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Ashtanga Primary Series

Alik Brundrett

Yoga Chikitsa, the Sanskrit title for the Ashtanga Primary Series, means yoga therapy - a program that when done regularly (so the story goes) cures your ailments and purifies the physical body to make you ready for deeper yogic practice - both physical and meditative. This is a traditional style of yoga first introduced to the west by K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. It takes its name from the 8 limbed (or ashta-anga) system outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra in 200 BC. Only one of Patanjali's limbs was concerned with the asanas (poses) and his treatise is primarily a roadmap toward meditation and enlightenment. Pattabhi Jois (and before him, his teacher Krishnamacharya) alleges that this system of asana practice is the practice of Patanjali.

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