Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a hatha yoga system in which a fixed sequence of postures (asanas) is synchronized with breath. This synchronization of breath with movement is called Vinyasa.
By acquiring the ability to control a long deep breath, integrating the internal locks (bandhas) and focused gaze (drishtis) the mind becomes calm and concentrated, thoughts slow down and every movement flows gently and precisely from one asana (posture) into the next. When breath and movement flow without effort and in perfect harmony, the practice transcends awareness and evolves into a meditation in movement.
On the physical level, profuse sweat is generated, purifying the body by eliminating toxins. By maintaining this discipline with regularity and devotion, one acquires steadiness of body and mind.
Ashtanga Yoga has been taught for more than 60 years in Mysore by Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, and his grandson Sharath in more recent years. In Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga Classes the sequences are practised daily and each student is taught individually, posture by posture, within a group setting. Instructions are given by hands-on adjustments or verbally, otherwise the class is silent, encouraging the practitioner to connect with his/her breath and focus internally.