“Take the time to make your soul happy. Be yoga ready!” Let’s delve into the benefits of Ashtanga yoga poses.

A well-toned and healthy body boosts one’s self-esteem. If you’re always concerned about putting on weight, it’s time to take action. The solution is not to hide those love handles, wear baggy clothes, or go on thoughtless crash diets. Instead, stick to a tried-and-true practice like yoga and explore the health benefits of yoga to lead a beautiful life. 

You can try the unique benefits of Ashtanga yoga poses. Not only does it help you lose weight, but it also has a lot of other benefits.

What is Ashtanga yoga?

Are you a beginner when it comes to Yoga? Do you want to know which style of Yoga is best for solving your troubles? We’ve got you covered. Let us look at the Ashtanga yoga science.

Ashtanga is a powerful style of yoga developed by the late Pattabhi Jois that contains fixed sequences or series of poses in which the breath is linked with movement. The Primary Series, Secondary Series, and four levels of Advanced Series are among the six levels of Ashtanga yoga patterns or sequences.

Surya Namaskar A and B, commonly known as Sun Salutations, are usually the first five poses in an Ashtanga Yoga practice. It’s followed by six standing positions : 

  • The first series is known as the primary series.
  • The intermediate series is the second series.
  • Advanced (A) is the third series
  • Advanced (B) is the fourth series
  • Advanced (C) is the fifth series
  • Advanced (D) is the sixth series

A closing sequence, usually a series of inversions and seated positions, concludes an Ashtanga Yoga practice. A beginner would usually start with the Primary Series and work their way up once they’ve learned and mastered it.

The origin of Ashtanga yoga

Patanjali offers an eight-fold road to consciousness and enlightenment known as Ashtanga, which means “eight limbs,” in his Yoga Sutras [1]. It includes the eight internal and external cleansing practices listed below. Ashtanga yoga has changed people’s lives in so many ways.

It’s safe to say you can become an Ashtanga yoga addict, thanks to the benefits of physical strength and flexibility as well as better mental wellbeing that it provides Today we will look at the top 5 benefits of Ashtanga yoga poses in our blog. 

Goals of Ashtanga yoga 

Breathing, motion, and concentration are all combined in this type of yoga. Body, mind, and soul must all be in balance, and the trainee’s strength and flexibility must be improved. Ashtanga Yoga focuses on muscular development, effective weight loss, and strength-building activities. It also brings inner serenity and relaxes the mind.

Everybody can benefit from Ashtanga Yoga, even athletes aiming to improve their performance. To get stronger and sleeker, practitioners exert their entire body weight. Ashtanga Yoga is also beneficial for improving focus and reducing stress.

It boosts spiritual awareness, improves memory, cures headaches, and leaves you feeling re-energized, relaxed, and at ease. Ashtanga Yoga generates significant internal heat through a sequential series of postures. Internally, it cleanses the body, including muscles and organs. It has several benefits, like enhanced overall health, a stronger body, and mental clarity.

Ashtanga yoga primary poses

The Primary Series is called Yoga Chikitsa, which translates to “yoga therapy” in Sanskrit. It is a sequence that benefits the physical body and aids in the clearance of disease from the body.

The primary series also emphasizes the alignment of the thoracic spine, which is the fundamental curvature of the spine. This is accomplished by maintaining the rib cage tucked in while doing the sequence’s multiple forward folding poses.

1. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (hand to big toe position

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (hand to big toe position

Utthita hasta padangusthasana is a standing asana that helps to increase balancing, attention, and sturdiness. The term is derived from the Sanskrit words utthita, which means “stretch,” hasta, which means “hand,” padangustha, which means “big toe,” and asana, which means “position.”

One knee is elevated towards the chest and the corresponding hand grips the big toe in tadasana (mountain pose). The leg is stretched out to the side after being stretched forward. While the attention remains on the same side, the other hand remains on the hip. In English, Utthita hasta padangusthasana is also known as stretched hand-to-big-toe position.

2. Marichyasana D (seated twist)

2. Marichyasana D (seated twist)

Marichyasana D is a sitting twist in which one leg is bent into a squat and the other is in padmasana. The name stems from the fact that it was named after Marichi, a sage. His name means “beam of light” in Sanskrit. It is part of Ashtanga yoga’s primary series, in which the first four versions of Marichyasana A, B, C, and D are performed in order.

3. Supta kurmasana (sleeping tortoise pose)

Supta kurmasana (sleeping tortoise pose)  

Supta kurmasana is a challenging yoga pose that requires hip, knee, and ankle flexibility. Start by bending your knees and sitting on the floor. Lift one leg. The raised leg is then slung over the shoulder. The head is tucked beneath the foot, and the shoulder is pushed deeper into the knee crease. 

The other leg is then placed on top of the other behind the head, and the ankles are hooked on top of each other. The head is on the floor as the body bends forward. Arms stretch around and back till the hands come together in a grasp. Sleeping tortoise posture is the common English name for this posture.

4. Urdhva dhanurasana (upward bow)

Urdhva dhanurasana (upward bow)

Oh, the backbends! We frequently use the excuse that we’ve “run out of time” to complete them at the end of our practice, even though they’re so beneficial to us. In yoga, Urdhva Dhanurasana is known as the “Queen of Backbends.” And you don’t just walk up to a queen like that. You’ll need a lot of courage and strength, as well as thorough planning. Treat this yoga stance with the respect it deserves at all times.

It’s also known as Chakrasana since it’s claimed to open up all seven chakras. Though forward folds make up the majority of the primary series, the last pose, setu bandhasana (bridge pose), prepares the body for back bending and gives a taste of what’s to come in the second series.

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga poses

Vinyasa yoga is also known as Power yoga. To build internal heat in the body, stretch the body, develop breathing techniques, and build cardiovascular fitness, the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system includes an Ashtanga Vinyasa (movement) between each individual pose.

1. Chaturanga dandasana (four limbed staff pose)

Chaturanga dandasana (four limbed staff pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana is a famous yoga pose, also known as an asana, that is commonly found in Sun Salutation and Vinyasa yoga sessions. In Sanskrit, “Chaturanga Dandasana” means “four-limbed staff pose.” Low plank is another name for it, and Chaturanga is a common abbreviation.

2. Urdha Mukha svanasana (upward dog pose)

Urdha Mukha svanasana (upward dog pose)

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog) is an energizing backbend that strengthens the arms and legs while expanding the chest and shoulders. Traditionally, you start with the Upward Dog position by inhaling. Take a deep breath in and observe how your heart lifts, your collarbones spread, and your chest muscles extend and expand—all movements you’ll want to emphasize in Up Dog—and you feel energized. Recreating those identical expansions in the stance is, of course, difficult.

3. Adho Mukha svanasana (downward dog pose) 

Adho Mukha svanasana (downward dog pose)

Downward-Facing Dog Posture, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, is a popular yoga pose that strengthens the core and improves circulation. This energizing posture gives you a delightful full-body stretch.

The Downward Facing Dog pose improves blood and lymphatic circulation, nourishing and rejuvenating cells throughout the body while also discarding old byproducts. Adho Mukha Svanasana also improves respiration by strengthening the lungs and expanding the chest.

Benefits of Ashtanga yoga poses

Ashtanga yoga is well-known for assisting students in developing a self-discipline routine and, finally, their own daily practice. Many people pick Ashtanga yoga because of the physically challenging series of poses as well as the numerous health benefits that come with practicing it.

Enhances mental strength

Ashtanga is physically and mentally demanding to practice. Deep stretches, core strengthening, and inverted postures provide a physical challenge that pushes you past your limits and into a mental realm of determination.

It continuously reminds you that you are far more capable than you know. Some people lose interest in repeating the same poses every day because they believe it is too monotonous. 

You don’t have to concentrate as much on where to put your foot or hand in the memory sequence because your consciousness can switch to your breathing. This will turn your practice into a moving meditation that will leave you feeling calm and at ease.

Improves spiritual well-being

It serves a purpose to repeat the same positions in the same order, and the benefits aren’t only physical. Bring your spiritual self to life. The first four limbs cleanse your appearance and teach you how to communicate with others. 

The next four limbs focus on withdrawal, purification, and your mental relationship, and they will guide you through problems until you obtain mental clarity and a deeper awareness of yourself. You can explore the boundless nature of your inner self by practicing postures, focus spots, and breathing.

Increases concentration

Your brain becomes (nearly!) clear when you are completely relaxed and calm, without worrying about the future or lingering on the past. You have the entire freedom to savor the present moment. 

In this stage, you can experience your creative side at its peak! It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist, because inspiration comes in the form of creativity for new ideas.

Helps in preventing injuries

You will build a strong, flexible body that is far less prone to injury if you practice Ashtanga in a safe, conscious manner. As a result, it can serve as an excellent supplement to other sports. Yoga is a wonderful way to stay strong and flexible as you grow older.

Promotes weight loss

What happens if you increase your muscle mass while also increasing your cardio? You burn fat! If you stick to a daily Ashtanga practice, you might see less fat around your arms as well as around your stomach area, thus this is the yoga form for you if you want to lose a few pounds.

Except for some forms of intensive yoga, yoga does not burn as many calories as anaerobic or aerobic exercise, but it has other perks. Many people associate overeating with stress, despair, and boredom, and yoga’s soothing effects (combined with meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) help to control mood and lower the risk of weight gain from emotional eating. Yoga is only one component of a healthy weight-loss strategy. To revitalize your body, you’ll need to eat a well-balanced diet, drink lots of water, and get enough rest.

Disadvantages of ashtanga yoga

Although Ashtanga yoga practice heals the body from the inside out and aids in spiritual growth, it is not suitable for everyone. There are a few points to remember:

  1. Look for a qualified yoga instructor as incorrectly performing the poses can result in injury, and practicing the poses incorrectly can have negative side effects on health rather than positives.
  2. The Ashtanga series is not a one-time affair; it can take a lifetime to become skilled. So, if you’re hoping to finish all of the series in a year or two, don’t hold your breath. The exercise necessitates a great deal of perseverance.

What is unique to Ashtanga yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga is a collection of predefined asanas that allow you to progress at your rate from one level to the next. This means you can work at your own pace to master a specific Ashtanga yoga series.

Ashtanga Yoga, also known as ‘Raja Yoga’ or the Royal Path, is the key to vairagya, or detachment. Regular practice can help you achieve moksha or ultimate salvation.

Wrapping up

Yes, Ashtanga yoga is better suited to more advanced yogis as well as those looking to enhance their practice, but that doesn’t mean that beginners can’t benefit from the self-discipline, framework, dedication, and power that this style of yoga promotes.

While it isn’t the most straightforward form of yoga to learn, with time, patience, and elegance, you can learn to link your breath with movement and fall in love with this transformative series.

But be sure to learn the form under a professional yoga instructor! You can also try the unique forms of Fusion yoga if you wish to break the monotony.


Which is better: Vinyasa or Ashtanga? 

Ashtanga follows the same set of steps while vinyasa has a bit of added movements. You can choose for yourself based on your strength and ability.

Is Ashtanga good for weight loss? 

Yes! Ashtanga yoga poses do promote weight loss, thanks to their physical demands.

What does Ashtanga yoga do to your body?

Ashtanga yoga helps to tune the body and aims to make you fit.

What are the poses in Ashtanga yoga?

There are 3 series in Ashtanga yoga with various poses: Primary poses, Intermediate poses, and Advanced poses.

Why is Ashtanga yoga bad for you?

If not approached with caution, Ashtanga yoga has the potential to cause injury or harm. But, being unable to perform these poses does not rule out the possibility of practicing Ashtanga or progressing through the series, and these postures do not make Ashtanga necessarily unsafe.

Is Ashtanga the hardest yoga?

You can not possibly perform it easily, but Ashtanga yoga is tough to perform!

Is Ashtanga harder than Vinyasa?

Not one being termed as “easy”; both the yoga series are respectively challenging.

Can I do ashtanga yoga every day?

It is advised that you practice Ashtanga Yoga six times a week. Traditionally, the six-day-a-week practice was supposed to be done in the “Mysore Style.” You observe your own breath and movement rather than a teacher leading a class through the same moves in this type of practice.

Is Ashtanga yoga safe for pregnancy?

Any posture that does not put pressure on your abdomen is considered safe to practice in pregnancy. You should still take caution and follow your doctor’s advice.

Why should Ashtanga yoga not be practiced on moon days?

Traditionally, Yogis observe the full moon day as a resting period. The moon has an impact on Earth’s water bodies. Because our bodies are largely made of water, the moon has an impact on us– this is what is believed by the Yogis.

Can beginners do ashtanga yoga?

Yes! Anyone with strong willpower and under proper guidance can opt for Ashtanga yoga practice.

Is Ashtanga yoga beneficial for women?

A study of healthy premenopausal women found that practicing Ashtanga twice a week for eight months boosted leg muscular strength compared to those who didn’t [2].


  1. Woodyard, Catherine. “Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase the quality of life.” International journal of yoga vol. 4,2 (2011): 49-54.
  2. Kim, Sojung et al. “Effects of an 8-month yoga intervention on arterial compliance and muscle strength in premenopausal women.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 11,2 (2012), 322-30.