Ashtanga Yoga: A Moving Meditation
by: Jessica Lynne Trese
Rolling out your yoga mat is not always easy. Life is filled with thousands of distractions and responsibilities. As if that wasn’t enough, the mind has this amazing ability to create even more ridiculous distractions on top of all the real world worries of life. Given this, the idea of ‘quieting the mind’ can sometimes seem impossible! Despite all the distractions that manifest in life, the Asthanga Yoga method provides an opportunity for practitioners to practice releasing these distractions and focusing the mind on one single point. Thus, leading students on a path of Self-discovery.
The practice of Ashtanga Yoga combines three elements; three focal points known as the Tristhana Method. This three-pronged method allows the mind to be focused in the present moment and creates internal space for the body to be grounded. In the Ashtanga Yoga Method, the breath, the gaze and the postures are intricately woven together throughout the entire practice, leading students on this path of self-discovery by turning the senses inward.
Ujjayi Pranayama (breath), Asanas (postures and bandhas) and Dristi (gazing point) actively draw the senses inward allowing practitioners to move through the Asthanga series with complete awareness and presence, transforming the physical asana practice into a moving meditation.
The Tristhana method sets Asthanga Yoga apart from other systems of yoga. This focused energy is the gateway to the spiritual side of yoga. It is the doorway to Self-discovery!! By calming the mind through the Tristhana method, we are able to truly explore the layers of the Self without the delusions and distractions of the mind.
When you roll your mat out today, release your self-expectations, release you self-judgements. Dive in to the essence of the Tristhana method; continually drawing your mind and your senses back to the breath, the gaze and the postures. Continually drawing your mind back to the Tristhana method and the present moment. Continually reconnecting to your Self.
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