Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Discipline is one of the basic ways of keeping the mind in check.

Commitment and will are its components. Thanks to them, we make further attempts which let us deepen our knowledge over time. This way, we can improve our actions every time we perform them. These two features, therefore, have a direct impact on our development. Specific training is to give them a particular form.

As a result, the mind is disciplined by our will, commitment, and willingness to learn. 

A disciplined, trained mind does not allow our thinking patterns to guide us. Consequently, we don’t respond violently or emotionally without reason and logical thinking. Therefore, to maintain discipline and carry out intended actions, we should stop listening to the mind and not argue with it. It is no coincidence that the Masters and Teachers often repeat, ‘Remember, the mind is not your friend.’

The mental patterns create an emotional state that results in a specific perception perspective. Through this state, we perceive everything.

When emotions build up, and we do not work with them, the mind creates countless thought paths and perception parameters based on these emotions. We begin to fall into the loop of the mind operating from an automaton. In such moments, common sense and logic cease to serve us effectively. We are cut off from them by the wall of emotions.

Another aspect of this topic is trust. It is difficult to trust a person who does not control their emotions or mind, at least on a basic level, because this makes the person unpredictable. It explains why, for example, discipline is one of several qualities a student must meet to get accepted into the Shaolin Monastery. Discipline results in a calm and attentive mind that inspires confidence in others.

Ancient texts say that even the most trained and strong body is useless when the mind fails, while the mind can pull the imperfect body up.

Two sayings in Yoga invoke this wisdom:

First, ‘There are no rigid bodies – there are rigid minds.’

Second, ‘Weakness is a state of mind – not of the body.’

Practicing Ashtanga (Eightfold Yoga) is sometimes compared to brushing our teeth, an elementary activity we cannot imagine health, hygiene, or contact with other people without. The practice of Yoga is a daily washing of emotions and various mental states that cleanses the field of our vision.

We gain perspective, and things start to look differently, but it is not them that change but our perception of them. Everyone can feel a difference in perception of the world or difficult situations before and after practice.

I never make important decisions or actions without careful practice; this is my rule. First, practice – the purification. After that, decision-making and action. ‘Clean’, with a different perspective and new solutions that I had not noticed before. The common wisdom of the Polish phrase ‘get your head aired’ has a similar intention. We come out of the conflict, change the space, and give our body some movement. All this forces us to look at the problem from a different perspective.

In this state, there is silence and space. And in silence, we begin to hear ourselves.

However, even here, there is a risk of strengthening emotions through incorrect practice, which supports negative thought patterns by perpetuating them in the body.

If we cannot stand aside and look at ourselves uncritically and with full attention, we need a supervisor or a teacher, or someone who knows the subject and we can trust him. And we know that their intention is not to judge, but to give feedback, to score elements that lead to our emotional disorders or patterns of automatic behavior. And how we perceive it and what we do with this knowledge is an individual matter that will bring us consequences appropriate to our behavior and actions. Everything is subject to this law, each element of our lives.

Yoga is a training of the mind. It is supposed to lead to tearing off the veils of the mind and removing dark or muddy (also by our patterns) glasses.

But it’s not about turning them pink, just natural, real. Clear glass. The goal is to see things through the pure Truth, the way it is.

There are many techniques, levels of focusing the mind, and awakening levels of consciousness. I have been using the following training for many years, and it is still not a closed topic. These exercises are constantly evolving and changing during my practice, but also through the experiences and questions of my students and the obstacles that each of us encounters according to individual mental conditioning. This article presents the current shape of the training. I systematize and describe various aspects of work as accurately as possible. However, there may still be some questions to answer; in that case, please contact me.

The name refers to daily mental hygiene, like taking care of your teeth. Treat it as something naturally present in our lives, not used occasionally or ‘from holidays.’


The principal/primary application is practicing yoga / everyday life. The goal is liberating the highest skills of the human mind, awakening levels of consciousness.

The rules: 

1. Time of every following stage doubles. Stage 1 – 2 weeks, stage 2 – 4 weeks, and so on. 5 breaths at the beginning, then 10, etc.

2. If you get lost working on a stage, return to the previous one with its original duration.

3. Training on the mat, 1 – 2 times a day; training during everyday life, 2 – 4 times a day.

4. Do not be discouraged by the inconsistency of the mind – this is training for years (!) – only time and space change, or the conditions in which we are at a given moment – the training remains. The mind matures.

5. Posture for initial training should be a basic asana for concentration practices, like Svastikasana, Padmasana, or Sidhasana. It is important to properly position the axis of the spine and pelvis and activate the bandhas.

6. Mind sharpening training works on awareness of the breath and involves three basic levels:

  • Dristhi/ekagrata/desa (place of focusing the mind by directing the eyes or mind to one point – it can be internal or external)
  • Kala (the duration of each one, consciously counting the time of inhaling, exhaling, or holding the breath)
  • Sankhyabhih (number of breaths)

7. Free-breathing, controlled but not forced. A balance between following it and limiting its field of action.

8. Choose a number to count to (7, 8, 9, or 10) and stick to it throughout the stages. At most, regulate the pace of counting, for example, by extending according to the rules of the pace. Once the entire cycle is complete, you can change the number.

9. Pace – keep a constant pace of breathing throughout the day during training and in life while performing various activities. Today. If tomorrow you will notice THIS CHANGE in your breathing (slower breathing but without losing its depth, without becoming shallow), reset the counting pace by slowing down. Try to stick to this new pace for at least the whole day. If your pace is faster, set it to the previous day’s pace. Go back to basics.

10. Depth should be constant despite the changes of pace, not dying away, shallowing, or emphasized by hot emotions. Sometimes we try to gain breath length at the expense of shallow breathing; it is not the right direction.

11. Practice during all kinds of life activities, both static and dynamic.


1. Counting to 100 

Establishing basic mental focus by carefully counting from 1 to 100 and then from 100 to 1 (counting backward).

Pose: Swastikasana or Padmasana

2. ‘Walking on ice’

Take a few steps forward as slowly as possible, carefully, consciously shifting the weight of the body, controlling the position of the feet, and pushing and pressing the whole body posture, bandhas, and breath. Each step forward is simultaneously a readiness to take a step back. When walking, be aware that the ice under your feet may break, so you will have to go backward. Do not walk too fast and violently not to lose balance and cause the ice behind to crack under the influence of your reaction.

Having mastered walking forward, we maintain the same principles in stepping backward.



1. Desa/dristhi: nose (nasagrai) or a point on the floor in line with the nose (point – not a plane).

2. Sankhyabhih: 5 breaths, inhalation, and exhalation.

3. Kala: count to 7, 8, 9, or 10.


1. Desa/Dristhi:

  • nose (nasagrai) on a point on the floor in line with the nose (point, not a plane)
  • to the left (parsva)
  • to the right (parsva)
  • up (urdhva)
  • a point on the floor in the line of the nose (nasagrai)

2. Sankhyabhih: 5 breaths for each drishti, inhaling and exhaling.

3. Kala: count to 7, 8, 9, or 10.


1. Desa/dristhi: nose (nasagrai) or a point on the floor in line with the nose (point, not a plane),

2. Sankhyabhih: 5 breaths, inhalation, retention, and exhalation.

3. Kala: count to 7, 8, 9, or 10.


1. Desa/dristhi:

  • nose (nasagrai) or a point on the floor in line with the nose (point, not a plane)
  • to the left (parsva)
  • to the right (parsva)
  • up (urdhva)
  • a point on the floor in the line of the nose (nasagrai).

2. Sankhyabhih: 5 breaths for each dristhi, inhalation, retention, and exhalation.

3. Kala: count to 7, 8, 9, or 10.


1. Desa/dristhi: an entire cycle of trataks (including obliques).

2. Sankhyabhih: 5 breaths for each drishti, inhaling and exhaling.

3. Kala: count to 7, 8, 9, or 10.


1. Desa/dristhi: an entire cycle of the Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar).

2. Sankhyabhih: inhale and exhale according to Vinyasa movement and principle; five breaths in downward dog.

3. Kala: count to 7, 8, 9, or 10.


1. Desa/dristhi: expanding the experiential space by maintaining the pre-existing principles and increasing the variety of movement – the full range of Vinyasas or Asanas. All practice according to the principles of sharpening the mind.

2. Sankhyabhih: 5 breaths for each dristhi, inhalation, and exhalation, or the corresponding length of inhalation and exhalation according to the Vinyasa movement and principle.

3. Kala: count to 7, 8, 9, or 10.

Training of the mind