Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga has six series: Primary, Intermediate, and Four Advanced Series. Each series has a specific order of poses.
Each series starts with Surya Namaskara, (Sun Salutations). 5 of each A and B variations are followed by the standing sequence. The ending sequence is the same for all series. Only the middle section has a different set of asanas depending on which series it is. Traditional poses were taught in a Mysore-style, where the teacher would give the practitioner a new position when they felt ready. Learn more about Ashtanga Yoga.
The Ashtanga Primary Series
Yoga Chikitsa is the name of the Ashtanga Primary Series. Its cleansing and toning effects on both mind and body are why it’s called Yoga Chikitsa. The Primary Series’ asanas (poses), increase strength and flexibility, and loosen tight muscles. They also realign and detoxify the body and nervous system. Start the series with forward bends and then move on to hip openers and twists. There is a vinyasa in between each asana.
Mentally, regular practice improves focus, willpower and awareness. We also gain confidence as we overcome mental obstacles. The Primary series is a gentle therapy that clears blockages in the energy channels of the body (known by Nadis).
Clearing obstacles allows Prana flow more freely, allowing the body and mind to function more effectively.