Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga: awakening the fire within
Ashtanga yoga wakes up the internal fire. It ignited the dormant flame of vital life energy within all of us. The vinyasa system works with the synchronization of deep, rhythmic breathing and movement. By linking the postures it creates a continuous flow of energy that heats up the body, bringing oxygen to the blood, nourishing the glands and internal organs, cleansing and purifying the nervous system, releasing unwanted toxins through perspiration. As the heat goes up toxins are burned up and out of the system, creating a lighter and stronger body, and a clear mind. Heat is not only a physical experience, it is an internal spiritual fire that burns through the fog of illusion and ignorance.
As the internal heat goes up, not only do the toxins begin to exit the system, but another amazing thing happens, the body begins to bend and move. As Patthabi Jois says "even iron will bend with heat". With this freedom of movement we are able to open up areas of the body that had been previously restricted or blocked. There is a release, a feeling of lightness. It is in these places that we can discover what yoga truly is. Yoga is not just a physical exercise or some new way to pass the time or fill the emptiness, but a method of bringing life and vitality back into those areas, awareness of the deeper, inner parts of ourselves. It is a reunion with that innate wisdom that we all posses, but seem to have lost touch with. Yoga was developed as a means of acknowledging or returning to the source of life.
As concentration increases, the breath, mind body, and soul come into union, to entrainment. Ashtanga yoga is a focusing technique that joins the main life forces, beating in unison to an internal rhythm, your internal rhythm. With control of the breath, the mind becomes calm, allowing one to tap into a flow state where there is no sense of time, where externally imposed barriers dissolve and there is a sense of oneness with the universe. As focus increases, there is an effortlessness, a lightness in the harmony of movement and breathing.