Ashtanga Yoga and Jivamukti Yoga in Chicago 

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About Ashtanga Yoga:

The style: Ashtanga is a form of Hatha Yoga which is a vinyasa Yoga system (the linking of postures by breath and movement). Ashtanga Yoga is divided into seperate set series meant to be learned with the assistance of a teacher in order. If you attend a Ashtanga Yoga class lead by a teacher in the U.S. it will be the first series (The Primary Series). There are 3 key ingriedients to a successful Ashtanga Yoga practice: dristi (gaze), Bandha (locks), and Breath (ujai pranayama)

The Guru: Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga was primarily brought to the west by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, yogi and Sanskrit scholar. Follow this link for more Background info on Ashtanga Yoga.

The Roots: Asha = eight anga = limb

The ancient sage Patanjali organized the Ashtanga yoga system in eight limbs. This eight limbed sytem is compiled in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras estemated date of the sutras rance from 5,000 B.C. to 300 A.D.. The eight limbs of Ashtanga outlined in the Yoga Sutras are as follows:

1.Yamas: Ethical Observations (see Ahimsa tab)
2. Niyamas: Self Observations
3.Asanas: Physical Postures
4.Pranayama: Breath Observations

5.Pratyahara: Sense Control
6.Dharana: Contemplation
7.Dhyana: Meditation
8.Samadhi: Absorption into the Universal

the Benefits
:The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Tradition which focuses first on the 3rd (asanas - physical postures) and 4th (pranayama - the breath) limbs of Patanjali's eight limbed Ashtanga yoga the other 6 limbs will follow as the practioner becomes more advanced. The benefits of this system are cardiovascular for the heart, creation of a mind/body connection by linking the breath to the movement, purifying toxins from the body, and cleansing the circulatory system with fresh oxygenated blood. Most importantly Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga quiets the mind in order to be at peace, be your authentic self, and live a joyous life!