Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a modern style of gymnastic exercises and stretching practiced in combination with yoga breathing and ancient yoga philosophy. It should not be confused with the historical Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali. The Sanskrit word "Vinyāsa" refers to a transition between two different positions,and employed here, describes the process of transition between each yoga posture.
The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga codified and popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois during the 20th century which is often promoted as a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga.
Ashtanga means eight limbs or branches, of which asana or physical yoga posture is merely one branch, breath or pranayama is another. Both Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois, his grandson, encourage practice of Ashtanga Yoga - all eight limbs. The first two limbs - Yamas and Niyamas - are given special emphasis to be practiced in conjunction with the 3rd and 4th limbs (asana and pranayama).