My first 60-minute hot vinyasa class gave me the same “high” I got from running or cycling, without music blasting or an instructor shouting at me to “push through.” My heart rate rose, despite the minimal movement in my feet, and my muscles, every muscle in my body, ached for days. I realized that the assumptions I had made about yoga were unfounded and saw a glimpse of all the possibilities yoga offered. I was hooked.
Because of its popularity, age and origin, Ashtanga has a fascinating amount of history, practices and lore. Here are three of its defining characteristics.