Tristana: The Three Pillars

Tristana is the foundation of the practice of ashtanga yoga as it is taught in Mysore, India. When we use Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as a meditation practice, having a singular object of meditation is paramount– and this is the method that Pattahbi Jois taught. 

The Tristana is a tool to help cultivate the ultimate presence of mind, focus, and stability. Tristana consists of three parts: Ujjayi breath (victorious breath), the body (posture), and drsti (yogic gaze).

These three tools transform our asana (physical) practice from a simple body exercise into a total mind-body experience. Tristana helps us go from a huffing and puffing workout into a graceful flow. The three essential pieces of tristana unite the actions of body and mind, using dharana (concentration) to allow the practice to become meditative.