Dedicated to the knowledge and practice of Yoga

Practicing Ashtanga

Think of this as a book, in progress, online. It is written for those interested in the semi-technical aspects of practicing Yoga as a science. This introductory guide is intended as a jumping-off point into a vast and beautiful subject, and only attempts to convey a modest fraction of Yoga science. Although the positions are approached from the perspective of Ashtanga, my personal interest, the lessons of biomechanics, anatomy, and alignment are applicable no matter what your stylistic preferences may be. If you are self-practicing, please practice and become competent with one pose and then the next, rather than trying to tackle the whole sequence at once.

Notes on Practicing Ashtanga

Click here to see photos of all the poses with brief descriptions
(helpful if you don’t know the Sanskrit names).

Primary Series
1. Surya Namaskara A x5

2. Surya Namaskara B x5

3. Padangusthasana

4. Pada Hastasana

5. Utthita Trikonasana

6. Parivrtta Trikonasana

7. Utthita Parsvakonasana

8. Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

9. Prasarita Padottanasana A-D

10. Parsvottanasana

11. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

12. Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

13. Utkatasana

14. Virabhadrasana A

15. Virabhadrasana B

16. Dandasana

17. Paschimottanasana A-C

Taking Vinyasa

18. Purvottanasana

19. Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana

20. Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana

21. Janu Sirsasana A

22. Janu Sirsasana B

23. Janu Sirsasana C

24. Marichyasana A

25. Marichyasana B

26. Marichyasana C

27. Marichyasana D

28. Navasana

29. Bhujapidasana

30. Kurmasana

31. Supta Kurmasana

32. Garbha Pindasana

33. Kukkutasana

34.  Baddha Konasana

35. Upavistha Konasana A

36. Upavistha Konasana B

37. Supta Konasana

38. Supta Padangusthasana


40. Ubhaya Padangusthasana

41.  Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana

42. Setu Bandhasana

43. Urdhva Dhanurasana

44. Tadagi Mudra

45. Sarvangasana

46. Halasana

47. Karnapidasana

48. Urdhva Padmasana

49. Pindasana

50. Matsyasana

51. Uttana Padasana

52. Sirsasana

53. Yoga Mudra

54. Padmasana

55. Utpluthih



Asana: Pose / Posture Asana literally means ‘seat.’ It is taken today to mean a Yoga pose or posture. Each asana presents its own challenges and opportunities, and yet each is simply a new form or container for the breath to fill. Competence in an Asana is not simply creating the physical appearance of the pose; it is when the breath is full and unlabored, the entire body is intelligent and participating fully in the effort, the is mind clear and focused. When we begin to work on a new, difficult asana, the breath is shallow, rapid, or held, and parts of the body are stiff, weak, painful, forgotten, injured, or immobile. The Ashtanga sequences are crafted to systematically uncover and rehabilitate these deficiencies, frequently ones that we were unaware of. Over time, with intelligent practice, each part of the body and mind becomes strong, light, and healthy. Continue reading…

Understanding Pelvic Tilt

Discovery and Experience of the Bandha

How to Breathe: Ujjayi

Ashtanga Mantra

Into the looking glass