Ashtanga yoga actually means “eight limbed yoga” as per the Patanjali of the Yoga Sutras. As per Patanjali, the way of internal distillation for edifying the universal self includes the eight spiritual practices, which are as follows:
· Yama (moral codes).
· Asana (posture).
· Niyama (study & self-purification).
· Pratyahara (sense control).
· Pranayama (breath control).
· Dhayana (mediation).
· Dharana (concentration).
· Samadhi (absorption into Universal).
The first four limbs of Ashtanga yoga are considered as an external practice of cleansing and it is correctable. However the next four limbs are the internal cleansing practice that cannot be corrected.
The main purpose of yoga is to control your mind. It becomes difficult to practice the sub-limbs or limbs of yoga when the body have weaker sense organs. Hence a person can start with daily yoga poses to make the body healthy and strong. Once the body sense organ becomes stronger you can easily control your mind. With control mind, the initial two limbs of ashtanga yoga become easy to practice.
For a proper practice of Ashtanga yoga one need to integrate the use of movement system and breathing. That means one breath for each movement. For example, there is nine poses in Surya Namaskar. First vinyasa include inhaling with moving your arms up toward your head, in the second pose one need to exhale while bending and placing hand near to the feet and followed in the same way.
The main aim of vinyasa is internal cleansing. Coordinating movement and breathing in the poses heats blood, thinning and cleaning for better circulation. As better blood circulation reduces toxin, relieves joint pain and reduces the effect of diseases on the internal body organs. Also due to the vinyasa, sweat comes out from the body that helps your body to become much lighter, healthier and stronger than before.
Tristhana is a combination of three actions such as breathing, posture and looking place, which very important in yoga practice and helps in purification of nervous system, body and mind. Practice of asana for longer period with correct tristhana and vinyasa provides steadiness of body, clarity of mind and purification of our nervous system that you can start with pranayama. It acts as a foundation for the internal cleansing procedure of Ashtanga yoga.
The next four limbs of Ashtanga yoga helps in getting better mind control. When the mind control of an individual become stronger after internal purification the six poisons like anger, delusion, greed, sloth, envy, and desire will start disappearing automatically that makes a surrounding around our spiritual heart. Hence, a correct and diligent exercise of Ashtanga yoga will help you to achieve a stronger and healthier body and soul.