Wednesday, September 28, 2022
HomePopularHow Many Series Are There In Ashtanga Yoga

How Many Series Are There In Ashtanga Yoga

Who Can Do Ashtanga Yoga

Primary Series Ashtanga Vinyasa Led Class | Practice Ashtanga with Doron!

Ashtanga Yoga;is typically recommended to those who prefer fast-paced and more rigorous styles of yogic practice. It’s not that you really have to do the poses quickly after one another, but the flow of the poses is definitely more challenging than in regular yoga practices. The Primary Series alone involves a lot of contortion-esque poses and many of the poses require strong arm and core strength, which is built over time through the multiple vinyasas. If this is your first time to do yoga and you haven’t quite been physically active for some time, Ashtanga may not be the style for you. Those who want to do yoga more for meditational and spiritual purposes may find better styles to try, such as Ananda Yoga. That said, anyone who is up for a challenge that requires good coordination as well as a bit more strength and knows their physical limits well enough can definitely do Ashtanga Yoga.

What Is The Purpose Of Ashtanga Yoga

The ultimate goal of Ashtanga yoga practice is to purify the body and mind. Youll get a lot of tapas if you move swiftly and forcefully, and everything else, physical and mental, will have to get out of the way. You are compelled to concentrate and develop in this exercise since it has a strong feeling of purpose.

Components Of An Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Three main components distinguish Ashtanga Yoga:

  • “Vinyasa” meaning;”movement linked with breath”
  • “Bandha”; meaning;”muscular lock”
  • “Drishti”; meaning;”gaze or focal point”

This triad is called;”tristhana,”;which means;”three places of attention.”;In Ashtanga, tristhana is employed with the intent to unify body, mind, and spirit.


Vinyasa is the basis of the practice. Ashtanga is performed using;“Ujjayi Pranayama,”;a breathing technique also known as;”victorious breath.”;In Ujjayi, the practitioners completely fill their lungs while breathing through their noses. Every action in an Ashtanga practice is partnered with either an inhalation or an exhalation, linking breath with movement.

Bandhas are internal muscular locks that help to achieve and maintain alignment in the asanas. Using bandhas during yoga postures is intended to intensify the energy of prana so it can eliminate impurities from the body.

Drishti is the practitioner’s spot of attention during an asana or pranayama. For example, the gaze could be focused on the thumb or big toe. Focusing on one point helps to develop concentration. With practice, it also allows the practitioner to find balance between inward and outward consciousness.

Recommended Reading: Yoga X Calories Burned

Primary Series Anatomically Speaking

Although most people think of primary series as a bunch of forward bends, I personally believe it to be much more nuanced than that. Unfortunately, the other anatomical aspects either get glossed over or avoided to emphasize only the forward bend. This may be the most obvious overdoing of a particular pattern in primary series. Anatomically, primary series emphasizes external hip rotation, anterior pelvic tilt, and an increased length in the back of the body overall. Moving through the entire primary series also requires stability and strength in the shoulder girdle in order to repeat the vinyasas that come between each side of the posture and the postures themselves. Doing chaturanga so many times has to be built up over time to avoid overworking the shoulders and creating problems.


What can be tricky, is that, while any of the patterns emphasized in primary series can potentially be beneficial from a functional movement point of view, depending on your circumstances, the patterns are not necessarily acquired at the same pace. For example, it might be that you begin an Ashtanga yoga practice with very tight hips and increasing the range of motion in your external hip rotation is happening very slowly.

So, what to do?

Origin Of Ashtanga Yoga:

ashtanga intermediate series asanas list of yoga poses ...

The origin of Yoga was about five thousand years BC and is depicted in Vedic philosophy and tantras. Ashtanga was initially coined by an ancient renowned saint Patanjali the author of the book Patanjali Yoga Sutra He has depicted this as the eight-fold path or the eight limbs.

About ashtanga yoga practices:

The fundamental series is represented as the Yoga Chikitsa meaning Yoga therapy. The prime goal is to release your body from any physical problems and provides you with good physical health. It functions on the well-being of any psychological or emotional level and possesses several other benefits.

You May Like: How To Add Yoga To Garmin Connect


Read Also: Is Yoga Against The Catholic Religion

Ashtanga Yoga The Philosophy

As stated above, Ashtanga yoga is also known as the eight limb path of yoga. Let us find out why is it called so.

Let us now check out what these eight limbs of the Ashtanga yoga style are.

1. Yamas

  • Ishvara Pranidhana Surrender to the divine

3. Asana

The third of the Ashtanga Limbs requires you to include the practice of yoga asanas into your daily schedule.

4. Pranayama

The art of Pranayama refers to the internal, external, and fixed movement of your breathing during the yoga practice.


5. Pratyahara

This is the fourth of the 8 limbs of yoga that refers to the withdrawal of external senses so you can look within and connect with your divine self.

6. Dharana

The word Dharana refers to focused concentration. The practice of Dharana includes exercises like visualization, focusing on your breath, or doing Tratak, which refers to candle gazing.

7. Dhyana

The 7th limb of Ashtanga yoga refers to meditative absorption. This includes focusing on the meditation part of Ashtanga. At this stage, you dont think about meditation but enter into a meditative state without hassle.

8. Samadhi

The final and last step of the 8 limbs of yoga is samadhi which means bliss or enlightenment. After you re-assess your relationship with the external and internal world, you enter into a state of eternal bliss. You are no more controlled by preconceived notions or a judgmental mind, but view the world with an attitude of abundance and happiness.

How Do You Know When Its Time To Move On To The Intermediate Series

The Primary series itself is challenging and practitioners may stay with the Primary series for several years before starting to bring in poses from the Intermediate series. Traditionally the Ashtanga Yoga student would be told by their teacher when they are ready to move onto the next series. However, if you are not practising under the guidance of a teacher how do you know when you can move on?


Ashtanga Yoga teacher David Swenson says that it is not a question of mastering the Primary Series before moving on to the Intermediate Series. It is not a question of being able to do every pose to its full expression, rather the knowledge of how to approach the poses. There should always be room for learning more within the practice, otherwise we shut ourselves off from the possibility of growth. Davids guidance therefore is to be able to practise the Primary Series without stopping and without needing to refer to external resources like a book or video before entering the Intermediate Series.;

Whether you are practising Ashtanga for the first time or are working through the Intermediate Series, remember to practice with awareness and patience and always return;to the breath.

Asanas are not the goal. They are a vehicle to access a deeper internal awareness David Swenson SHARE QUOTE

Also Check: How To Add Yoga To Garmin Connect

Breathing During Ashtanga Practice

Ujjayi translates as victorious. The chief characteristic of this pranayama is the slight hissing noise created by partially closing the glottis of the throat. Familiar to many yoga practitioners. However, full Ujjayi pranayama is more than just the sound, involving a further technique. Helpful for vata imbalance and very calming to the nervous system.;

Deep breathing with a sound in and out through the nose. The sound is coming from the back of the throat and the breath;


S To Do Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga Full Primary Series One Hour Guided Class (Fast Pace)

To perform this Yoga, it is very important to understand its organs as well as the sub organs involved in them, only then the entire Ashtanga Yoga can be incorporated into life. Come, all the organs and sub organs included in the Ashtanga Yoga Sutra

Through each of its stages is closely understood.

1. Yama Yama has five sub-organs, Ahimsa, Satya, Astaya, Brahmacharya, and Aparigraha. Including these five sub organs in ones own life is the first stage of Ashtanga Yoga. Let us understand in some detail how to include them in life.

This means that one who will be able to incorporate these five sub limbs of Yama into his life, while the Ashtanga will be able to cross the first phase of yoga i.e. Yama Anga.

Dont forget to read them


2. Rule- After practicing Yama, it comes to the rule. It also has five sub organs of defecation, contentment, austerity, self-study, and god worship. The second phase of Ashtanga yoga can be overcome by incorporating these rules into life. Let us also understand their detailed meaning.

In this way, by following Yama and Niyam, a seeker will be able to pass the second phase of Ashtanga Yoga.

5. Pratyahara Pratyahara means to withhold or withdraw. this yoga emphasizes the control of unnecessary energy spent due to senses. Meaning that actions like speaking, listening, eating, seeing, and feel should be in a balanced state. The unnecessary energy of the body is not destroyed through these actions.

Also Read

Don’t Miss: Can You Do Yoga After Botox

How Often Should You Do Yoga For Stronger Muscles

Strength doesnât come from your practiceâs regularity so much as the yoga style;you focus on. Choosing postures that focuses on improving your strength will go a long way to building and strengthening your muscles.;

But if you are still interested in developing a smart routine for stronger muscles, practice about three times a week while placing enough of an emphasis on your rest days in between. Recovery is crucial to allow your body to heal. You can become more susceptible to injury if you exert yourself too much.;

What Are Yamas Niyamas And Ashtanga Yoga Of Patanjali

Milk may exist in the udders of the cow, but we need a means or process to extract it Vacaspati Mishra on Ashtanga Yoga

This rather awkward and somewhat amusing statement actually carries a profound meaning behind it. Vacaspati Mishra was a prolific and influential scholar of the 9th century who wrote extensively on Indian Philosophy, including the Yoga Sutras. He made the above statement to explain that the capability of achieving the highest form of Yoga may exist in all of us, but we need a process to extract this potential. So, what is that process?

This process which helps us extract our highest potential is called Ashtanga Yoga and was revealed by Sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. The term Ashtanga Yoga can be confusing as it also refers to a form of hatha yoga asana practice which originated in Mysore. The practitioners of this powerful form of yoga believe that the physical practice itself helps them achieve all eight limbs. But essentially Ashtanga Yoga refers to the following eight limbs of Patanjalis yoga sutras:

Read Also: Does Hot Yoga Burn A Lot Of Calories

Ashtanga : Breaking Down The Primary And Secondary Series

Ashtanga is one of the oldest yoga lineages in existence. Heres what you need to know about the basic series that started it all.

Bibi is an advanced Ashtanga Yoga practitioner and studio owner teaching at Wanderlust Whistler this year. Pay homage to the foundations of your practice and explore Ashtanga with her IRL. In the meantime, lets break down just what the traditional Ashtanga series are all about.;

Primary Series: The Basics

Ashtanga Yoga Full Primary Series Yoga Retreat in Asturias

Primary series, or yoga chikitsa, is a healing practice. It is a practice meant to work on resetting the physical body so that the practitioner can begin to work at a deeper level by sitting in meditation, sitting for pranayama, or working with the body at deeper levels through the series that follow it.

Primary series targets the main organs of the body, such as the digestive system, liver, gall bladder and kidneys. It also; balances our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The practice is based on and around the tristhana method: pranayama, asana, and dristhi, or gaze. The breathing technique we use is Ujjayi breathing, victorious breath, or deep breathing with sound.

This specific type of breathing creates tapas, or heat, in the body. My understanding of this is that the heat generated through the linking of Ujayi breath and movement makes it easier for the blood to circulate through the different tissues and organs in the body.;A lack of flexibility belies a lack of blood circulation in the tissues around the area of stiffness. Enter: Asana.

You May Like: What Is Vajra Yoga In Astrology

Ashtanga Series Of Poses

The first, or primary, series is described in “Yoga Mala.” The primary series is called Yoga Chikitsa, which means;yoga therapy.;It is intended to;realign;the spine, detoxify the body, and build strength, flexibility, and stamina. The series of about 75 poses takes an hour and a half to two hours to complete, beginning with sun salutations and moving on to standing poses, seated poses, inversions, and backbends before relaxation.

The intermediate or second series is called Nadi Shodana, meaning nervous system purification. It cleanses and strengthens the nervous system and the subtle energy channels throughout the body. This series is only introduced when the student has mastered the primary series. It follows the same progression as the primary series, but introduces new poses and variations.

The four advanced series are called Sthira Bhaga, which means divine stability. Pattabhi Jois originally outlined two intensive advanced series, but later subdivided them into four series to make them accessible to more people. These series emphasize difficult arm balances and are only appropriate for extremely advanced students. There are very few students practicing beyond the second series.

Series Of Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is also a great way to incorporate the meditative side of yoga by having a set progression throughout the practice. With this, you can focus more on the breath and concentration of the mind, making a connection with your body.The Primary series of Ashtanga consists of the asanas that you will see in most typical Vinyasa Flow classes. The yoga poses in the Primary series build upon each other as you progress through the series as well. This series means to purify and tone the body and also bring focus to the mind. As the detoxification process progresses.The Intermediate series is the focus to cleanse the nerves. This series has more backbends and headstand variations. Since our nervous system runs through our spine, the second series helps open the subtle channels so that prana or life force energy, may flow freer. This allows the cleansing of the nervous system. The backbends are there to preserve the spine and the suppleness of the back. The series starts as the Primary with Surya Namaskar A and B and the standing postures. Also, it ends with the same closing postures as the Primary, the main difference comes in the middle. Although the Intermediate series is a compliment to the Primary series, the idea of when to start the Second series still varies.

Advance Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

What to Wear to Practice Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Practice for Life

Richard Freeman answered this very question:

Read Also: What Does Sutra Mean In Yoga

What Is Ashtanga Yoga Everything You Need To Know

<script src="//static.leadpages.net/leadboxes/current/embed.js" async defer></script> <script>window.addEventListener);});</script> 

Whenever I meet someone and they ask me what I do, Im always SO proud to tell them Im an Ashtanga Yoga teacher. But 9 times out of 10 Im met with blank faces and the question.What is Ashtanga Yoga?

So its fair to say Im pretty well-rehearsed in answering this question!

Heres all you need to know about my favourite style of yoga.

Where Did Ashtanga Yoga Begin

Ashtanga Yoga Full Primary Series with Kino and Daria 30 Day Yoga Challenge Bonus Class

Originally, Ashtanga Yoga was created by T. Krishnamacharya as an individualized practice for his young energetic student K. Pattabhi Jois in the early 20th century. The fast paced sun salutation movements are thought to have been influenced by the exercises of Indian wrestlers and gymnasts. Jois was a dedicated student, and he further refined and promoted this new style and soon began teaching others. These exhilarating and challenging posture flows were designed to purify the body to offer peace of mind, and eventually gave rise to many different styles of hot yoga, flow or Vinyasa Yoga, and power yoga.

The Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, which promotes the teachings and trainings of Ashtanga, is located in Mysore, India. Pattabhi Joiss grandson, R. Sharath Jois, is the current director of the institute and is the senior authority on the practice. There are many other famous Ashtanga yoga instructors teaching all over the world including David Swenson, Kino MacGregor, Richard Freeman, Maty Ezraty, Tim Miller, David Williams, Chuck Miller, and Tim Feldmann.

You May Like: Is Hotpod Yoga Good For You

Promotes Flexibility And Balance

Regular yoga practice promotes muscle flexibility. As such, itâs an increasingly popular activity among competitive athletes looking to up their game and prevent injuries.

A study published in the International Journal of Yoga looked at male college athletes, measuring differences in performance between those who practiced biweekly yoga sessions and those in a non-yoga group. The results determined that a regular yoga practice may improve flexibility and balance, characteristics that may contribute to enhanced athletic performance.

Im A Yoga Beginner Which Style Should I Start With

We have over 20 styles of yoga on EkhartYoga but how do you know which is right for you?

Hatha yoga is one of the main forms of yoga and many other yoga styles derive from it, so its a great place to learn the foundations and names of the poses. My;Yoga for Beginners course;takes you through the basics and is based on Hatha Yoga. Youll learn how to move and flow with the breath, which will prepare you for other styles of yoga including Vinyasa flow and Ashtanga. These are often more energetic and strong so are good for people looking for a physical challenge. More relaxing forms of yoga include Yin yoga and Restorative.;;

Read our;Yoga Style Guide;for a quick overview or check out our;Styles pages;for more in-depth info.

You May Like: Is Hotpod Yoga Good For You

Don’t Miss: What To Wear To Yoga Class

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles