoga that emphasizes physical strength and endurance in executing a flowing series of prescribed yoga postures. Various bodily locks and seals are applied in conjunction with a special kind of yogic breathing and gazing with the eyes in a prescribed way at certain fixed points of vision. The combined effect of all these practices results in the generation of heat and energy in a uniquely invigorating and flowing approach to yoga. Ashtanga literally means "eight limbs" in Sanskrit. This style of yoga is named for the eight-limbed path of yoga outlined by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras (see page 35). Because this style of yoga is characterized by an especially vigorous approach to practicing the asanas of yoga, it is sometimes popularly referred to as "Power Yoga."

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