Ashtanga Primary Series


This section contains a detailed description of each pose in the Ashtanga Primary series standing sequence and some of the seated and backbending poses.

Practice at least part of the primary series frequently. Take notes on how the poses feel. Attached to each pose in this section is a description of benefits, alignment cues and modifications.

Consider that no pose is beneficial for any particular body part. Instead, it’s the sequence of poses that is useful for a variety of ailments. Furthermore, the listed benefits are subjective and open to interpretation. Be receptive to how each pose makes you feel and use that interpretation to assist in describing poses to students.

Exercise: Yoga Asana

Yoga asana will be practiced frequently in this program. Discuss each pose with your classmates and take notes on alignment, modifications and adjustments. Practice the poses together, practice instructing (verbal or physical cues) each other’s poses and discuss how each pose feels. In this collaborative style, you will gain insight into a sample of yoga bodies. Your notes and knowledge will guide you to confidently teach to a wide population.

Continue your practice of the Asthanga primary series. Traditionally, the practice is done with the supervision of one teacher. Students master one pose at a time and then move on to the next pose when the teacher says it is appropriate. In this manner, students learn the value of patience, discipline and diligent practice.