Advantages of Ashtanga Yoga -
The Sanskrit word yoga has the literal meaning of "yoke", or "the act of yoking or harnessing", from a root  yuj.
Yoga is a form of exercise based on the belief that the body and breath are intimately connected with the mind. By controlling the breath and holding the body in steady asanas (poses)
yoga creates harmony. These asanas (poses) can release muscle tension, stretch and tone muscles, lubricate joints, massage internal organs, increase circulation and help in weight control. Other benefits of yoga are greater resistance to stress, a stronger immune system, a balanced nervous system, decreased cholesterol and blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure.
For your body:
Develops strength and flexibility, tones muscles, lubricates joints, massages internal organs, releases chronic tension, improves circulation and energizes and refreshes, helps with weight loss as well.
For your mind:
Calms restless thoughts, promotes inner peace, supports mental clarity and promotes self-awareness.
For your spirit:
Invites deep stillness encourages self acceptance, honors inner wisdom.
Is a system of yoga which involves synchronizing the breath with that of a progressive series of postures, and it is a process which truly and completely produces that of intense internal heat as well as a profuse and purifying sweat that helps with detoxification of the muscles and organs of the body.
It’s a Vinyasa-style yoga combining a series of flowing postures with rhythmic breathing for an intense body-mind workout. Ashtanga yogis practice a prescribed set of asanas, channel energy through the body using bandhas (locks), and concentrate on singular points using drishti (gaze) in asanas. Classes typically begin with an invocation to Patanjali chanted in Sanskrit.
The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot, or as Pattabhi Jois says, boils the blood.
The benefits of boiled blood are numerous. Thinner (boiled) blood circulates more freely, so it’s better able to remove pain, impurities and disease.
The sweat generated by Ashtanga practice is also beneficial, because it removes the toxins brought out by the boiling blood.
What it literally means:
Ashtanga yoga translates as "eight-limbed yoga" (ashta=eight, anga=limb) and refers to the eight limbs outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra, which include moral and ethical guidelines, postures, breath work, sense withdrawal, concentration, and meditation. These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life.
What it has come to mean:
In America, "Ashtanga Yoga" most often refers to the system taught by Indian yoga master K. Pattabhi Jois. Sometimes called Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, Jois's Ashtanga comprises a precise series of poses done in sequential order, linked together with the breath.
Who founded it:
The practice that Jois teaches is detailed in an ancient Sanskrit text called the Yoga Kurunta, which was rediscovered early in this century by T. Krishnamacharya. Guruji, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois studied with Krishnamacharya in Mysore, India.