The Practice

Ashtanga Vinyasa is a traditional style of Hatha Yoga popularised and redesigned by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) in the lineage of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. It is derived from an ancient text called the Yoga Korunta, written by Vamanarishi, and schools the practitioner in Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga – Ashtanga.

The main components of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga are breathing with sound (ujjayi breath), bandhas (locks), and drishti (gaze). Together these three elements form Tristana. In this practice of yoga, breath is synchronised with movement – this is called Vinyasa. Its purpose is cleansing by producing internal heat, which leads to profuse sweating and detoxification of the organs and muscles.

Each of our teachers brings years of knowledge of the Ashtanga Yoga system to Orion. We work closely with our teachers to constantly develop our program, keeping our resident teachers on a long-term basis so that practitioners can build a solid relationship with them – known as ‘parampara’ – to benefit from this practice not only on a physical level, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Our dedicated and passionate teachers love to share their knowledge of the Ashtanga system beyond the mat and demonstrate how the Eight Limbs can be applied to daily life. The Eight Limbs, or Ashtanga, are described in the Yoga Sutras by the sage Patanjali.

Patanjali’s Eights Limb

The Indian Sage, Patanjali, compiled the Yoga Sutras prior to 400 CE, and this text was popularized in the “West” by Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century. This text outlines the eight components of yoga, and by adhering and practicing these Eight Limbs, or the Ashtanga Yoga path, the practitioner can achieve that state of union between mind, body, and soul. This is one path that yoga philosophy states can ultimately lead to self-realization.

  1. Yama (abstinences or moral imperatives) 2. Niyama (virtuous habits, behaviors and observances) 3. Asana (yoga posture) 4. Pranayama (breath regulation) 5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) 6. Dharana (concentration) 7. Dhyana (meditation), and ultimately 8. Samadhi (oneness).

“When all mental distractions disappear and the mind becomes one-pointed, it enters the state called Samadhi.”

~Patanjali (circa 500 A.D.)

Ashtanga and Orion

We at Orion believe that the first concept of the Yamas – Ahimsa, non-violence to oneself and others, must be achieved before we even start our daily practice on the mat. We encourage you to practice from a place of compassion and love towards yourself.

For new students, we aim to offer a thorough introduction to the Ashtanga system. For our more advanced practitioners, our intention is to create the conditions for them to immerse themselves fully in their practice.

Our workshops and Ashtanga Tech sessions allow students to explore this vast system of traditional yoga in greater depth. For more information about special classes and workshops, please ask our team.

Once a year, Orion offers a 200-hour Ashtanga Yoga Training. During these four intensive weeks, Coco and Ewa will teach in detail about each posture, transitions, philosophy, and physical anatomy. This course is open to all serious practitioners with the desire to deepen their knowledge of Ashtanga Yoga.

At Orion we create space for practitioners to develop their yoga studies while enjoying all that our center has to offer. This includes delicious sattvic food, an herbal steam room, massage, Reiki, and many more holistic healing modalities that will benefit your body and soul during your sadhana (practice).


During Ashtanga Mysore classes, students of all levels practice at their own pace while the teacher offers adjustments, alignment cues and – if necessary – reminds students of the sequence. The Ashtanga Mysore practice is developed over time as the teacher moves the student along the sequence by giving them new postures as they become ready.


Students are guided in a led full- or half-primary class. The teacher announces each asana and counts each vinyasa so that students move in sync, holding each posture and transitioning with the breath all together.

Ashtanga Residential Program

Orion Healing Centre specialises in Ashtanga Yoga immersions, so we offer a unique setting for practitioners of all levels. A standard Ashtanga immersion lasts 2 weeks, and we offer 12 (depending on Moon Days) classes of Ashtanga Yoga, both Mysore and Led classes. Your Ashtanga package includes 14 afternoon or evening restorative or gentle flow classes, one-on-one teachings, and group lectures from our Ashtanga teachers. These lectures will shed light on the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga.

During the afternoon and evenings, we offer free daily meditation, Yoga Nidra, Kirtan, and philosophy classes. We advise our Ashtanga students that it is most beneficial to take the full 2-week yoga course. If you cannot make the 2 week commitment to the practice, then 1 week is also possible.

Twice a week, we will also hold Ashtanga classes for beginners in the evening to dissect the essential elements of the primary series.

All students should aim to arrive on Saturday between 14:00 and 18:00. The first Mysore practice is held on Sunday morning at 7:00, and the last class is the Led class on Friday morning at 7:00. Check-out time is on Saturday between 11:00 and 12:00. If you wish to take your meditation and yoga class on your last day, we can provide storage for your luggage.


  • 2 x Yoga classes per day plus free daily meditation or Yoga Nidra class
  • 3 x healthy meals per day
  • 1 x herbal tea per day
  • 1 x young, fresh coconut per day
  • 1 x fresh juice per day
  • Daily use of our herbal steam room
  • 7 day yoga retreat: 2 x Thai massages & 1 x Reiki treatment
  • 14 day yoga retreat: 4 x Thai massages & 2 x Reiki treatments
  • Accommodation at Orion Healing Centre, Koh Phangan


July 2017: Leilah Devi (name highlighted and Link to Teacher Bio in Resources)

September 2017 onward: Ewa Juszczyk (name highlighted and Link to Teacher Bio in Resources)

Classes are open to practitioners of all levels of experience. For our beginners or those unfamiliar with the Ashtanga sequence, we require that you commit to a minimum of 6 days or join one of our 7–14 day Ashtanga Programs, in order to learn the Ashtanga techniques properly and to have a sustainable daily practice.

Ashtanga Moon Day Calendar Widget for Thailand

Ashtanga Sequence as free Pdf Download

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Ashtanga Retreats was last modified: March 10th, 2019 by Orion