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Ashtanga's Primary Series

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Katie Tree

on 25 June 2016

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Transcript of Ashtanga's Primary Series

Ashtanga's Primary Series
Bandhas are a part of the breathing system of Ashtanga/Vinyasa Yoga
Bandhas are used in order to initiate & sustain the upward energy of prana (life force energy associated with respiration) flowing through the nadis (subtle channels or paths)
Bandhas are used in order to keep Apana (energy of elimination) from flowing down and out (Mula Bandha)
Increase internal fire
give lightness & strength
Tristhana, in Ashtanga Yoga, also deals with the Dristhi. The Dristhi is the point on which you focus your attention while doing the Asana. This purifies and stabilizes the functioning of your mind. Drishti aligns neck and spine correctly in asana.
The following are the nine Dristhi:


vande gurūṇāṁ caraṇāravinde
sandarśita svātma sukhāva bodhe |
I bow to the lotus feet of the gurus
the awakening happiness of one's own self revealed

niḥ-śreyase jaṅgali-kāyamāne
saṁsāra hālāhala mohaśāṁtyai ||
Like a Shaman in the Jungle he brings total complete well-beeing.
He can even heal the most awful poision of conditioning and illusion.

ābāhu puruṣākāraṁ
śaṁkhacakrāsi dhāriṇam |
The upper body of human shape, carrying
a conch shell (original tone), a chakra (infinity) and a sword (power of differentiation)

sahasra śirasaṁ śvetaṁ
praṇamāmi patañjalim ||
having 1000 bright heads,
I bow to Patanjali.


Mula Bandha

Pelvic floor lock / Root lock
Uddiyana Bandha

Drawing navel inward and up
Ujjayi Pranayama
"Victorious breath"
Oceanic Breathing
A type of pranayama breathing which develops awareness through drawing air in through both nostrils with the glottis held partially closed
applied throughout the asana practice
a subtle sound is created through the inhale and exhale by a slight contraction in the throat
length of the inhale= length of exhale
not too short or too long
the foundation of vinyasa
Elements of Ashtanga:

Asana- posture
Vinyasa- connecting breath with movement
Ujjayi Pranayama- upwardly victorious breath
Bandha- body locks that impart alignment of the body in asana
Drishti- gazing point
Tristana- union of posture (asana), breath (pranayama), and looking place (drishti). When this state is achieved, the lotus blossom of ashtanga yoga blooms
Why do we use Ujjayi breathing?

Calming & Balancing
Increases Oxygen
Creates Heat
Fuel energy for body
Muscle strengthening and control
Protection for joints
Provides rhythm for vinyasa practice
Keeps the vital life force, prana, circulating throughout the body rather than escaping from it.

“To regulate the breath during the practice of asanas, the technique of ujjayi breathing is important. In ujjayi breathing you constrict your vocal cords slightly as you breathe so that you can feel the air as it flows past. A slight hissing sound often results—the more you constrict your throat and force your breath, the louder the sound. Conversely, the more finely you control your breath, the softer the sound. The goal is not to create a lot of sound but rather less sound. With practice and greater control, you should be able to breathe slowly and very smoothly. Then the sound will diminish and you can direct your attention to a more subtle indicator: the internal sensation of your breath flowing. Krishnamacharya used to give the standard instruction, ‘Feel rubbing sensation in throat.’”
~ A. G. Mohan, "Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings" (p. 24)

Jalandhara Bandha

Chin Lock

Technique- Sit on the left heel to put pressure on the perineum (males use right heel to press into penis), “forcefully contracting the anus so that apana vayu (downward moving prana) moves up” -Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Be careful not to create tightness in the pelvic floor. Light and steady energetic lifting actions that draw energy up and into the core of the body while allowing that energy to radiate out and fuel the practice.

Upward flying feeling
Abdominal lock
Uddyana means “To draw upward”
Traditionally used in meditation
Be careful not to restrict the breath
There is a balance of softness and contraction here. Stirah/Sukham
The lock is energetic and does not have to be a strong but a light drawing in and up

Pull chin in toward spine just slightly
This locks Ida & Pingala in order to activate sushumna
Catches the energy as it rises in the body

Vinyasa is what makes the Ashtanga Yoga metod effective
Origins in Mysore with Krshnamacharya
"O yogi, do not do asana without vinyasa." -Yoga Kurunta by Vamana Rishi
Breath Synchronized Movement
Movement Meditation- our thoughts are dissolved in the flow of movement
For each posture there is a vinyasa, a specific way of entering and exiting the pose, accompanied by an inhale or exhale
1. nose
2. between the eyebrows
3. navel
4. thumb
5. hands
6. feet
7. up
8. right side
9. left side

The cleansing and purification of the internal and external sense organs leads to the full realization of Ashtanga Yoga or Patanjali's Eight-Limbed Yoga.
This results in improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

Rediscover your fullest potential
Yoga Chikitsa (Yoga Therapy), healer heal thyself
A rich tradition that gives you roots in time and space
A base to your vinyasa teachings
A profound personal practice
Discipline- Ashtanga demands a regular practice
Steadiness & Awareness
Why do we want you to learn the Primary Series?
Roots in an ancient text- Yoga Korunta, written by Vamana Rishi.
This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his guru, Rama Mohan Brahmachari.
"said to contain lists of many different groupings of asanas, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras, and philosophy" (Jois 2002 xv). it is said to have the same groupings of asanas for al 6 series.
Later passed down to Pattabhi Jois
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Method vs. Ashtanga Yoga
2 of the 4 Vedas contain signs of Ashtanga Vinjasa yoga practice and vinjasa system.
Roots in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali written between 400 BC and 200 AD

A Brief History of Ashtanga Yoga
The Yoga Sutra define yoga as "the quieting of the mind" (yogas chitta-vritti-nirodha).
Only with a calm mind can the true nature of existence be realized.
To achieve this goal Patanjali describes a way of eight stages:

Yama (dealing with others)
Niyama (dealing with oneself)
Asana (position)
Pranayama (breath control)
Pratyahara (fasting with the senses)
Dharana (concentration)
Dhyana (meditation)
Samadhi (self-awareness)

Eight limbs of Yoga Described by Patanjali
Sun Salutations A & B
Surya Namaskara
Sun Salutation A- 10 breaths or 20 counts.
Sun Salutation B- 14 breaths or 28 counts.

Urdhva Hastasana
Forward Fold
Arms up
Reach up
Keep shoulders down as arms lift out to sides and overhead
Keep chest lifted, pelvis neutral, tailbone down
Tadasana Allignment
Ardha Uttanasana
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Upward Facing Dog
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward Facing Dog
legs firm
kneecaps lifted
spine long
shoulder blades drawn down the back
heart center open
Uddiyana bandha
keep legs vertical (don’t shift backwards- shift weight into balls of feet, keep heels rooted down)

lengthen spine
draw shoulder blades down back
expand across heart center
keep feet grounded
legs firm to cultivating a stable foundation
jarring impact on lumbar spine
disruption of the synchronized connection of breath

Why do we skip phalakasana (plank pose) & go straight to Chaturanga?
Sun A
Sun B
Chair Pose
Warrior 1
Upright Standing/Mountain Pose
Sama = straight, upright, equal
sthitiḥ = standing, stability
Drishti- nose
Upward Hands Pose
(Urdhva Vrikshasana = upward tree position)
Uttana = "intense stretch"
Asana = "posture"
hinge at hips to fold forward
3 arm options for folding
Drishti - middle of eyebrows
Ardha = Half
lengthen spine
lift head
hands down, float back
elbows close to chest
hands under triceps
face points forward on your mat
engage rhomboids, shoulder blades down the back
active legs and core
hit this pose for at least a fraction of a second at first. Do not skip it!
Chatur = four
anga = limb, body part
Danda = Staff
Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Drishti - nose
roll over tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms
Active and aligned legs
press tops of feet firmly down
pull pelvis forward away from ankles
pull spine through toward heart
press tailbone back toward heels
keep gluts soft
lifting and spreading in the chest
focus the back bend in your heart center
Variation - cobra

root firmly into knuckles and index fingers (balanced pressure across hands and wrist joints and reducing the likelihood of strain in the wrists)
wrists aligned directly under shoulders
energetically spiral the palms out to create more space across the heart center
Unique and changing geometry of each students body. Each students pose will look different.
draw the curve of the back bend up your spine consciously and create a sense of pulling the lower tips of shoulder blades in and up as if into heart center
hanging in shoulders can strain the neck, close the heart center, compromise the breath and dump into the lower back
urdhva = upward
mukha = face
svana = dog

Drishti - In the middle of the eyebrows
tuck toes
push back
lift hips
straight arms
Drishti - navel
hands shoulder distance apart,feet hip width apart
internally rotate forearms and externally rotate the upper arms (hide your underarms)
neck and head continue along the same line as the spine
Uddiyana bandha
Bend knees, tip toes, send sit-bones & tailbone up & back, Straighten legs without changing shape in the spine or pelvis.
Inner thighs rotate inwards as you firm the outer thighs.
find a feeling of pubic bone leading the way in pulling the hips up & back
shoulder blades spiraling out broadly away from spine
variation bring knees to floor during transition, dolphin

Variation - gaze forward
Variation - knees bent
Variation - knees bent
Dristhi - middle of thumb
Drishti -
Variation - knees down
keep arches lifted, weight evenly distributed throughout feet
align hips over ankles
lift breastbone, open chest, and lengthen back of neck
All Bandhas
hands to heart center or by your sides, palms open
Finding "Tadasana" in every pose is finding proper alignment
Video & Audio's
establishes symmetrical neutral alignment
increases awareness of body alignment
Reach Arms Up
Pathway 28, 27, 26, 25
A couple of different ways to breath from Down Dog to Ardha Uttanasana
Complete the last exhale of 5 in down dog upon jumping forward
inhale to flat back, Ardha Uttanasana
Finish 5 breaths in down dog, then Inhale to Ardha Uttanasana
5 Breaths
Arms up, stand up
Lower Arms
Start Sun B in Tadasana or Samastitihi
Inhale, sweep fingertips along the mat and up overhead
Variations- look forward and keep hands apart, lower arms
Stand in Utkatasana
take hands to hips, push the femoral heads toward the heels, rotate the pelvis forward and back a few times to find neutrality. Find where it feels like your spine is drawing naturally out of your pelvis
take arms by the sides palms facing out, feel your chest expand as you draw shoulder blades down and in against back ribs. Reach arms out and up over head, arms in line with ears, take palms together & gaze up
Exercises to Find a Neutral Pelvis and an Open Chest in Utkatasana
Utkata = wild, terrifying, exceeding the ordinary, intense, powerful, fierce, difficult

Drishti - middle of thumb
Virabhadrasana A
Surya Namaskara B introduces 2 new poses:
(Chair Pose or Fierce Posture)
Virabadhrasana A
(Warrior 1)
Body Locks
ground down through feet, strong legs
knee over ankle, not past, not the side
back foot at a 45* angle
heel to heel alignment or wider, why?
outside edge of back food connects to mat
hips squaring to the front front, roll back thigh & hip forward, draw front femur back into hip socket
neutral pelvis
all bandhas
low ribs in
hands together if shoulders allow
gaze upward

Drishti - middle of thumbs
Surya Namaskara B
Pattabhi Jois
Sri T. Krishnamacharya
Mysore Style Practice vs.
Traditional Led Primary Series
Mysore Style: method of teaching inwhich student is expected to attend class daily and memorize the postures at they are taught. Students begin by practicing only sun salutations. New postures are added as the student is ready.
Led Primary Series: teacher calls out sanskrit names of postures and the count of breath
Standing Sequence
Padangusthasana & Padahastasana
Begin in Samastitihi
Inhale jump feet to hip width (about one foot width)
exhale, hinge at the hips, forward fold, grab big toes
inhale lengthen spine, gaze forward
exhale forward fold "Padangusthasana"
put weight into both heels and balls of feet evenly
pada bandha
strong standing legs
uddiyana bandha
Big Toe Pose
Utthita Trikonasana & Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana & Parivritta Parsvakonasana
Utthita Trikonasana
Extended Triangle Pose
jump to feet separated one leg distance,
pivot to the right, right foot at a 90 and left foot with a slight turn in,
heel to arch alignment,
shift hips left, press right sitting bone to the left,
lengthen spine & arm to the right
"find your edge,"
hand on lower leg, ankle, floor, big toe..
drishti: up
Correct students by having them raise back up some to allow the spine to lengthen without rotating.
Suggest micro bend in the front knee for those who may hyperextend, lift kneecap, knee aligned with first 2 toes
(externally rotated femurs)

Parivrita Trikonasana
Hasta- hand

From Padangusthasana inhale half lift
reah hands under feet, toes to wrists, fingertips to heels
5 breaths
inhale half lift,
exhale hands to hips
inhale up to stand
exhale Samastitihi
hand under foot pose
Drishti -
Drishti -
3rd eye
Drishti -
feet leg distance apart
pivot to the right, turn right foot out 90* and left foot pretty close to 90* as well just to a point where the hips are square to the front of the mat,
strong legs
lift left arm, right hand on hip, revolve right, place left hand on floor(inside & eventually outside) block, shin…
rotate torso open to the right, maintain the position of the hips
extend up through right hand, gaze up* draw shoulder blades down the back and radiate out both arms and fingertips from the heart center
5 breaths
students may tend to compromise these in order to get their hand to the floor so make alignment the main interest.

revolved triangle
Drishti - thumb
Utthita Parsvakonasana
extended side angle
Inhale jump feet to leg distance apart
pivot to the right,right foot pointing to the front of the mat left foot at 90* or turned in a little
bend right knee, Virabhadrasana II
front knee aligned directly above heel
back leg firm & straight, arch lifted
front sitting bone drawing under
hips level, pelvis neutral
shoulder blades drawn down the back
reach out through right arm to find your edge
Press elbow or shoulder against knee isometrically to keep aligned and leverage rotation of the torso.
Visualize a strong line of energy from grounded foot through fingertips.
5 breaths

variations: elbow on knee, fingertips, palm to inside foot, palm to outside (advanced), block

Parivritta Parsvakonasana
revolved side angle
legs leg length apart
pivot to right, bend right knee
take hands into prayer pose, twist right
press left elbow into knee
draw the shoulder across the knee and left hand to floor
right hand reaches overhead to make a diagonal line from left foot to right fingertips, palm down
externally rotate the torso to the right
Root pinky toe side of back foot down
Drishti - thumb

Inhale Jump feet apart leg length distance
outer edges of feet parallel to each other
exhale reach hands in line with feet
place hands under shoulders, palms down
inhale lengthen, open heart, gaze forward, exhale fold
5 breaths
slide wrists back and create a feeling of sliding hands forward to lengthen the spine
draw shoulder blades down against back ribs
release top of head to the floor

Drishti - nose
Prasarita A
Prasarita Padotanasana D
In D Clasp big toes, engage pada bandha, stretch elbows away from each other, shrug shoulder blades down the back. 5 breaths, inhale lengthen, exhale hands to hips, inhale up

Dristhi- nose
Prasarita Padotanasana C
Keep shoulder blades rooted down against back of ribs while stretching arms over head and expanding across the chest. Hands interlaced in Venus lock or us a strap.

Prasarita Padotanasana B
keep hands on hips to encourage anterior rotation of the pelvis, draw elbows together to open through the heard, exhale all the way down, 5 breaths, inhale all the way up to standing.

Qualities of Padottanasana- Straight, strong legs, slight internal rotation of the femurs, drawing the pubic bone bone back and up while stretching the belly button and sternum toward the floor. bring weight forward into the balls of the feet, while grounding the fronts of the heels, hips directly over heels, relax the neck. Legs can come closer together for students who have head on the floor.

pyramid pose
side forward bend
jump feet apart a few inches shy of one leg distance
pivot to the right, turn right foot out 90* and left foot pretty close to 90* as well just to a point where the hips are square to the front of the mat & you still feel a stretch in the groin
extend arms out and move into reverse prayer pose, (or grab elbows variation)
lift the spine, open across the heart center, extend the sternum toward and toward the toes
5 breaths
variations: hands to floor, wall, block

Balancing Postures
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A,B,&C
extended hand to big toe pose
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A
ground down through standing leg
Inhale, bend one knee, reach around the outside of the bend leg and clasp the big toe with peace fingers, outstretch the leg
exhale hinge forward over the straightening leg.
Keep hips parallel, neutral pelvis
5 breaths
Inhale stack spine, chest up

tip of the foot
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana B
exhale draw leg away from the median plane of the body
have students focus on keeping their standing leg stable, hips level, and pelvis neural.
5 breaths
variations; keep knee bent, use a strap.Beginners can use a wall for support
Drishti - opposite drrection from foot
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana C
for C, inhale the leg to a forward extension
exhale forehead to knee
inhale hold it in space using an intense body contraction
5 breaths
exhale release the foot to the ground

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana
half bound lotus standing forward bend
inhale lift the right knee, cradle the lower leg and draw the right heel toward the left hip, release through the inner right groin to allow the right knee to release down into half lotus
reach right hand around your back, clasp big toe
exhale fold forward
draw navel into spine, inhale lift like arch uttanasana exhale hold, inhale stand
exhale samastitihi
Keep your standing leg strong and steady, knee can be bent

Variation- only go as far as you feel comfortable
Surya Namaskara C
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana & Arda Bhadda Padmottanasana

Seated Poses to Navasana
seated forward fold
Paschima = Back, West, Back of Body
Tana = stretched
Uttana = intense stretch, straight, straightened

Paschimottanasana A
begin in Dandasana
Inhale clasp big toes with peace fingers, lengthen spine
exhale, fold, hinge at hips, elbows out, top of head in the direction of the big toes
5 breaths
inhale up

Drishti - big toe
inhale reach around feet, lengthen spine
exhale fold, 5 breaths
inhale up

Paschimottanasana B
Drishti - big toes
Paschimottanasana C
Paschimottanasana D
wrap around for a bind
lean elbows to side
left hand is grabbing hand
lengthen spine
exhale fold
5 breaths
inhale up
exhale vinyasa

palms reach for soles of feet
toes at wrists
lengthen spine
exhale fold
5 breaths

Drishti- big toes
upward plank pose
Purva = east, front of body
Tana = stretched
from Dandasana exhale hands behind back hand distance, fingers pointing towards feet
inhale, lift hips, stretch legs toes to ground, let head hang
5 breaths
exhale hips to mat

3rd Eye
Ardha Baddha Padma
half bound lotus seated forward fold
Ardha = half
Baddha = bound
Padma = Lotus
Paschima = Back, West, Back of Body
tana = stretched
uttana = intense stretch, straight, straightened

from Dandasana take one leg into half lotus
wrap same side arm around the back to clasp
reach free hand for outside of straight legs foot
root down through sit bones, actively flex foot
inhale lengthen spine & lift heart
exhale fold
If lotus knee is up off the ground maybe don’t have students fold, Instead focus on opening the hips
5 breaths
Variations- Can use strap and block
Tiriang Mukha Eka Pada
face up one foot forward bend
Paschima = Back, West, Back of Body
tana = stretched
uttana = intense stretch, straight, straightened
from Dandasana fold leg to the side, (you can also jump to tiriang legs)
knees together. press thumb into middle of the calf muscle behind the knee, slide your thumb down the middle of the muscle, draw it out from the center
root equally through sitting bones
inhale lengthen spine
exhale fold forward 5 breaths

Drishti - big toe
Janu Shirshasana
Janu = knee
Shirsha = head

head to knee posture
Janu Shirshasana A
Janu Shirshasana B
Shirshasana C
start in Dandasana, exhale, place right foot at inside of thigh, 90* angle in the knee
keep sitting bones even and firmly grounded
turn torso slightly to point sternum at extended foot
reach for shin, ankle, foot, bind
inhale lengthen, shoulders down the back
exhale fold forward
draw torso toward extended thigh, 5 breaths
inhale up
exhale vinyasa

Drishti - big toe
start in Janu A
lean forward, pick yourself up
place your anus and perineum onto your heel
were looking for activation of the muscle of the pelvic floor
turn torso toward front leg
inhale get long in the spine
exhale fold over the extended leg
variation- point the toe youre sitting on

stand up the right foot
pull toes down and push heel up gently
push hip forward
put both hands around left foot
left hand grasps joint of right hand
variations: sit on heels &
pull toes down push heel up, switch off between the two.

Marichiasana A,B,C,&D
Sage Marichy’s posture
boat pose
Nava= Boat
extend legs up 45*
arms parallel to the floor
palms facing eachother
shoulder blades down the back
chest open
5 rounds
yoga push-up between each round
Core Activation
Marichiasana A
start in Dandasana, exhale draw the right heel in as close to the sitting bone as possible
create a hand width space between foot and extended leg
option to place left hand on floor to stabilize
stretch right arm far forward
wrap the right arm low around the shin
clasp behind back
if binding right hand is grabbing hand
inhale lift spine and chest
exhale, fold forward
big toe drishti
inhale come up
exhale vinyasa

Marichiasana B
start in Dandasana, exhale, draw left leg into a lateral rotation
rock your baby
heel to belly button and even higher to sternum and then to heart to prepare for lotus
close knee joint
draw outer edge of foot into hip crease
baby toe side of foot toward hip crease
don’t cycle the foot
do not do the full pose if you feel pain in the knee joint
bend right knee
foot close to hips
reach forward with right arm
wrap arms if shoulder comes past knee and if you can get your knee to the ground
inhale lengthen
exhale fold
keep a sense of grounding in the pelvis
inhale come up
exhale vinyasa
Variation 1: Figure 4, open chest, lift up, works the stretch into your hip, keep foot flexed and active, draw knee in closer and closer
Variation 2: cross ankles

Marichiasana C
start in Dandasana, exhale, bend right knee deeply, draw foot in close
foot and straight leg one hand width apart
place right hand behind
gently engage core
lean over into the right hip joint
reach knee for armpit
roll left shoulder forward
inhale lift right hand to meet right in a clasp or bind
left hand is grabbing hand
exhale twist
inhale, unwind, push-up
exhale, vinyasa
detox pose
variation: if shoulder does not come past knee reach around the leg with left arm, twist right
Marichiasana D

exhale bend left knee into half lotus
top of foot on hip crease
bend right leg, foot close to body
right hip and foot are in line with each other if knee is reaching to the floor
suck in the belly, lift spine, twist right
knee in armpit
roll left shoulder forward
inhale lift right hand to meet left
exhale twist right, 5 breaths
inhale unwind, push-up
exhale vinyasa
variation: if shoulder does not come past knee reach around the leg with left arm, twist right
Jump Through
Closing Sequence
Urdhva Danurasana & Paschimottanasana
Upward Bow Posture- Full Wheel
Urdhva = directed upward, high, raised
Dhanura = bow
Drishti- tip of nose

lay on your back, bend your arms, hands under shoulders
gently pull shoulder blades down the back
elbows track over wrists
fingers pointing at feet, bend legs
bring feet in close to sitting bones, hip width apart
have knees track straight over ankles
Inhale up, lift hips, lift & externally rotate shoulders, & straighten arms, (you can touch your head to the ground first & on the next inhale straighten your arms)
stack joints, shoulders on top of elbows, on top of wrists
keep moving chest & shoulders forward and away from the feet to protect the lower back and be in proper alignment
straight arms, arms spiral in, inward rotation starting from the shoulders, shoulders drawing away from ears
relax the glutes
ribs lift, sternum rises
pada bandha, activate legs, internal rotation of femurs, 5 breaths
exhale to come down, tuck chin, slowly lower to neutralize spine
lift again on the next inhale, do 3 rounds

Counter pose- Paschimottanasana
As you progress with Urdhva Dhanurasana, start to walk hands closer and closer to feet.
Also included in the Primary Series are stand up and drop back drills, as you progress in your backbends you will add standing up from Urdhva Dhanurasana 3 times as well as dropping back from standing to full wheel 3 times, Inhale up, Exhale back
10 breaths- this is a very nice time to adjust your students and friends

Salamba Sarvangasana
Salamba = suppoerted
Sarva = all, every
Anga = limbs, bodyparts
Asana = pose, posture, seat
The greatest physical risk in inversions is to the neck
New students may try for a "backstand" instead of a shoulder stand, crunching the upper thoracic vertebrae. We do not want the neck to touch the mat.
We should be strong and balancing through the shoulders.
lay down on back, neutralize the spine by laying down for 1-10 breaths, press palms into the mat as you inhale to lift legs and back up off the ground
reach toes for the sky, strong legs and core, stack toes on top of heels on top of hips on top of shoulders
bring hands to support the back, 10 Breaths
Inversions are contraindicated for students who have cervical spine issues, high blood pressure, or who are pregnant. Some women choose not to invert during menstruation due to the possibility of retrograde menstruation.
Drishti - tip of nose
Variations: a wall can be used, You can place folded blankets under shoulders to prevent crunching if students feel pressure, until they are stronger in the shoulders, chest, and neck, lay on back with legs up the wall
begin at the front of your mat, lying on back, knees bent, place hands under shoulders, elbows in, legs up and over like plow pose, suck in belly, lift hips, push into BOTH hands, face looks forward the entire time, roll back on an inhale, move through vinyasa
*if you have pain in shoulder stand, Sarvangasana, do not try Chakrasana yet, go through a regular vinyasa
backward wheel
Shoulderstand Series
plough pose

Hala = plough
Again, a blanket can be used.
Exhale, Slowly & with control draw legs overhead to the floor (block, chair, wall)
Interlace fingers, draw shoulder together, straighten arms
active core
pubic bone away from belly
lengthening the spine, ground through arms and feet
draw collarbones down, spread across chest, press spine through toward heard, press sit bones up
5 breaths
variation- arm placement can be varied, toes pointed or flexed, use the wall or a chair

Drishti- tip of nose
ear pressure posture

release the knees towards the ears, press arms into the floor, squeeze ears with knees, eventually reaching knees for floor and heels to touch, listen to your 5 breaths from the inside of your body
Must the arms be pressing into the ground touching to move forward.

Karna = ear
Pida = pressure
Drishti- tip of nose
Urdhva Padmasana
upward lotus posture

Urdhva = upward
Padma = lotus flower

draw legs into padmasana, lotus pose
use one hand at a time if you need assistance in finding lotus
draw navel in
push arms straight up, pressing on knees, let knees be heavy, resting on the hands
root through the shoulders, expand the chest, extend the spine
continue focusing on your breathing & mula bandha, 5 breaths
Variations- cross your ankles, you can use a hand on the back for support

Drishti- tip of nose or belly


Pinda = embryo, small ball
from Urdhva Padmasana hug your lotus, suck in your belly, round your back forward, wrap arms across legs, clasp hands or take a bind, left hand grabs right wrist, 5 breaths
Variation- if lotus is not accessible try half lotus on both sides only if you are steady in your head stand (Sarvangasana), otherwise cross your ankles, hug your legs, reach for a bind

Drishti- tip of nose
Matsyasana & Uttana Padasana
Fish posture
from Pindasana, roll down the back vertebrae by vertebrae
lift chest, lower onto elbows, open chest/sternum/heart & lift head
reach knees toward the ground if in lotus, straight legs if not
exhale lower onto the crown
reach forward clasp feet with hands, straighten arms, 5 breaths
variation: roll up to sitting, come back on to elbows one at a time, reach your hands underneath your, open chest/sternum/heart & lift head, tip pelvic bowl forward, exhale lower onto the crown, fish pose

Drishti- 3rd eye
Uttana Padasana
extended leg posture
Uttana = intense stretch, straight, stretched
Pada = leg, foot
extend legs out straight and raise them to a 45* angle at the same time extend arms to 45*s, 5 breaths
to come out: exhale lower down on back, inhale chakrasana, exhale vinyasa

Drishti- 3rd eye
Salamba = with support
Shirsha = head
Iyengar said that headstand is one of the most important poses, “It’s mastery gives one balance and poise, both physically and mentally,” in his influential book Light on Yoga.

Begin by kneeling on all fours, forearms on the ground, grab opposite elbows to find proper elbow distance, bring hands together, fingers interlocked, palms forming a cup, elbows less than shoulder width apart
place the crown of the head on the mat, back of the head nustled into the cupped palms the forehead & the back of the head are off the ground, only the crown is in contact with the floor
lift hips, walk knees close to face
find your center of gravity, the point at which your feet naturally lift off the ground and inhale, extend up to the full pose
if this is not happening just yet you can draw one knee at a time in close to chest to find that balance
stay interested in working with shoulder strength, core strength, and arm strength & not just getting up into the pose, you will lift into the full pose in time & with practice, 10 breaths

Half Bend- lower legs to a half lift for 5 breaths, navel drishti (nābicakre), inhale back to full Shirshasana and exhale down to childs pose.
variations- when using a wall place head 2-3 in. away from wall
tripod- make a triangle with 3 points, head, and hands, you should be able to see your hands and arms make a 90* angle, these are your shelves, walk legs closer and set knees on elbows. Using core, arm, neck, & shoulder strength.
childs pose
Bala = child
sit on heels knees together
rest your torso over your thighs
forehead touches the mat
5 breaths
make childs pose a very meditative place
come back to childs pose when its time to go deep within, to be present and still, and to discover more inspiration for the next pose
Variation: drawing the knees out wider may be more accessible, arms above the head, palms down, is good for activating and keeping the heat in the practice, cool down may call for arms relaxed along the sides, this slows the heart rate even more, you can place a blanket behind knees
inhale plank, exhale vinyasa

Drishti- tip of the nose
Lotus Pose
Padma = lotus, lotus flower
Be mindful of your knees.
This is a hip releasing pose.
start in dandasana, ground the sitting bones and sit tall,
draw right heel into belly button and then to left hip crease
relax right hip, inner thigh, & groin
externally rotate the femur to release the right knee toward the floor, do the same with the left leg,

Drishti- tip of the nose
Yoga Mudra
the seal of yoga

Yoga = to yoke, to become one, connection with the divine
Mudra = seal, symbol
assume Baddha Padmasana- bound lotus pose
Baddha= bound
Padma= lotus
starting in Padmasana, lotus pose, if that is not accessible take half lotus or cross legs, inhale to take a bind.
if you are in Padmasana
reach left arm behind back and grab toe, then right
keep arms reaching down the back as if reaching under the sacrum
if not binding grab elbows or forearms
lengthen the spine
exhale knees to the floor, forehead or chin reaches toward the floor, 5 breaths
move into a quiet space inside
inhale come up, set hands behind back, lift head and open chest, pull shoulder blades down the back

Drishti- 3rd eye

Padmasana- lotus posture- meditation pose

already in Padmasana, on an exhale take hands to knees in gyan mudra
arms straight, spine stacked, all bandhas gently and energetically activated
inhale get tall through the spine
breathe, shape change first in upper lungs, then lower lungs
deep full inhales and exhales, exhale, shape change first from the navel up to the thoracic cavity
Keep the chin close to the chest for as long as possible.
Use this meditation to focus inward.
Release any thoughts that arise 10 breaths

Drishti- tip of nose

Uth Pluthihi
lift up
building arm, wrist, shoulder, & core strength
begin in lotus half lotus or legs crossed at ankles, set your hands beside your hips
push arms straight, keep strong shoulders, lift your lotus, hips and knees
if you are crossed at the ankles lift hips first, yoga push-up, and then add feet
get short through the torso, find new space in the shoulders, 10 breaths
to come out inhale, swing your lotus back, extend legs to Chaturanga
exhale, vinyasa

Drishti- 3rd eye
corpse pose
Shava = corpse
Final relaxation
Savasana allows the body time to integrate the information & transformation at the end of asana practice.
Lay on your back, neutralize the spine
lift the chest a little to let the shoulder blades relax slightly toward each other, then lay back down with more spaciousness across the heart center
inhale one last time with Ujjayi Pranayama
exhale sigh and relax the breath, breath with your own rhythm in Savasana
touch toes together and let legs fall apart, some may prefer wider
let arms naturally rotate outward, palms relaxed and facing up
this is a receiving pose, absorbing all the benefits of the practice
guide students into relaxation with a few words.
You can also add in muscle relaxation, from the toes to the crown of the head, by encouraging the students to contract and then release muscles.
Encourage the students to scan their body silently one more time, finding any spaces they may be gripping or tensing, sometimes simply bringing awareness to these spaces can help them to soften.
Gently remind the students to acknowledge any thoughts that may surface and return awareness to the breath before leaving them in silence, 5-10 minutes
Variations: for back pain place bolster or rolled blankets under knees, legs up the wall, or any comfortable restorative position to accommodate injuries, pregnancy, etc..
Savasana is a nice time to adjust
Gently lifting each leg, holding at the ankle and the knee, lengthening the leg and gently placing it back to the mat.
Rotating the arms so the palms face upward, then gently pressing the wrists.
Kneeling at the top of the body, near the head, gently pressing the shoulders into the ground.
To lengthen the neck, draw your palms around the back of the head, gently tipping the head so the chin tucks and the back of the neck lengthens. Replace the head gently to the mat.

Second Series Postures
Nadi Shodhana

Ashtanga's Primary Series
"Yoga Chiktsa"
(Yoga Therapy)
Opening Mantra
5 Suryanamaskara A (9 Vinyasas)
5 Suryanamaskara B (17 vinyasas)
Sun B introduces 2 new posses:
Utkatasana & Virabadhrasana A
Standing Postures
Balance Postures
Suryanamaskara C
Seated Postures
Closing Sequence
Mangala Mantra
Short Forms
purifies the subtle energy channels or nadis thus allowing prana to flow freely throughout the body
Short Forms
Krishnamacharya taught for 7 decades
started teaching Yoga under the patronage of Maharaja of Mysore in the 1930’s
gave yoga its contemporary form (Ashtanga yoga is at th heart of modern yoga asana)
His students include Indra Devi Pattabhi jois and iyengar
“Teach what is appropriate for each individual"
combine practice and knowledge
Sri T Krishnamacharya
Third Series
4th Series
5th & 6th Series
At the age of 12 he attended a demonstration given by Krishnamacharya, and after that, he spent 25 years with him learning Ashtanga yoga.
Jois was married, father to three children. Today two of them (Manju Jois and Saraswati) are Sri K. Pattabhi Joisteaching the knowledge their father had taught them.
He founded the «Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute» where he was teaching until his death.
Yoga Mala
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
vande gurunam charanaravinde
sandarshita svatma sukhava bodhe |
nih shreyase jangali kayamane
sansara halahala mohashantyai ||
abahu purushakaran
shankhachakrasi dharinam |
sahasra shirasam shvetan
pranamami patanjalim ||
Full transcript