Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series

The Primary series of Ashtanga Yoga is called Yoga Chikitsa that can be translated from the Sanskcrit as Yoga Therapy. This first series is considered the most important and basic as the foundation of the understanding of all other subsequent series. Due to the intense rush of blood to the body tissues this practice purify and heal the physical body and prepare it for further more challenging series.

The Primary series is focused on hip-opening poses, forward bends, full and half lotus positions. The sequences of asanas are linked by Vinyasas complexes, presented by many repetitions of Chaturanga Dandasa, Upward-Facing Dog and Down-Facing Dog. The Sitting poses also include a lot of vinyasas like "jumping back" and "jumping through" that link the poses in one continuing flow.

The practice of any series begins with the mantra recitation. Then the practitioners proceed to the Surya Namaskar A and B and finally come to the fundamental Standing Asanas and Sitting Asanas.

Standing Asana

Here is the list of the Asanas that constitute the main body of the Primary Series:

Virabhadrasana A
Virabhadrasana B
Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattasana
Tiriang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattasana
Janu Sirsasana A, B and C
Marichasana A, B, C and D
Supta Kurmasana
Garbha Pindasana
Baddha Konasana A
Baddha Konasana B
Upavistha Konasana A
Upavistha Konasana B
Supta Konasana
Supta Padangusthasana
Ubhya Padangusthasana
Urdhva Mukha Paschimattanasana
Setu Bandhasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana
The finishing asanas are very important. They begin with the Inversion poses like Salamba Sarvangasana, Halasana, Karnapidasana and last until the final pose of the Tolasana. The final asanas calm the breath, balance the mind, and prepare the practitioner for relaxation in Shavasana.

The main task of the Primary series is to open the basin, stretch the spine bone and strengthen the dorsum. The open basin helps to open the chest and the diaphragm, and consequently permits the deep breathing that is essential in Ashtanga Yoga practice.
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