An introduction to Ashtanga Yoga - adding poses, stamina and flexibilty every week and building towards a full practice of the first series in small manageable stages. Ashtanga Yoga is is a structured vinyasa-style class. There are five Ashtanga asana series and traditionally each student must master every pose of the first series before moving onto the second series and so on. Ashtanga Yoga came to the west through students of the late Sri Pattabi Jois, who was based in Mysore, The first series begins with ten sun salutations (five A and five B), continues with a series of standing poses, then seated poses and finishes with a set of inversions, which are linked by a vinyasa sequence. Purpose Of Ashtanga Yoga. The ultimate purpose of the Ashtanga practice is purification of the body and mind. By moving so quickly and powerfully, you will get a lot of tapas and everything extra, physical and mental, will have to get out the way. This practice has a strong sense of purpose and you are forced to focus and grow. Ashtanga comes with all the benefits of a regular yoga practice–strength, flexibility, stress management, and inner peace. Because the series is so demanding (and in traditional practice you’re expected to practice 6 days a week) you will get really strong really fast. There is no part of the body that doesn’t work hard in this practice. Ashtanga yoga is for you if you want a challenge and you love structure. The practice is identical from day to day, and it takes most people years to move up a level. If you have sensitive muscles or joints, this may not be the practice for you. This is quite a tough class. If you are not fit or are new to yoga you may want to try a few of the beginners introduction classes in order to learn the basic poses, sun salutations and vinyasas before starting a full Ashtanga practice.