An Asthanga Yoga Primer

A seasoned financial services professional, Scott Brittenham currently serves as co-founder and CEO of Clean Energy Capital, LLC, where he has raised more than $140 million in investment capital for the biofuels industry. Outside his professional responsibilities, Scott Brittenham enjoys staying fit through a combination of cycling, ice hockey, and Ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga yoga, or “eight-limbed yoga,” is a system that involves spiritual practices such as breath control, meditation, concentration, self-purification, and asana, or postures. Ashtanga postures aim to combine movement with breath, synchronizing the two to build heat in the body and to cleanse internal organs.

Popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga yoga differs from many other styles of yoga in the West in that the order of postures is completely predefined. After performing an opening sequence to warm the flow of blood in the body, practitioners will move on to one of six main series, followed by a back-bending sequence and a set of inverted postures. Each practice ends with savasana, a period of deep breathing and relaxation.