Ashtanga yoga: What is ashtanga yoga? the basic poses of this type

By: Stephanie Hoffnung

Yoga is a great sport; it is different from all other disciplines by the unique variety and effectiveness it brings to the practitioner.

In Yoga, there are many different schools of practice. One of the classical, oldest and most famous schools is “ashtanga yoga“.

Ashtanga yoga: What is ashtanga yoga? the basic poses of this type
Ashtanga yoga: What is ashtanga yoga? the basic poses of this type

So what is Ashtanga Yoga? Are the benefits that this form of exercise brings to our body effectively?

In this article, we invite you to join Bellyfatzone to learn about this type of Yoga practice to see who they belong to and what effects they can bring to you.


What is Ashtanga yoga?

What is Ashtanga yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga is one of the eight schools of yoga practice in general. In addition to Ashtanga Yoga, there are Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Bikram yoga, Iyengar yoga, Yin yoga, Gentle yoga and Kundalini yoga. But, practitioners choose Ashtanga Yoga most because of its characteristics and benefits that are beyond expectations.

Ashtanga Yoga in Sanskrit means eight branches of Yoga (Asht is 8, and anga is a human body part). If Hatha Yoga is a type of Yoga with gentle movements, Ashtanga Yoga follows a strong school, unifying the breath with fast movements, helping to increase blood circulation and relieve stress effectively.

Ashtanga Yoga is also known as Patanjali Yoga or Raja Yoga. Anga means human parts (or human body).

Thus, Ashtanga Yoga means eight branches of Yoga that affect the human body by combining breath holding and fast, powerful movements. You already understand what Ashtanga yoga is and why it is the most chosen among the yoga schools.

What are the benefits of Ashtanga yoga?

The exercises of Ashtanga Yoga all focus on stabilizing the spine, detoxifying the body, and enhancing health, muscle flexibility and endurance. Following Ashtanga Yoga properly and regularly will help you achieve more benefits for the body, such as:

  • Exercising all muscle groups in the body helps blood flow to the organs better. As a result, your skin will become more rosy and smooth.
  • Yoga movements help the body become more flexible and supple. Increase the strength and endurance of the body.
  • Eliminate toxins from the body. Relieve stress and stress effectively
  • Practicing stretching, twisting and squeezing movements in this type of exercise looks quite simple and gentle but actually has a very good effect on muscle groups. Regular exercise helps to tone and increase muscle mass in the body.
  • Burn body fat. As a result, you will lose weight effectively without exercising as intensely as many other subjects.
  • Ashtanga yoga also helps you prevent aging and stay young longer.
  • Practicing ashtanga yoga practice perseverance, patience, and mental training; it helps you stay calmer and makes it easier to face the troubles of daily life.
See also  Breathing in yoga: Important things to note to be effective

View more: How Many Times Should I Practice Yoga a Week?

The step-by-step sequence in the exercises of ashtanga yoga.

The step-by-step sequence in the exercises of ashtanga yoga.

What is Ashtanga yoga? To be able to practice the exercises of ashtanga yoga, what steps must the practitioner go through? The information below will be the best answer for you.

  • Precepts (Yama):

What is the precept (Yama)- ashtanga yoga? If you have ever learned about this school of yoga, “gender”, according to ashtanga yoga, is considered the most crucial element of yoga.

They include the ethical principles of yoga practitioners with the outside world, such as: not being greedy for material things, not coveting what doesn't belong to you, being sincere, not using violence, etc, basic qualities required of a yoga practitioner.

  • Law (Niiyama):

These are also qualities of morality but are different from gender. At this practice step, the yoga practitioner will practice how to turn inwards of himself to build a completely pure person.

This purity is the purity of mind and body; the mind is clear and completely purified. Have you understood what is the Law (Niiyama) in ashtanga yoga?

  • Posture (asana):

This is one of the steps experienced by yoga practitioners in all schools as much as possible. By performing the postures in yoga, we have achieved health and mental comfort as much as possible.

  • Pranayama :

This is also known as the controlled step in breathing because it is a form where we focus solely on controlling our breathing. It consists of gas sources inside and outside of the body. This can be considered the source of human gas for the universe.

  • Absorption (Pratyahara):

Controlling most of our senses so that we can focus entirely on the inside, thereby avoiding distractions and distractions from the outside.

  • Concentration (Dharana):

The focus step of ashtanga yoga combines the qi step and posture. This step aims to help your body be healthy by circulating blood and, focusing on reality, avoiding distractions.

  • Meditation (Dhyana):

The practitioner must perform the exercise at the highest concentration level in this step. Your mind is now completely quiet and free of any thoughts.

  • Samadhi:

This is the last step in the exercises of ashtanga yoga and is also the highest peak that yoga practitioners want to achieve. All the senses are asleep, but the mind is awake again; this can be called the ecstatic state.

View more: How Long is Yoga Effective for Weight Loss and Endurance?

See also  Yoga for knee pain: Exercises to practice and avoid

Five popular ashtanga yoga exercises for newbies

Ashtanga yoga warrior pose I

YouTube video

This ashtanga yoga exercise strengthens the legs, expands the hips and chest, and stretches the body muscles. Warrior I Pose develops concentration and balance and strengthens the body's foundation. It also helps to improve circulation and respiration while providing energy for the entire body.

Instructions on how to do it

Step 1: Start in mountain pose with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your sides. Focus and take deep, even breaths.

Step 2: Exhale and step your feet 120-150cm apart

Step 3: Turn your right foot out 90°, so that your toes point up to the top of the mat. Rotate left foot inward at 45° . angle

Step 4: Keep your pelvis forward. Exhale and bend your right knee perpendicular to the floor. Raise your hands above your head simultaneously, facing each other or parallel. Eyes follow hands.
Step 4: Press down on your pelvis and hips and tilt your torso to bend your back slightly. Hold the pose for as long as possible and breathe evenly and rhythmically. Inhale and then exhale slowly to return to the starting position. Do the same with the other leg.

View more: Yoga Poses For The Heart – You Should Practice Every Day To Be Most Effective

Wide leg bend exercise

YouTube video

The best ashtanga yoga exercises worth trying are the wide-legged bends. This pose helps you lengthen your spine and stretch the back of your legs and back muscles.

How to do the exercise:

Step 1: Start with mountain pose, feet 90-120cm apart, hands placed horizontally to form a 5-pointed star. With your back straight, exhale, stretch forward, and bring your palms to the ground.

Step 2: Bend your elbows, using your arms to pull your forehead to the floor. Press your feet into the floor, stretching your legs to bring your hips up toward the ceiling. Feel your spine pull in the opposite direction as you press your head down and lift your hips.

Step 3: Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths. To end the pose and relax, stretch your arms to the sides and return to the five-pointed star pose.

View more: Yoga Poses For The Heart – You Should Practice Every Day To Be Most Effective

Chair pose exercise

YouTube video

This ashtanga yoga exercise strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves and spine. In addition, the chair pose stretches the shoulders and chest; stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart.

Proceed as follows:

Step 1: Start in mountain pose. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. Or keep arms parallel, palms facing in.

Step 2: Exhale and bend your knees, trying to get your thighs almost parallel to the floor. Your
knees stick out over your feet and your torso leans forward at right angles to your thighs.

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Step 3: Hold the pose for 30 seconds. To come out of the pose, inhale and straighten your knees, lifting your arms sharply. Exhale and release your arms to the sides into a mountain pose.

View more: Yoga warm ups: Smooth start and high efficiency

Big Toe Pose Exercise

YouTube video

This is one of the most difficult ashtanga yoga balance exercises. You need to have great concentration and balance to hold this pose for the required amount of time. This move helps to stretch your hip and thigh muscles.

Proceed as follows:

Step 1: Stand on your left leg, with your left hand at your side, for support. Grasp the right big toe with the right middle and index fingers.

Step 2: Inhale and stretch your right leg forward as far as possible. Pull your arms and legs, so you feel more balanced and stable. If possible, straighten and rotate the raised leg to the right side.

Step 3: Look over your left shoulder neck and try to keep the pose by focusing. After a few breaths, return to the center, lean forward to breathe, and then stand up straight. Do the same with the other side.

View more: Yoga exercises for belly fat: These 20+ exercises can help – try them now

Ashtanga yoga butterfly pose

YouTube video

This ashtanga yoga exercise stimulates the abdominal organs, ovaries, prostate, bladder, and kidneys. In addition, it also stimulates the heart and improves blood circulation in the body very well. It will help you reduce anxiety and stress very effectively.

Instructions on how to:

Step 1: Sit and put your legs straight in front of you. Exhale, bend your knees, and pull your heels toward your pelvis while pressing the soles of your feet together

Step 2: Place your heels as close to your pelvis as possible. 2 Grasp the big toe of each foot.

Step 3: Keep the sides of your feet perpendicular to the floor. If you can't grasp your toes, hold your hands around your ankles or shins.

Step 4: Never force your knees down. Instead, drop the femoral head toward the floor.

Step 5: Hold the pose for 1 to 5 minutes. Then inhale, lift your knees off the floor and extend your legs back to the starting position.


The detailed article of Bellyfatzone above has helped readers understand what Ashtanga Yoga is. Benefits and steps to progress the exercises of this yoga school. I wish you have moments of effective practice with ashtanga yoga exercises.

Stephanie Hoffnung
Stephanie Hoffnung is a talented writer with a deep passion for anatomy and scientific literature. She has dedicated her career to the study of the human body and the ways in which it can be rejuvenated and revitalized. Stephanie's passion for anatomy and scientific literature is evident in her writing. She is meticulous in her research and is committed to providing her readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Her attention to detail and thorough understanding of anatomy make her a valuable resource for those looking to improve their health and fitness. Aside from her scientific pursuits, Stephanie is also deeply interested in rejuvenation. She believes that the body has a remarkable ability to heal and regenerate itself, and is dedicated to exploring the many ways in which this can be achieved. Stephanie is a valued member of the team at, where she shares her expertise on anatomy and rejuvenation. Her articles are informative, engaging, and accessible, making them a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their health and fitness.
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