Jois Ashtanga Yoga

I have a question about the Pattabhi Jois style of ashtanga yoga. I have studied yoga for a while, but not the dynamic vinyasa of Jois ashtanga yoga. Maybe some experienced practitioners can help explain.

  1. All Jois ashtanga yoga is very dynamic, vinyasa based. Now everything I have learned about asanas quotes Patanjali “steady comfortable posture.” Where I was taught and the books i use for reference emphasize holding the final position of the posture as the most important. Maybe Jois ashtanga classes do hold postures for longer and I just never see it in videos and whatnot.

  2. If you can make it to the 3rd,4th,5th,6th series, aren’t you loose enough that you can start meditating more? moving from asana to pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, etc…and i’m not saying these people don’t, it just seems like they emphasize the physical a bit too much.

I enjoy a classic surya namaskar to warm me up for the rest of my practice, but i’ve never been into the vinyasa flow craze. I was recently in San Francisco and the overwhelming majority of yoga classes are all about vinyasa flow. As yoga/asanas become more and more popular, and people gravitate towards vinyasa flow, I just feel something is missing. I’m really trying not to judge or be negative, i’m happy yoga is growing, and i know people will find the right practice for them at that time. I guess I just don’t understand why vinyasa has blown up, and no one seems to talk about holding poses anymore.

a quote from Swami Satyananda’s book Yoga and Kriya. “The final position is the most important part of the asana practice.”

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Patanjali’s “steady comfortable posture” line, as per the sutra, has little to do (if anything) with the steadiness or dynamism of the contemporary practice, and the posture series that are presently taught in “yoga studios”, or “yoga classes”, in my view.

On a related note, I have reasons to believe that the “spontaneous pranayama, asanas, mudras and bandhas”, that manifest as “physical effects that are believed by some to be a sign of kundalini awakening” (sorry for the Wikipedia wording) are in reality the “natural” way of how various “true” asana series originate. Having observed that, one has to decide for themselves regarding the “static” or “dynamic” nature of yogic posture series, as they organically manifest. If this is not so, however, I’ happily stay corrected.

Hands palms together,

el gatito

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