Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is an aerobic style of hatha yoga. It is not recommended for beginners – even for those who are already in shape through other athletic forms of movement. A beginner’s class will help to familiarize yourself with the movements required, the pace of action, and the unique areas of stress upon the body – such as knees or with control of the breath.

Because of the intense aerobic workout, special attention should be given to an initial period of warm up. Every area of the body is to be thoughtfully addressed, with a mind towards slowly building the heart rate for the intense period ahead.

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga emphasizes an aerobic workout that produces a good sweat, tones and strengthens the body, increases flexibility, clears the mind, boosts energy and helps lean the body – whatever body type you have.

This form of yoga emphasizes flow of movement and of breath. Shortly after entering one pose – held typically for about five breaths – the next pose is taken, and so on. Advanced techniques can be learned to enhance your practice, such as energy locks (bandhas) and movements (drishti). These techniques will help your “workout” become a “work in” – bringing a meditative quality to this intense form of yoga.

As always, your workout should include a thoughtful cool down and meditative relaxation.

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