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Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series

19 Apr 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series

Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series

By : Yoga Guru Subodh

Yoga is the union of inner self and the cosmic intelligence. Yoga is for getting good health, happiness and harmony. Yoga is completely experimental science that uncovers inner peace, inner purity, inner rest and inner relaxation, then links to groom entire potency. Yoga is the complete science of being. Dhyana (Meditation) is the final key in yoga Practice. Physical practice or Asanas is one of the major pillars of whole yogic mission. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is the complete Asana series for intense physical fitness; it strongly grounds for Yoga sadhana. It combines some of the means of Yoga like Prayer, Asana, Breath, Bandha and Focus (drishti) for optimum merits.

Ashtanga Vinyasa is the combination of yoga asanas (poses) and is teaching style of asanas by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois (July 26, 1915- May 18, 2009). In fact, the term ‘Ashtanga’ means eight limbs of yoga (i.e. yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahar, dharana, dhyana, and Samadhi) as a compete pattern of Yoga Sadhana mentioned in Paatanjala Yoga Darshana. But here Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series means mere a sequence of asanas for regular practice in his style.  Vinyasa here means careful linkage of breath with

  • movement of body and
  • static position of the body
  • keeping awareness on body, breath and thoughts.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series includes

  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Surya Namaskara A (9 steps)
  3. Surya Namaskara B (17 steps)
  4. Standing Asanas
  5. Sitting Asanas
  6. Lying Asanas
  7. Savasana
  8. Closing Prayer

There are 71 asanas sequenced in primary series. The powerful vinyasa flow to link one asana with the other is the distinction of this technique. The vinyasa flow strengthens arms, hand, torso and core. The continuous vinyasa-flow after each asana keeps making the body warm which helps to go extreme level of asana due to better flexibility. This also helps the body to do counter stretch. Ujjayi breath and Drishti (gaze) along with asana is inseparable part in Pattabhi’s technique. Ujjyi breath means breathing with sound during the asana produced through the throat.

Ujjayi breath helps

  • to give abundance oxygen during the practice, thus recharges and invigorates the body
  • to clear the blockage of nadis and purify them
  • to make a perfect oscillation of inner-ventral blood pressure.  The internal organs get massaged with this oscillation leaving them healthier and stronger

You cannot separate the throat breath (almost like the Ujjayi breath) during the holding moment of asana.

  • Ujjayi reduces the anxiety and the stress keeping mind in the present.
  • It increases mindfulness and consciousness
  • It deepens the breath and helps in formal practice of pranayama.
  • It relaxes the muscles and go deeper to the asana
  • It activates parasympathetic nervous system. This results peaceful and tranquil mind.
  • It creates inward attention and helps to feel the body more and more.
  • It gives effect to the subtle body and helpful to awaken Kundalini.

There are six sequences of Ashtanga Vinyasa. After 1-2 years regular practice of Ashtanga vinyasa, you will be prepared for the intermediate series. The series is very effective for making body energetic, strong and flexible. It makes a great change in you if practiced regularly with dedication.

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