Ashtanga yoga poses

The highly structured Ashtanga yoga consists of six series, which vary for their complexes of poses and vinyasas and their level of complexity and individual impact on the human body.

The Primary series is called Yoga Chikitsa (cikitsa means therapy or healing). This is the most important and basic series that intends to help you to heal your physical body: improve your body functioning, get rid of existing diseases and prevent the new ones.

Primary series yoga chikitsa
The Second Intermediate Series, called Nadi Sodhana, (nadi means energy channels of the body, while sodhana means purification) aims to clean the nervous system.

The Third Advanced Series help you to achieve physical and inner strength and harmony. The Advanced Series consist of the A, B, C and D series, called Sthira Bhaga (in Sanskrit means "divine stability"). The Third series require great strength and flexibility, control of breathing and bandhas, mental stability. The body becomes unusually light and strong, and the mind becomes stable. These Series of Ashtanga yoga are mainly composed of many handstand vinyasas and other inversions.

Advanced Series B
Advanced Series c
Advanced Series D
Traditionally, regardless of the level, the Ashtanga yoga practice begins and ends with the mantra recitation. Then you proceed with the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) A and B in order to warm up your body and prepare it to the core part of the practice. Normally you repeat the A complex five times and the B complex from three to five times. Then comes

- Standing Asanas (the major poses are Padangushthasana, Pada-Hastasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Parivritta Trikonasana, Utthita Parshvakonasana, Parivritta Parshvakonasana, Prasarita Padottanasana, Parshvottanasana etc.) that are the fundamental part of the practice, and

- Sitting Asanas (Dandasana, Paschimattanasana, Purvatanasana, Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana, Janu Shirshasana, Marichyasana, Navasana, Kurmasana, Kukkutasana, Baddha Konasana, Upavishta Konasana etc.) that changes from series to series.

Then you finally come to

- Inversion and finishing poses (Salamba Sarvangasana, Halasana, Karnapidasana, Urdhva Padmasana, Pindasana, Matsyasana, Uttana, Padasana, Shirshasana, Baddha, Padmasana, Yoga Mudra, Padmasana, Tolasana), that are followed by Shavasana (corpse pose) where you stay in a lying position on the edge of relaxation and meditation. Shavasana intends to calm down the energies, raised during the practice, and to distribute them in your body and mind.

Each series should be mastered gradually. The passage from one series to the other can be done only after you have fully improved the previous series. Otherwise there is an impending danger of the body exhaustion, injuries, bad mood and unwellness, instead of good energy and health.

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