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Ashtanga Yoga Poses: The Final Information To The Major Sequence Of Ashtanga

Are you curious about making an attempt Ashtanga yoga however fear this yoga fashion can be too troublesome?

There’s no denying that Ashtanga is a difficult observe with many superior poses requiring excessive flexibility. Nonetheless, this doesn’t imply you should be tremendous flexible to grow to be an “Ashtangi.”

The observe is designed that can assist you progress steadily as you repeatably observe the identical asanas. With each class, you’ll grow to be stronger and extra versatile, whereas enhancing your focus, self-discipline, and steadiness.

So why not give it go? Learn on for a full listing of the Ashtanga yoga poses discovered within the first collection and my tried and examined suggestions for studying the sequence.

What Is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga And Why Ought to You Do It?

Ashtanga yoga was developed by Okay. Pattabhi Jois in 1932. It’s based mostly on the standard eightfold path (eight limbs of yoga), detailed in Patanjali’s sacred scriptures, the “Yoga Sutras.”

The Ashtanga Yoga Analysis Institute of Mysore was based in 1948, and since then, this yoga fashion has grow to be more and more standard.

One cause for its reputation is its disciplined fashion. Historically, you’re presupposed to observe yoga 6 days per week, following a set sequence. Thus, in each Ashtanga class, you’ll do the identical poses in the identical sample.

Ashtanga yoga is a bodily demanding and difficult observe, glorious for constructing energy and adaptability. Whereas holding every pose for five breaths, you observe the Ujjayi pranayama, which helps to construct inside warmth and forestall fatigue.

Thus, this fashion of yoga will make you are feeling robust and energized whereas enhancing your physique consciousness and breath management.

Ashtanga Yoga Major Sequence

In conventional Ashtanga yoga observe, there are 4 totally different set sequences. Nonetheless, everybody begins on the first collection and continues practising it till they’ve mastered each pose – actually! Solely then can an “Ashtangi” proceed to the intermediate collection.

Within the main collection, there are round 50 asanas (excluding the solar salutation sequence carried out originally of the category). Nonetheless, some poses, resembling Marichyasana, have a number of variations.

Here’s a full listing of asanas within the main collection of Ashtanga yoga, proven within the order they’re meant to be practiced.

Heat up sequence

An Ashtanga class begins in Tadasana, the standing place. Then, relying on the yoga instructor, you may first chant the opening mantra or convey your fingers to the prayer place for an Om.

You’ll then carry out 5 rounds of Surya Namaskar A and B. These dynamic sequences assist to heat up all of the muscular tissues within the physique and calm the thoughts. As you hyperlink every breath to every motion, you grow to be centered and centered for the remainder of the observe.

Surya Namaskar A

  1. Solar salutation A begins by standing tall in Tadasana.
  2. Inhale to succeed in your arms overhead to upward fingers.
  3. Exhale to fold ahead into Uttanasana.
  4. Inhale to midway carry. Straighten the legs and look ahead with the fingers on the bottom or shins.
  5. Exhale to bend the knees and step or bounce again to 4 limbed employees pose (Chaturanga).
  6. Inhale to an upward-facing canine, straightening the arms, arching the again, and urgent the chest forwards.
  7. Exhale to push the hips again and up into a downward-facing canine. Legs and arms straight and chest urgent in the direction of the thighs.
  8. Maintain right here for five breaths, then in your inhale, step or bounce ahead to midway carry.
  9. Exhale to Uttanasana.
  10. Inhale to upward fingers.
  11. Exhale to tadasana to finish the primary spherical, then repeat 4 extra occasions.

Surya Namaskar B

Solar salutation B is much like variation A however with some further postures.

  1. Solar salutation B is much like variation A however with some further postures.
    1. From Tadasana, inhale to Chair Pose, bending your knees and sinking your hips whereas reaching your arms alongside your ears
    2. Exhale to fold ahead into Uttanasana.
    3. Inhale to midway carry.
    4. Exhale to step or bounce again to the four-limbed employees pose (Chaturanga).
    5. Inhale to an upward-facing canine.
    6. Exhale to a downward-facing canine.
    7. Inhale to step your proper foot between the fingers and rise to Warrior 1. Bend the entrance knee, hold your hips ahead, and attain your arms as much as the ceiling.
    8. Exhale to launch the fingers to the mat and step again to plank for Chaturanga.
    9. Inhale to an upward-facing canine.
    10. Exhale to a downward-facing canine.
    11. Inhale to step your left foot between the fingers for Warrior 1 on this aspect.
    12. Exhale to Chaturanga.
    13. Inhale to an upward-facing canine.
    14. Exhale to a downward-facing canine. Maintain right here for five breaths.
    15. Inhale to midway carry.
    16. Exhale to Uttanasana.
    17. Inhale to the chair pose.
    18. Exhale to tadasana to finish the primary spherical, then repeat 4 extra occasions.

Ashtanga Standing Sequence

After the solar salutations, you progress to the standing collection of Ashtanga Yoga. Word that among the more difficult standing yoga poses could also be omitted if doing a beginner-level or open class fashion.

All standing poses are usually held for five breaths.

Padangusthasana – The standing sequence begins with two ahead folds; the primary is the hand-to-big-toe ahead fold. Seize your large toes together with your peace fingers and gently pull your torso in the direction of your thighs.

Pada Hastasana – Place your fingers below your toes for a deeper spinal flexion on this ahead fold variation.

Trikonasana – That is the traditional prolonged triangle pose, which supplies an intense stretch to the aspect physique. Purpose to convey your hand to the bottom or a yoga block as you attain the other arm to the ceiling and open the chest.

Parivrtta Trikonasana – The revolved triangle pose offers a deep stretch to the backbone, opens the guts, and improves steadiness.

Utthita Parsvakonasana – The prolonged aspect angle offers a aspect stretch much like in triangle pose. Nonetheless, you bend the entrance knee for a deeper hip stretch.

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana – The revolved aspect angle pose options the identical leg positioning of the earlier posture, however the higher physique twists in the direction of the entrance knee slightly than away from it.

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D – Within the traditional wide-leg ahead fold, you fold between the legs. There are 4 variations of this; the fingers on the ground with the elbows bent, the fingers on the hips, fingers clasped behind the again for a shoulder stretch, and peace fingers below the massive toes.

Parsvottanasana – Pyramid pose is a ahead bend the place you stretch over the entrance leg, giving a deep hamstring stretch.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana A, B, C – Prolonged hand to large toe pose combines a steadiness with a deep hamstring stretch. Variation A is holding the foot instantly in entrance of your physique with a straight backbone. Variation B is opening the leg to the aspect, and variation C is letting go of the leg (instantly in entrance of you) however protecting it lifted.

Ardha Baddha Padma Uttanasana – On this steadiness pose, often known as the half-bound lotus intense stretch, you place the heel of 1 foot within the reverse groin (like within the half lotus). You then fold forwards and place one hand on the ground.

Utkatasana – Observe chair pose (as carried out in solar salutation b).

Virabhadrasana I – Transfer onto the traditional warrior 1 pose, with the entrance knee bent and again leg straight. The rear toes needs to be pointed at a 45-degree angle whereas the entrance toes face ahead. Make sure the hips are dealing with ahead and attain the arms up overhead.

Virabhadrasana II – From right here, open the hips for the warrior 2 pose, turning the again foot out to 90 levels. Then, bend deeper within the entrance knee and convey the arms out to shoulder top.

Seated Poses

When you full the standing poses, transfer to the ground for the seated yoga pose collection. Once more, every asana is usually held for five breaths, and a few postures/variations could also be omitted for rookies.

Dandasana – Begin in employees pose with the legs straight out in entrance of you and the toes collectively. Concentrate on straightening the backbone.

Paschimottanasana – From the employees pose place, fold ahead fold, grabbing the toes or large toes to extend spinal flexion.

Purvottanasana – Open the entrance physique with an upward plank. Guarantee your fingertips are dealing with your toes and hips align together with your physique.

Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana – This half-bound lotus ahead fold is the seated model of the standing steadiness. Place the foot of the bent knee near the other groin and attain your arm behind your again to seize the toes earlier than folding ahead.

Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana – On this ahead fold, the knee is bent and folded again, so the foot is to the surface of the sitting bone, with the only dealing with up.

Janu Sirsasana A – Within the first variation of the head-to-knee ahead bends, place the only of the foot towards the internal thigh.

Janu Sirsasana B – Place the foot beneath the thigh within the second variation.

Janu Sirsasana C – Within the third variation, press the foot towards the thigh with the toes dealing with down and the heel dealing with up.

Marichyasana A – Within the first variation of Sage Twist Pose, bend one leg, putting the foot as near the buttocks as doable. With the knee pointing up, wrap your arm round it, reaching to your decrease again the place you bind with the opposite hand.

Marichyasana B – The beforehand straight leg is bent on this variation.

Marichyasana C – On this variation, one leg is straight, and the backbone twists in the direction of the bent knee, with the arms certain behind the again.

Marichyasana D – Identical as above however with the opposite leg bent (foot tucked into the thigh).

Navasana – Observe 5 rounds of boat pose with the legs straight. Guarantee your again doesn’t spherical and interact your stomach muscular tissues and thighs.

Bhujapidasana – The arm strain pose is a difficult arm steadiness the place you carry your hips off the bottom together with your legs crossed.

Kurmasana – Tortoise is without doubt one of the most troublesome poses to grasp on this collection. The goal is to fold ahead in a wide-leg place with arms and shoulders below the legs.

Supta Kurmasana – An much more intense variation of the Tortoise pose. Bbind your fingers behind your again and cross your ankles over your head.

Garbha Pindasana – Also referred to as the embryo within the womb, this pose includes balancing in your sitting bones whereas binding the legs and arms.

Kukkutasana – An arm steadiness with crossed legs certain across the arms.

Baddha Konasana – Certain angle is a delicate hip opener to stretch the muscular tissues after the earlier postures. The soles of the toes are collectively, with the knees out to the aspect.

Upavistha Konasana – Broad angle seated ahead fold with the legs broad aside. Seize your large toes or toes as you fold ahead.

Supta Konasana – A reclined model of the certain angle pose.

Supta Padangusthasana A – A reclined model of massive toe pose variation A. Hold your backbone and shoulders on the bottom as you prolong your leg and maintain the massive toe.

Supta Padangusthasana B – From the earlier place, open the leg to the aspect for a hip stretch.

Ubhaya Padangusthasana – On this posture, seize each large toes, prolong your legs, and steadiness in your sitting bones with a straight backbone.

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana – A deeper variation of the posture above. Pull the legs nearer to you, hugging the torso to the thighs and brow to the shins.

Setu Bandhasana – The traditional bridge pose, finished in a reclined place. With the toes near the sitting bones, carry the hips excessive to increase the backbone.

Ending Sequence

The remaining yoga poses are generally known as the ending asanas.

Urdhva Dhanurasana – The wheel pose is a deep backbend that opens the backbone, hips, and shoulders.

Paschimottanasana – Seated ahead bend practiced as a counterpose to the wheel.

Savasana – Take a short relaxation in corpse pose.

Salamba Sarvangasana – In shoulder stand, hold your fingers in your decrease again for help as you prolong the legs up.

Halasana – From shoulder stand, decrease your legs overhead right into a plow pose, protecting them straight.

Karnapidasana – From the plow, bend the knees, hugging them to the ears for the ear strain pose.

Urdhva Padmasana – From the plow, cross the legs within the lotus place for the upward lotus pose.

Pindasana in Sarvangasana/embryo – Hold the legs crossed as you hug them in the direction of your ears from the earlier place.

Matsyasana – After these intense ahead folds, open the chest, torso, and neck with the fish pose.

Uttana Padasana – Maintaining the place of the fish pose, elevate the legs about 45 levels off the bottom with the legs collectively. As well as, prolong the arms in entrance of you with the palms collectively.

Sirsasana – Observe the supported headstand with the fingers clasped across the again of the top and the forearms urgent into the bottom to take strain off the neck.

Balasana – Relaxation in a youngster’s pose for five breaths.

Baddha Padmasana – Deliver the legs into lotus pose after which cross your arms behind you, grabbing the other large toes.

Padmasana – Basic lotus pose with the fingers resting on the knees in Gyan (meditation) mudra.

Tolasana – For the ultimate pose, hold the legs within the lotus pose, place the fingers by your sides, and press into the bottom to carry the hips and legs.

Savasana – Lastly, take a well-deserved relaxation in corpse pose!

Suggestions For Studying Ashtanga Yoga Poses

As you possibly can see, the Ashtanga yoga main collection is fairly lengthy. So in case you’re new to this observe, it’s pure to really feel overwhelmed and confused.

The easiest way to study any collection of Ashtanga yoga is below the steerage of an skilled and licensed Ashtanga yoga instructor. So I like to recommend looking for out Ashtanga yoga lessons close to you.

Nonetheless, as Ashtanga yoga is supposed to be an (nearly) day by day observe, it’s good to begin practising the yoga poses at dwelling too. You should utilize varied assets to study the order and alignment of the Ashtanga yoga poses.


Ashtanga Yoga: The Observe Guide by David Swenson is a must have for any aspiring “Ashtangi.” It offers essentially the most thorough breakdown of the first and intermediate collection, with giant colourful pictures of every posture.

This beneficial information additionally exhibits variations you are able to do for among the more difficult asanas and offers three different brief types of every collection. I discover these tremendous helpful for the times I don’t have time to do a full Ashtanga observe.


In case you hold forgetting what pose is subsequent when doing all of your yoga observe, you may discover having a poster of the poses useful. For instance, I’ve this Ashtanga Major Sequence Poster on my wall instantly in entrance of my yoga mat, so if I get caught, I shortly search for and get straight again on observe.

The 20″ x 28″ poster exhibits pictures for all 112 postures within the main collection, together with a breakdown of the solar salutations. It’s essentially the most complete and easy-to-follow poster I’ve discovered, as the photographs are giant and clear, and the design is straightforward and non-distracting.

Flash Playing cards

One other cool solution to study and bear in mind every yoga pose is with flashcards, just like the Ashtanga Yoga Observe Playing cards by Kino MacGregor. On this deck, you’ll discover a card for every yoga pose within the main collection, that includes a full-color picture, directions, the Drishti (level of focus), and an inventory of advantages.

I discover these playing cards make my yoga observe enjoyable, and in case you’re a visible learner, you’ll choose up the sequence a lot quicker. The concept is to put all of them out so as and do your observe, utilizing them as a information, like with a poster.

On-line Movies

After all, many on-line assets can assist you study the sequence and alignment of the Ashtanga yoga poses. You’ll discover many Youtube movies that information you thru the first collection, resembling this one by La Yoga Vita. Additionally, you will discover shorter sequence variations for rookies, like this one by David and Jelena Yoga.

Ultimate Ideas On Ashtanga Yoga Poses

Whereas there are various Ashtanga yoga poses to study (together with some difficult ones), Ashtanga is an pleasurable and rewarding observe. As you repeat the identical asanas on daily basis, you’ll shortly discover your physique changing into stronger and extra versatile, and thus, the postures will slowly grow to be extra achievable.

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