Asthanga yoga, a combination of two Sanskrit words 'astha' means 'eight' and 'anga' means 'limbs' in Sanskrit. So, the asthanga yoga is basically based on the eight limbs path of Patanjali. The concept of asthanga yoga was first given by sage Vamana in his manuscript Yoga Korunta. Later, in early 1900's Rama Mohan Brahmachari transferred the script of Yoga Korunta to his disciple Sri T. Krishnamacharya who then passed it to his student Pattabhi Jois during 1927. He popularized asthanga yoga a lot during his period and established Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute for spreading the knowledge of astahanga yoga all over the world.
The system of asthanga yoga involves synchronization of several body postures with the breathing system of our body, which ultimately leads to production of intense heat inside the body. Due to this the toxins inside our body is eliminated in the form of sweat. This keeps our body strong and mind calm.
The eight limbs of Patanjali on which asthanga yoga is based upon are:
Yama, Niyam, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharna, Dhyana ans Samadhi.
The first four limbs i.e. Yama, Niyam, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara are considered, as the external practices and the remaining are the internal practices. It us said that if the problem is external, that can be cured but once we are internally spoiled, it's very difficult to cure it. Asthanga yoga has the capability of curing both internal and external disorders if followed properly. Asthanga yoga proves to be very beneficial for the body as it keeps us away from several heart diseases; it improves your circulatory system and keeps our body physically and mentally fit.