Ashtanga Vinyassa Yoga Explained!

Yoga is a philosophy of life, which also has the potential to create a vibrantly healthy body and mind.
Ashtanga yoga practiced in it's correct sequential order, gradually leads the practitioner to rediscover his or her fullest potential on all levels oh human consciousness-physical,psychological and spiritual.Through this practice of correct breathing (Ujjayi Pranayama)postures(asanas) and gazing point (Dristi),we gain control of the senses and deep awareness of ourselves.By maintaining this discipline with regularity and devotion, one acquires steadiness of body and mind.

"Ashtanga" literally means eight limbs ,in which  Patanjali describes yoga as an eighthfold path....
"Vinyasa" means breath synchronised movement and "YOGA"means Union.The breath is the heart of this discipline and links one asana to next. 

At the Yoga Loft we practice and teach Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga -The Primary Series (first series) called Yoga Chikitsa which means Yoga Therapy which allows body to gradually open tightest parts of the body(hips,shoulders,knees).
Students moves through the sequence of postures (asanas) and by synchronising movement with breathing and practicing Mula and Uddiyana Bandha (energy locks) an intense heat is produced. This heat purifies muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones and minerals, which can nourish the body when the sweat is massaged back into the skin.
Ashtanga vinyasa yoga  is taught in these two deferent styles:

Mysore  Self Practice (Assisted  Self Practice )....
This is the traditional form of teaching Ashtanga vinyasa yoga as taught by late Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore,South India ...and it is more and more taught  across the world in Ashtanga Yoga studios for it's wonderful benefits .
Many describe self practice as a 1-1 lesson in a group setting as self practice allows students to progress in their yoga practice as well as allowing them to work at their own pace and rhythm. Learning asanas one or two at the time slowly,until student can remember whole Primary series sequence by heart .During the class teacher offers personal attention and individual instruction as well as physical adjustment to secure correct alignment and correct vinyasa count when moving in and out of each posture. Teaching students this way allows the teacher to develop deeper understanding of students anatomical body (offering suitable moderations if needed) also developing a trust and bond between them.  The special serenity,quietness and focus of this class enhances a deep meditative state and fully embraces yoga as a moving meditation.

John Scott: " I have to introduce the student to their own teacher"

Mysore style class is suitable for all levels but new students to Yoga Loft should always start by attending our beginners classes to gain an understanding of correct alignment of this system of yoga.

Led Class ...
The counted vinyasa method is the bedrock of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga.Yoga practice is usually opened by Teachers mantra ,followed by Practice mantra in a "call and response" tradition to creat a great energy in the class as well as to appreciate the lineage of teachers who shared 'this practice with us. Teacher then guides the class through Sun-salutations,Standing ,Seated and Finishing sequence, calling out asanas (postures) by names (if necessary also demonstrates ) and with all the students moving at the same time. Here the learning of correct vinyasa offers  the student a greater understanding of entering and exiting each posture correctly. Led class teaching offers more structure and guidance for those students who are still getting familiar with this style of yoga. 
Led class is suitable for all levels but new students to  Yoga Loft should always start by attending our beginners classes to gain an understanding of correct alignment of this system of yoga... 

Here are some further useful links from John Scott regarding the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga practice.

Moon cycles,practice and posture

Ashtanga and Anatomy by John Scott

Floating Jumps forward