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Published On: Fri, Aug 17th, 2018

The Difference between Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga

The main types of Yoga are Vinyasa and Ashtanga. Both styles of Yoga are breath-centred movement and the lineage goes back to Krishnamacharya Yoga. Vinyasa Yoga is Power Yoga and the difference in the sequencing of the postures makes Vinyasa Yoga demanding. It is easy for the students to learn Ashtanga Yoga because the method of doing is strict and unchanging, and so they can repeat the poses with ease.

photo Dean Moriarty via pixabay

Comparison of Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga

The series of asanas begin with the primary ones in Ashtanga Yoga. It is important to do one specific posture before the person can move to the next which is the secondary posture. He must do the pose, in the same way, each time, and master it. After this, he moves to the third series. The third series of postures is the advanced series.

Vinyasa Yoga is not so rigid and the person doing the asana will do it in a different way each time. The sequence changes day to day so the experience is new each time. Almost always, you will have a teacher in Vinyasa yoga teacher training India to lead the classes. The teacher will coax the movement of the posture for the whole class together. Then, he or she will make adjustments for individual students as needed. In the Ashtanga class, there may be a teacher or it may occur as a self-lead class.

Poses Included in Ashtanga Yoga

In the Ashtanga series, the primary set of poses includes forward bends. In the second set of poses, you have arm-balancing asanas and backbends. The toughness of the postures increases as one progress in the class. By contrast, the Vinyasa class will have a peak pose. The teacher will ask you to practice this and help the students through with a series of developing poses.

The similarity between the two is that you have a three-pose transition in both. This involves Chaturanga, Upward Facing Dog, and Downward Facing Dog. Vinyasa is a variation of Suryanamaskara. Making the salutation to the sun involves the samastithi or equal balance. During the Vinyasa practice, you use the equilibrium posture as the base pose. After you perform the asana, you come back to the Samastithi.

Vinyasa Breathing and Flow

The class of Vinyasa yoga teacher training in Rishikesh will have the teacher encourage the students to use background music, props to help with the poses. They do not encourage any of these things in Ashtanga Yoga practice. In the basic form, Vinyasa defines the alignment between the breath pattern and movement. We call this breathing Ujjayi Breathing. Through this, you can determine for how long we hold the breath to go through the asana.

When we do Vinyasa Yoga, much heat gets generated within the body. This makes the person sweat and through this, he or she gets purified. The Vinyasa flow style helps improve flexibility and strength without causing any strain or pain in the body.

Author: Ashish Rawat

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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