Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic and physically demanding style of yoga founded by K. Pattabhi Jois. It involves a set series of postures, linked together by flowing movements called vinyasas, and synchronized with breath control (ujjayi breathing). The practice is structured into six series of increasing difficulty, beginning with the Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa) designed to detoxify and align the body. Ashtanga emphasizes the tristhana method, which combines posture (asana), breathing technique (pranayama), and a focal point (drishti) to create a moving meditation. This rigorous and disciplined approach cultivates strength, flexibility, and endurance, as well as mental clarity and focus.

What distinguishes Ashtanga yoga from other forms of yoga is its strict adherence to a fixed sequence of poses and its emphasis on maintaining a steady, consistent pace. Unlike styles such as Hatha or Vinyasa yoga, which may offer more flexibility in terms of pose selection and sequencing, Ashtanga practitioners follow the same sequence every practice session. This repetitive structure allows for deep progression and refinement of each posture over time. Additionally, the Mysore style of Ashtanga, where practitioners move through the series at their own pace with individual guidance from a teacher, contrasts with the led classes typically found in other yoga styles. This unique combination of structure, intensity, and individualized attention sets Ashtanga apart within the broader yoga landscape.