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Difference Between Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga Difference Between Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga

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Difference Between Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga

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It’s estimated that there are 36 million adults living in the US who practice yoga. Worldwide, there are 300 million. And the number keeps going up with no signs of slowing.  

That is a staggering number. And if you haven’t heard of it even just once, were you living under a rock?

Just kidding.

Now, you might be asking, what makes it have that many followers?

To shed some light, yoga is a physical, spiritual, and mental discipline. Unlike regular exercise which only targets the body, yoga targets, not just the body but also the mind and the spirit.

Regular exercise will give you physical results before you can actually feel positive changes in your mood, mind, stress, and energy levels after doing it for a specific period of time. Yoga can do all that at once.

Don’t get me wrong, yoga won’t do it in a single session. But its results are faster than that of regular exercise.

Yoga’s roots can be traced back to Ancient India. Which is why the backbone of all things yoga is Indian. You can see that in the names of, say, the different types of yoga.

Speaking of types, there’s a lot of different styles and types of yoga. And the names can vary too!

One of the most well known and loved are Ashtanga and Vinyasa.

Here we’ll discover the origin, history, and difference between these two styles of yoga.

Ashtanga

History

The term Ashtanga yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “the eight limbs of yoga”. These were first seen in Patanjali’s  book Yoga Sutras. It records the motivation behind yoga practice and codes that a yoga practitioner must observe.

The limbs appendages create the eightfold way. This way or path is a group of rules for how to have a great life by means of yoga. Here, posture is crucial as well as ethics and morality to apply and carry out in your life.

Other than the asanas, this discipline stresses on other the seven yogic limbs (yes, there’s 7 more!) If there’s one thing you need to remember about Ashtanga, it’s that it is both physical and spiritual.

Origin

K. Pattabhi Jois started Ashtanga yoga as a practice. The inspiration was the eight limbs when Ashtanga was starting to be realized. Pattabhi started his studies in the ‘30s.

His teaching was shaped up from the Yoga Korunta, an old book. Legend has it that Vamana Risi, the author, wrote it to heal a lost group of people through yoga.

This Ashtanga yoga includes a set of sequenced poses held by breath. Contemporary Vinyasa flows focuses more on the physical while the Ashtanga concentrates more on spiritual.

Postures are almost always the same with Ashtanga. It is a traditional discipline where there’s no mood enhancer, music, lighting, etc. Doing so will facilitate inner concentration for the inner aspect.

Current Popularity

Yogis used to say that Ashtanga is the real yoga. Today, many of them disagree. It’s because, as mentioned, Ashtanga is a physical and spiritual practice. An intense one. Both must be observed, one never without the other.

Others argue that they can’t really focus on the spiritual part because Ashtanga is all about natural sounds, moods, and whatever is present. It’s supposed to be the sound of the wind, birds, water, etc. But now the sounds would be engines, people’s chatter, or dogs barking

For some, the poses are just downright risky.

Vinyasa

History

Vinyasa gets from the word –nyasa, which signifies “to place,” and vi-, signifying “in a special way.” Put them together = “to place in a special way”.

The origin of vinyasa is traced back to 1500 – 500 BC (Vedic age), when sun greetings (Namaskaras) were first to be observed in Rig Veda, an ancient compilation of Hindu texts.

Origin

During the 1900s, an old book penned by Vamana Rishi called Yoga Korunta was granted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya. The content depicts a yoga poses with flowing sequences. These are called Vinyasa Krama. It practices connecting the following:

  • Mudra (hand movement)
  •  Pranayama (breathing practice)
  • Bandhas (physical aspect)
  • Asana (posture)
  • Meditation
  • Drishti (concentration of gaze)
  • Japa (repeated mantras)

Sri T. Krishnamacharya had one notable student back then, Patthabi Jois, whom he shared this knowledge. It’s Patthabi Jois who mainstreamed Vinyasa in the form of Vinyasa Ashtanga as a type of yoga practice and shared it to the West.

Current Popularity

Vinyasa Yoga is the modern, or more like a Western version of the Vinyasa Ashtanga. What makes this from the parent one is that it has fewer  sequence repetitions or sometimes none at all. Over the years, this yoga practice became a discipline for flexibility.

Compared to Ashtanga, Vinyasa yoga is preferred by many yogis mainly because it is softer and more gentle than Ashtanga.

Ashtanga is also has a faster pace than Vinyasa.

Difference Between Ashtanga and Vinyasa

The most notable difference would probably be the sets or sequences. Ashtanga requires a set of sequences you have to go through. You can’t go to the next without completing the first one and so on.

You have to follow one set of sequence before going to the next. This means you have to keep going back to the pose you failed at and keep trying until you finish. Then you can proceed.

With Vinyasa, there are no set sequences. There’s only “flow”. You will not be bored because

Classes offered today are not the same every day.

Benefits of Ashtanga and Vinyasa

Because you have to keep trying and pushing yourself, Ashtanga yoga can give you benefits such as:

  • Determination. Of course.
  • Core endurance
  • Building flexibility
  • Lean muscles
  • Less fat
  • Stronger inner and spiritual strength
  • Reduced stress
  • Breathing practice

You better reap all these because you rip yourself off from it.

Results from Vinyasa can be comparable to Ashtanga. But since it is gentler, getting those results can take more time than you would if you do Ashtanga. Some benefits are:

  • Better flexibility
  • Motion expansion
  • Healthy cardiovascular system
  • Building strength
  • Stress relief
  • Connected breathing

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Yoga Burn Fitness System Review

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Yoga Burn Fitness System Review

Lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, and unhealthy eating habits are a recipe for weight gain. In fact, any of these can add to your current weight.

Women who want to lose weight don’t always want to do heavy lifting, push up, pull up, leg press, leg raise, and other exercises that require a lot. I don’t want to do them myself. Most women I know just want to burn fat and tone up the body without sacrificing a lot.

And because of a friend’s recommendation, I tried out the Yoga Fitness System For Women program.

This is a Yoga Fitness System For Women review. So if you want to know about what I think and how I feel about this program, then do read on.

What is it?

It is a 12-week weight loss yoga program created by Zoe Bray Cotton designed for women to help lose fat, tone up targeted areas, and improve emotional and psychological health. It centers around what is called Dynamic Sequencing. It basically helps you go from beginner to pro.

You will be trained on how to do the movements right. You will be challenged too, as the movements get more advanced than the last. But your body will adapt to these, which, as a result, will tone and shape your body.

If you avail of the Yoga Fitness System For Women program, you will get both a physical DVD and digital downloads. This means that you can start your yoga fitness journey right away even if the DVD is still on its way.

So if you’re like me who travels a lot or go to different places a lot, I need my videos accessible. Having the digital downloads is great because I can do yoga anywhere I want!

What else is included?

Aside from the course itself, you’ll get a lot of bonuses!

  • Sound clips – Perfect for when you forgot some of the steps
  • Tranquility session – If you want to relax and relieve stress (who doesn’t?)
  • Video Tutorials – This works great for beginners because the instructions are more detailed.

How does it work?

There are 3 phases in the program. The first is Foundational Flow. This is the part where you do the basics and prepare for the next set of movements.

So you will be trained on how to pose, maintain the pose, do other basic poses, and of course, how to breathe properly.

The second phase is called the Transitional Flow. Now, this phase is about making a set of poses by combing poses from the first phase to the newer ones in phase 2 and create a smooth sequence.

Phase 3 is called the Mastery Flow. This is when you merge all the poses you learned from Phases 1 and 2.

Sounds hard? No. Challenging? Yes.

But nothing that Zoe couldn’t teach you.

This is also the part where you can get to have a customized routine that will address your concerns more. You want a tight and toned core? You’ll get it. But whatever your problem areas are, the program will surely tone the whole body and help you lose weight.

My Results

I know you’ve all been waiting for this part. So here it is.

I did lose weight. Fast. It was pretty surprising!

I honestly thought I was going to lose weight at around 6 weeks but lo and behold I already started losing weight at around 3 weeks. I’m really impressed! And so are everyone around me!

And that wasn’t all. I don’t feel as tired anymore. I don’t feel sleepy like I do every afternoon.

I don’t feel as stressed as I was before which is amazing! Waking up in the morning has been great!

The first 3 weeks were challenging though, at least for me. The next 3 weeks? Even harder.

I was all over the place and my balance was off. I kept falling but don’t worry, there’s nothing too serious and dangerous. But it got a lot better after.

I regained my balance and started feeling flexible. I was able to do the stretches and poses and prolong them. Hurray!

I only expected to feel some difference but I didn’t expect it to be this good. I would credit it to the whole program. But the tranquility class is highly and truly effective too!

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It is very effective in losing weight and toning the muscles of the body.
  • It helps you gain strength and flexibility.
  • It helps relax and de-stress the mind and body.
  • Perfect for beginners and those who have experienced yoga.
  • You will learn a lot of yoga poses.

Cons

  • Those who are doing advance yoga won’t see many results or even find it effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can benefit from this program?

Beginners will see great results from the Yoga Fitness System For Women program. Even men will too. Moms will find it especially helpful.

What is expected after 12 weeks?

The program is designed to burn fat. After the 12 weeks, weight loss, toned muscles, and a firm body are expected. You will gain more strength and flexibility.

And of course, you will have learned many yoga poses!

Are there some side effects?

If it is your very first time trying out or doing yoga, then you should expect soreness the next day or days.

Conclusion

For me, the whole program is effective and very beneficial. Not only did I get a healthier body but also a healthier mind and overall disposition.

If you are a yoga newbie or a returnee, you will definitely see and feel the difference from doing the whole program. And I suggest you do the tranquillity class as well. You won’t want to stop once you do.

Would I continue doing this program? Yes, but without the first parts which are the basic poses. Not to brag, but I want to keep doing the more advanced ones since I already got past the first steps.

I am extremely happy with the results and I’m sure you will too.

Click here to find out more about the Yoga Burn Fitness System by Zoe Bray Cotton

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Best Way to Clean Your Yoga Mat

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Best Way to Clean Your Yoga Mat

Did you know that your yoga mat is so much filthier than an airplane seat?

How so?

Simple. It collects sweat, dust, and dirt.

Sweat comes from the body. Sweat itself doesn’t have bacteria or microorganisms. It’s the  skin that has microorganisms. So when you sweat out, it brings with the microorganisms living naturally on the skin.

Your yoga mat is where your sweat falls off. And no matter how much a mat claims to be waterproof, there are still some couple square millimeters of it that isn’t. Bacteria and fungi don’t need that much to grow and proliferate.

Most yoga mats are also textured to help with grip and prevent slipping. If left uncleaned, this becomes a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms.

Mats with antimicrobial properties also don’t come so effective if sweat is present. Remember, where there is water, microorganisms can and will grow.

If you take classes in a studio, that’s your classmates plus your microorganisms that can collect in your mat especially if you take different spots in the room on rotation. Who knows who’ve been in your spot before you?

Hopefully, the studio does a thorough cleaning and sanitation after each class.

That’s why when you do a child’s pose and smell a stink, that’s actually a cry for help to clean your yoga mat.

Cleaning your mat should be mandatory.

So, how do you properly clean a yoga mat?

Read on. We have the deets.

Before Doing Yoga

It’s important to be clean before you start. If you went out running errands or doing house chores beforehand, you need to at least wipe off.

Remember, you will be sweaty in your yoga session. No need to add into the sweat and what it carries. You could also be carrying dirt and dust from other places that your mat won’t be happy about.

If you can’t take a shower, at least wash your feet hands. This will help keep the mat less dirty.

After Doing Yoga

Wipe yourself first before the mat. You wouldn’t want to do the opposite.

You can use your clean but mat towel to wipe off the mat after the session. Use it damp. If you don’t want to use water, you can use a cleaning spray made especially for yoga mats.

Here are our top picks:

Mind Over Lather 100% Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray

The name itself will tell that it would be a great cleaning spray dedicated to cleaning yoga mats.

You won’t feel it sticky or overly drying because it contains no heavy carrier oils and alcohol which can overly dry your yoga mat and cause it to flake.

Its formula is blended with eucalyptus oil and  tea tree oil which are essential oils known for their natural antimicrobial properties. The lavender and mint scent makes it smell spa-like, fresh and renewed. Your mat and your senses will thank you.

Pros

  • Does not contain slippery oils
  • Alcohol-free
  • Can be used to spray the room, linen, furniture, and dashboard
  • Can be used as a hand sanitizer

Cons

  • Spray nozzle isn’t the best

ASUTRA Natural & Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner

Let’s face it, a bad-smelling mat can distract us from our poses.

This spray from Asutra boasts an all-natural ingredients that also have aromatherapeutic properties. Take that for a cleaning spray!

It deep cleanses the mat and effectively disinfects odor-causing microorganisms.

It’s also safe and non-toxic for both the mat and yourself, and free from synthetic compounds, alcohol, paraben, detergents,  artificial colors, additives, fragrances, and animal testing.

There’s no slippery slidey residue as well!

Pros:

  • All-natural and safe for both mat and yogi
  • Doubles as aromatherapy
  • Handcrafted
  • Heavy oil and alcohol-free
  • Non-slippery residue
  • Comes with a microfiber cleaning towel

Cons:

  • Spray nozzle stopped working

Squeaky Cleaning

You can actually water and vinegar solution to clean the mat with a sponge. If not, use a gentle soap preferably a natural or organic one.

Weekly Cleaning

You can clean your mat using wipes or a damp cloth/sponge with a cleaner every week.

Monthly Cleaning

You can put it in the washer with no water in medium heat for a couple of minutes before putting it to the dryer only for a few minutes as well. Do not roll and let it air dry. Store away once completely dry

If you’re handwashing, use a gentle detergent or mild dishwashing soap and run your hands through the whole mat surface both top and bottom. Rinse well. Make sure there’s no residue soap or you’ll be slipping and sliding.

Hang it to dry and to rid of excess water. Allow to air dry first before storing it away.

Benefits of Cleaning Yoga Mats

Yoga mats are like your one-way ticket to doing yoga poses without injury and ultimately gaining strength, flexibility, and balance along the way.

If you don’t clean them as often as you should, they will be prone to wearing out easily. A worn-out mat won’t give you the best results.

In addition, dirty mats can cause problems for your health. You can even get flu because of them.

When you sweat, bacteria, fungi, and maybe some other microorganisms on your skin go with your sweat. And as mentioned, microorganisms grow where there is water, especially fungi.

A sweaty and dirty mat can harbor toe fungus, athlete’s foot fungus, acne bacteria, colds, and even herpes. Not only is it disgusting, but it can also be hazardous to health.

“But they’re my germs”, others would say.

Well, what if you had the flu but got treated a few weeks after? You decided to get back to yoga with the same dirty mat and guess what? You got the flu again.

Cleaning your yoga mat should not be taken lightly. Not doing so can cost you your mat and even your health.

I get it, yoga is a sweaty exercise. It can take 45 mins to 1 hour to finish a session. But it only takes less than 5 minutes to clean your mat. A little more if you wash it. So why not do it?

It’s the best thing you can do for your mat and yourself. And be consistent in doing it.

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