Astanga, or sometimes spelled ashtanga Yoga is actually taught today by a man named Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, in Mysore, India. He has brought astanga yoga to the west about 25 years ago and still teaches today at 91 years of age. Astanga yoga began with the rediscovery of the ancient manuscript Yoga Korunta. It describes a unique system of Hatha yoga as practiced and created by the ancient sage Vamana Rishi. It is believed to be the original asana practiced intended by Patanjali.
Most people have a passing knowledge with what Yoga is, or think they know about what it sets out to achieve. But until you have tried Yoga it is impossible to know whether you have the type of personality that can truly excel under it's influence. Yoga, quite simply can be a life changing experience and the discipline and mental strength that result from it can completely change your perspective and world view.