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Traditional Practice Series

Ashtanga Yoga for advanced practitioners: 35 tough Asanas of third series (Advanced A) play with gravity. The reward: Sthira Bhaga, sublime serenity.

Ashtavakrasana [A]

अष्टवक्रासन [अ]

Aṣṭavakrāsana [A]

Eka-Pada  Bakasana  [B] [thumb mini] Kaundinyasana [A] [thumb mini] Kaundinyasana  [B] [thumb mini] Way into the Position [thumb mini] Ashtavakrasana [A] [thumb mini solar] Way into the Position [thumb mini] Ashtavakrasana [B] [thumb mini] Purna  Matsyendrasana [thumb mini] Viranchyasana [A] [thumb mini] Way out of the Posture [thumb mini]
Ashtavakrasana [A]


Ashta (अष्ट, Aṣṭa) = eight
Vakra (वक्र, Vakra) = Knot, bend, crooked, someone with deformities
Ashtavakra (अष्टवक्र, Aṣṭavakra) = Name of a Brahman. He was the crippled son of Kahoda (कहोड, Kahoḍa), the best student of Uddalaka (उद्दलक, Uddalaka). He is considered the author of the Ashtavakra-Gita (अष्टवक्रगीता, Aṣṭavakra-Gītā). According to a legend from the Mahabharata he became a spiritually advanced sage in spite of his deformed body and achieved respect of others.
Asana (आसन, Āsana) = Pose, Posture, Seat
Ashtavakrasana [A] (अष्टवक्रासन [अ], Aṣṭavakrāsana [A]) = Posture of the Sage Ashtavakra (अष्टवक्र, Aṣṭavakra)

Vinyāsa breath Dr̥ṣṭi explanation of movement
1 IN añguṣṭhamadhye raise arms overhead
2 EX nāsāgre spread fingers, hinging at the hip fold forward, hands to ground Uttanasana (उत्तानासन, Uttānāsana)
3 IN bhrūmadhye come half-way up with straight spine, lift head
4 EX nāsāgre hands down, float back, ellbows close to chest Chaturanga Dandasana (चतुराङ्ग दण्डासन, Caturāṅga Daṇḍāsana)
5 IN bhrūmadhye roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms, Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (ऊर्ध्व मुख श्वानासन, Ūrdhva Mukha Śvānāsana)
6 EX nābicakre tuck toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms Adho Mukha Shvanasana (अधो मुख श्वानासन, Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)
7 IN jump forward balancing on straight arms, bend legs in the air
(EX) lower the head
(IN) Mukta Hasta Shirshasana (मुक्त हस्त शीर्षासन, Mukta Hasta Śīrṣāsana)
8 (EX) bring legs to the right, wrap them around the right arm
IN lift the head up, upper arms parallel to the floor
5BR nāsāgre Ashtavakrasana [A] (अष्टवक्रासन [अ], Aṣṭavakrāsana [A])
(EX) lower head again
9 IN again lift up into Mukta Hasta Shirshasana (मुक्त हस्त शीर्षासन, Mukta Hasta Śīrṣāsana)
10 (EX) bring legs to the left, wrap them around the left arm
IN lift the head up. upper arms parallel to the floor
5BR nāsāgre Ashtavakrasana [A] (अष्टवक्रासन [अ], Aṣṭavakrāsana [A])
(EX) lower head again
11 IN again lift up into Mukta Hasta Shirshasana (मुक्त हस्त शीर्षासन, Mukta Hasta Śīrṣāsana)
12 EX nāsāgre lower down slowly, elbows close to the body, Chaturanga Dandasana (चतुराङ्ग दण्डासन, Caturāṅga Daṇḍāsana)
13 IN bhrūmadhye roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms, Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (ऊर्ध्व मुख श्वानासन, Ūrdhva Mukha Śvānāsana)
14 EX nābicakre tuck toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms, Adho Mukha Shvanasana (अधो मुख श्वानासन, Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)
15 IN bhrūmadhye jump feet between hands, straighten the spine half way up, lift your head,
16 EX nāsāgre bring chest all the way in, Uttanasana (उत्तानासन, Uttānāsana)
- IN bhrūmadhye lift the head again, straighten spine, palms or finger tips remain on the ground
EX nāsāgre stand all the way up, arms on sides, Samasthitih (समस्थितिः, Samasthitiḥ)

legend for the Vinyāsa table:

  • The grey part of the table is performed in Aṣṭāṅga-Yoga practice.
  • Yellow marked is the position depicted on the photo.
  • Vinyāsa:1 = ekam; 2 = dve; 3 = trīṇi; 4 = catvāri; 5 = pañca; 6 = ṣaṭ; 7 = sapta; 8 = aṣṭau; 9 = nava; 10 = daśa; 11 = ekādaśa; 12 = dvādaśa; 13 = trayodaśa; 14 = caturdaśa; 15 = pañcadaśa; 16 = ṣoḍaśa; 17 = saptadaśa; 18 = aṣṭadaśa; 19 = ekonavimśatiḥ; 20 = vimśatiḥ; 21 = ekāvimśatiḥ; 22 = dvāvimśatiḥ; 23 = trayovimśatiḥ; 24 = caturvimśatiḥ; 25 = pañcavimśatiḥ; 26 = ṣoḍavimśatiḥ; 27 = saptavimśatiḥ; 28 = aṣṭovimśatiḥ
  • breath: IN = Inhalation; EX = exhalation; 5BR = five breaths
  • Dr̥ṣṭi: nāsāgre = to the nose; añguṣṭhamadhye = to the middle of the thumb; bhrūmadhye = in the middle of the eye brows; nābicakre = to the navel; ūrdhvadr̥ṣṭi = upwards; hastāgre = to the tip of the hand; pādayoragre = to the tip of the foot; pārśvadr̥ṣṭi = sidewards