Yoga is a peaceful practice that can act as a centering spiritual exercise, but did you know that there are multiple types?  Ashtanga Yoga is a unique form which practices smooth, flowing poses that should definitely be experienced during anyone’s lifetime.

“Consciousness, serenity, presence, and peace in the moment, and that yoga body are yours for the taking – all you have to do is go.”

If you don’t practice yoga you should know this. But, if you do practice yoga, you probably already know this. There is a type of yoga suited for every person, of every personality type. The calmness of mind, serenity, and the “yoga body” are not the sole domain of the naturally even-keeled.

Take me for example. I am a classic Type A personality, with a day job to match. Because of this, I like tradition, organization, and sequence. I always work toward “perfection” in myself and others. The concept of slowing down is difficult for me to grasp. In my world, there is always the next thing to accomplish. With these personality traits, there is a yoga for me! Ashtanga Yoga is my perfect match. In fact, it is one of my two favorite types of yoga to practice (the other being Iyengar Yoga).

Warrior pose

what is ashtanga yoga? Ashtanga is a series of poses that you perform in a particular sequence. You coordinate the postes with the inhalation and exhalation of the breath, done at a very vigorous pace. Usually, it takes one and one-half hours to complete a class or series, with about seventy-five poses per series. As a person becomes more adept at a series, they can move on to the next. Ashtanga Yoga has six series in all, although I’ve found myself working on the primary series – the first one, for the better half of five years.

Ashtanga yoga has everything I need and like. It’s steeped in tradition. And, it’s one of the purest forms of Yoga practiced. Its origins are from Mysore, India. It’s very linear. I know what to expect each class and what I’m working toward…that “perfect” pose.

The pace is vigorous enough to hold my attention. Yet, the series is never easy enough to allow my mind to contemplate all the things I need to get done after class. Somehow, Ashtanga keeps me instilled in the moment; the ultimate goal of yoga. This, in turn, allows me to carry the importance of the present moment. Whether I take it with me outside or in the Yoga studio matters now. Because I am happy creating the conscious, peaceful, powerful life I so crave and get to have.

If I could give you one piece of advice (okay two), it would be this:

1. Try many different types of yoga, whether your new to the idea or you’ve been practicing but your heart is just not singing during class. One will call to you personally if you experiment.

2. Practice the type of yoga that draws you in, for whatever reason.

Consciousness, serenity, presence, and peace in the moment and that yoga body are yours for the taking – all you have to do is go.

Do you practice Ashtanga Yoga or any other form? Share your experiences and how it has helped you in the discussion below!