Ashtanga Workshop: Primary Series Practice w/ Elliot

ashtanga workshop w/ Elliot cover

Ashtanga Workshop:
Practice the Primary Series w/Elliot

This Ashtanga Workshop for intermediate yogis is designed to help you transform your yoga practice into a more personal and healing ritual.

Practice the Ashtanga Primary series with Elliot on the first Saturday of each month at EAST WIND YOGA starting February 3rd! Sign up below…

Ashtanga Workshop designed For INTERMEDIATE to ADVANCED practitioners

This series will include additional workshops to cover various aspects of the postures and sequences that work up to the primary series, which is relatively advanced. These will accompany the primary series workshop as sister series. This is an opportunity for both practiced ashtangi and those that are brand new to the series to learn from the practice. Yogi’s should know sun salutation A and B or have practiced yoga for more than 1 year, with some regularity.

Space is Limited to 16 Spots. Reserve yours today by contacting Elliot @ [email protected]

Ashtanga Workshop Schedule:

  • 1:00-1:10 Minute Discussion, materials will have been previously provided via email
  • 1:11-1:15 Chant the Opening Mantra
  • 1:15-2:50 Practice the primary series with various modifications
  • 2:50-3:00 Questions, spare time for fall-backs, handstands, etc..
  • 3:00 Closing Mantra

The History of the Primary Series

Pattabhi Jois began teaching the primary series in 1948 in Mysore, India where I traveled in January 2015. The Jois Shala is now much larger than Pattabhi Jois’ first class capacity of 8 students. Pattabhi Jois is one of a short list of Indians who were instrumental in transmitting yoga from India to the West in the 20th century.[6]

The Roots of Yoga

Dive into the series that began the spread of yoga into the West and formed the foundation for modern-day vinyasa yoga. Move beyond the superficial western approach to yoga and into a deeper, vast ocean of personal space, discipline, honor, and care-taking of the incredible gift that is the human body.

Here are the videos I use for practicing the series:

Primary Series Video from 1989

Intermediate Series Video from 1989

Primary Series as Practiced by R. Sharath Jois

Yoga-Poses-Ashtanga-Primary

Ashtanga Primary Series Workshop Posture List:

  1. Standing Back Bend
  2. Forward Fold
  3. Half Lift
  4. Plank
  5. Chaturanga
  6. Cobra Pose
  7. Upward Dog
  8. Downward Dog
  9. Jump Through
  10. Mountains Pose
  11. Chair Pose
  12. Warrior 1
  13. Gorilla Pose
  14. Pangangustasana
  15. padahastasana
  16. Triangle Pose
  17. Revolved Triangle Pose
  18. Side-Angle Pose
  19. Revolved Side-Angle Pose
  20. Prasaraita A
  21. Prasaraita B
  22. Prasaraita C
  23. Prasaraita D
  24. Pyramid Pose
  25. Uttitha Hasta Padangusthasana
  26. Arda Baddha Padmasana (w/ modifications)
  27. Utkatasana (extended hold)
  28. Virabhadrasana A (extended hold)
  29. Virabhadrasana B (extended hold)
  30. Arda Badha Padma Paschamotanasa (w/ modifications)
  31. triang mukha eka pada paschimatasana
  32. Janu Sirsasana A
  33. Janu Sirsasana B (w/ modifications)
  34. Janu Sirsasana C (w/ modifications)
  35. Marichyasana A (w/ modifications)
  36. Marichyasana B (w/ modifications)
  37. Marichyasana C (w/ modifications)
  38. Marichyasana D (w/ modifications)
  39. Navasana
  40. Bhujapidasana
  41. Upavistha Konasana  (w/ modifications)
  42. Supta konasana  (w/ modifications)
  43. Supta padangusthasana
  44. Ubhaya padanghustasana  (w/ modifications)
  45. Urdhva mukha paschimotanasana  (w/ modifications)
  46. Setu Bandhasana
  47. Salamba Sarvangasana
  48. Halasana
  49. Karnapidasana
  50. Urdhva Padmasana
  51. Pindasana
  52. Mathsyasana
  53. Uttana padasana
  54. Sirshasana
  55. Baddha Padmasana
  56. Yogi Mudra
  57. Padmasana
  58. Upplutihi

Opening Mantra:

OM
Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde Sandarsita Svatma Sukhava Bodhe Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane Samsara Halahala Mohasantyai Abahu Purusakaram Sankhacakrasi Dharinam
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam Pranamami Patanjalim
OM

Opening Mantra Meaning:

om

I bow to the lotus feet of the Supreme Guru
which awaken insight into the happiness of pure Being,
which are the refuge, the jungle physician,
which eliminate the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samsara (conditioned existence).

I prostrate before the sage Patanjali
who has thousands of radiant, white heads (as the divine serpent, Ananta)
and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man
holding a conch shell (divine sound), a wheel (discus of light or infinite time) and a sword (discrimination).

om

Closing Mantra:

Om

Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Closing Mantra Meaning:

Om

May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue
For protecting the welfare of all generations.
May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed,
May all beings everywhere be happy and free

Om peace, peace, perfect peace

If you want to practice the mantras, this is a great site

SIGN-UP For the Ashtanga Workshop

2/3 Auburn Sign-Up Form

[contact-form to=”[email protected]” subject=”Sign-up for 2/3 Workshop in Auburn”][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”1″][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”1″][/contact-form]

 

You will receive a confirmation email when your name has been added to the participant list. Thanks!

Adjusting Ashtanga

Ashtanga_Advanced_Series

I am a huge fan of the Ashtanga practice. The intensity, the discipline, the mindlessness, and the routine of the sequential practice makes it like a second home for me. I always know that there are mornings where I can wake up and work without thinking, push myself without thinking of how, breathing without having to plan for a destination. But there are some problems with practicing the Ashtanga practice exclusively.

The Ashtanga series were a prescription for Krishnamacharya’s Indian students, namely his most famous student Pattabhi Jois. Krishnamacharya made them specifically for 15-year-old Indian men that were training for hours each day and that didn’t have previous injuries, or probably a lot of other sports and exercise experience.

This means that Krishnamacharya had a specific purpose in creating this sequences for young and fit Indian men and that the sequence is optimized for the Indian skeleton and definitely not for the other types of human skeletons. This becomes especially apparent when westerners begin trying lotus pose, Kukkutasana, and the Marichyasanas.

So there comes a point when one starts to realize that certain poses simply aren’t good for their body. This is half-bound lotus pose for me. The reason is that my knees are simply not strong enough to stretch my hips as deeply as the stretch requires, even though my hips are very open and I have good alignment. At a certain point, we have to realize that the body is mechanical; it has very real limitations that you will sooner or later be coming into increased contact with.

In my first two weeks, I was injured in the Ashtanga sequence. Marichyasana B, I can remember the stress of feeling injured like it was yesterday, my lateral collateral ligament snapped and I heard a very audible pop while I was in the full pose with the bind. I quickly got out of the pose and finished my sequence, then went home to look up some rehab exercises for my knee. It took a couple of days of exercises and taking it easy to let my knee heal. Not a fun few days while I was healing.

I continued my full practice for the rest of the time in India, making adjustments and skipping poses when it felt right. I did some extra work to make sure my knee was stable and working properly and avoided walking too much to make sure that the joint was getting less stress. Slowly full lotus opened up for me while I was rehabilitating my knee, though there is still quite a bit of space left to create in my hips. The injury forced me to be more conscious of what I was doing, to not accept things as they were explained, in black and white.

What is the point of that story? Every body is unique, so how can one series work for everyone’s skeleton? It can’t.

I think that there are parts of the Ashtanga sequence that are almost perfect in their ideal succession, mainly the standing series of the primary series. There is something especially cleansing about doing the poses in that order, and the inversions at the end are simply magical.

Sunday, I taught my first class back in the states. It was great, it was easy to forget how much I love teaching yoga until I was in the room again with all the wheels turning. It was a hybrid style so we warmed up slowly, with a bit of flow including some low lunges complete with back-bends, and even an extended child’s pose. Then we moved into standing postures and the full Sun Salutation B sequence, holding warrior 1 for less and less time and getting into the full back-bend in upward dog. Then we moved into the entirety of the Ashtanga practice. Instead of doing floor stretches, we did a bunch of ab work and then moved into some final yin-type stretches. I loved teaching the sequence and it felt right for the class; music was slow and complimentary more than anything else.

So if you come to my classes, except a little flair of Ashtanga. It’s evolving into something pretty cool and I think that someday soon I might help to develop a new series based on the Primary Series. It’s all an evolution 🙂