Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series

Ashtanga yoga is an ancient form of yoga comprising of different sets of progressive exercises and breathing techniques to control stress, strengthen physically and attain peacefulness. This articles discusses about the ashtanga yoga primary series.

It is said by the Gurus (Yogis) that, for a successful adaptation of ashtanga yoga there are eight practices to be made which include Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. The first four (Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama) are said as external cleaning practices and the next three (Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana) are called the internal cleaning practices, Samadhi is considered as the final or ultimate state to achieve.

Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series include

Yama: Practice of righteous living

Niyama: Involves practice of self-purification

Asanas: They are useful in improving your stamina (both physical and mental), alertness.

Pranayama: Also called as breath control, it is said as the first step of practicing any asanas. Inhaling and exhaling are two important concepts that are to be followed exactly while doing an asana, failing to do as thought may result in side effects.

Poses Used in Ashtanga Yoga Primary series

To practice yama and niyama properly, practice of different asanas is very important. The primary series of ashtanga yoga is called Yoga Chikitsa, meaning yogic therapy. It has around 75 asanas.

Two sets of Surya Namaskara’s also known as Sun Salutations to warming up

Standing poses like Ardha Chandrasana, Utthita asanas, and Tadasana for flexibility in muscles and joints.

Abdominal asanas include Bharadvajasana and Marichyasana asanas for strenghtening abdominal organs

Inversions like Urdhva Mukha Svanasa and Adho Mukha Svanasa to reduce stress

Bending asanas for improving mental ability. Exercises include Bhujangasana, Matsyasana and Ustrasana

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