You are currently viewing Ashtanga Yoga: Primary series, Poses, and sequences.

Ashtanga Yoga: Primary series, Poses, and sequences.

History of Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga was popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois during the 20th century. It is a style of yoga as exercised that is often promoted as a modern day form of classical Indian yoga.

Pattabhi Jois claimed to have learnt the system of the exercise from his teacher, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Furthermore, This style is energetic, synchronizes breathe with movements. Also, the individual asanas are linked by flowing vinyasas.

ashtanga yoga

Jois, in 1948 established his ashtanga yoga research institute. Similarly, Yoga’s current style of teaching is called Mysore style which was named after the city in India where the practice was originally taught.

Instruction Method

Pattabhi Jois grandson R. Sharath Jois claimed that one must master in poses before giving permission to perform others that follows. Whereas Pattabhi Jois son Manju Jois disagrees with R. Sharath Jois’s opinion and says that students were allowed to practice in a non linear format.

Principles of Ashtanga Yoga

This yoga highlights certain main components. They are:

  1. Tristhana: It refers to the three places of attention or action. Also, those are breathing system (pranayama), posture (asana), and looking place (drishti).
  2. Vinyasa: It refers to the flowing sequences of movements that connect each asana with the next one.
    • Breathe: The yoga keeps general principle of steady, inhales and exhales, and the specifics of breath during the asanas are debated.
    • Bandhas: It is one of the three key principles in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, alongwith breathe and drishti.

Poses and sequence of primary series of Ashtanga yoga

There are three poses of Ashtanga yoga. They are:

1) Standing Poses

Standing pose includes the following sequences:

  • Samasthiti (Standing still)
  • Surya Namaskara (A & B) (Sun salutation)
  • Padangushtasana (Thumb to foot pose)
  • Pada hastasana (Hand to foot pose)
  • Utthita Trikonasana (Extended triangle pose)
  • Parivritta Trikonasana (Revolved extended triangle pose)
  • Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended side way angle pose)
  • Parivritta Parshvakonasana (Revolved extended side way angle pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (A, B, C & D) (Spread feet stretching pose)
  • Parshvottanasana (Sideways stretching pose)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana (Extended triangle pose)
  • Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half bound lotus stretching pose)
  • Utkatanasana (Uneven pose)
  • Virabhadrasana (A & B) (Warrior pose)

2) Sitting Poses

Sitting pose includes the following sequence:

  • Dandasana (Chaturanga Dandasana) (Four-Limbed Staff (staff means spine, body support) Pose)
  • Paschimattanasana (West-Back (extended-intense) stretching pose)
  • Purvatanasana (Est-Front (extended-intense) stretching pose)
  • Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana (Half bound lotus forward pose)
  • Trianga Mukhaekapada Paschima (One foot transversely facing back forward stretch)
  • Janu Shirshasana (A, B & C) (Head to knee pose)
  • Marichyasana (A, B, C & D) (Marichya (Ray of light (of sun or moon)) pose)
  • Navasana (Boat pose)
  • Bhujapidasana (Arm pressure pose)
  • Kurmasana (Tortoise pose)
  • Supta Kurmasana (Sleeping tortoise pose)
  • Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in the womb pose)
  • Kukkutasana (Roster pose)
  • Baddha Konasana (Bound angle pose)
  • Upavishta Konasana (Seated angle pose)
  • Supta Konasana (Sleeping angle pose)
  • Supta Padangushtasana (Lateral sleeping thumb to foot pose)
  • Ubhaya Padangushtasana (Both thumbs to feet pose)
  • Urdhva Mukha Paschimattanasana (Upward facing forward stretch pose)
  • Setu Bandhasana (Bridge configuration (construction) pose)
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana (Elevated bow pose)
  • Paschimattanasana (West-Back (extended-intense) stretching pose)

3) Finishing Poses

Finishing poses includes the following sequence:

  • Salamba Sarvangasana (All limbs pose)
  • Halasana (Plow pose)
  • Karnapidasana (Ear pressure pose)
  • Urdhva Padmasana (Elevated lotus pose)
  • Pindasana (Embryo pose)
  • Matsyasana (Fish pose)
  • Uttana Padasana (Extended foot pose)
  • Shirshasana (Head standing pose)
  • Baddha Padmasana (Bound lotus pose)
  • Yoga Mudra (Yoga gesture)
  • Padmasana (Lotus pose)
  • Uth Pluthi (Tolasana) (Sprung up)
  • Shavasana (Corpse pose)

Information provided by

Leave a Reply