Ashtanga yoga emphasises synchronised breathing - Health benefits - PICTURE - Women's Health & Fitness

Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga, or Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, was founded by K. Pattabhi Jois. Ashtanga literally means ‘eight limbs’, describing the eight aspects or steps of yoga practice.

There is an emphasis on synchronising breath with movement, focussed breathing, core strength and internal focus. There are six sequences in this style and practitioners work progressively through the postures.

Practice starts with sun salutations and the vinyasas (linking movements between each posture) build strength and keep the heat up in the body. A recent study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that Ashtanga yoga practitioners were adept and processing internal signals from their own body, meaning that they respond to proprioceptive (sense of body in space) and vestibular (balance) cues rather than external or visual cues.