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Traditional Practice Series

Learned the basics? Now add primary series, Yoga Chikitsa (Cikitsa), in the middle of your Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice - one by one you will learn 41 asanas.

Yoga Chikitsa (योग चिकित्सा, Yoga Cikitsā) is the Sanksrit (संक्सृत्, Saṁksr̥t) name for the primary series and it can be translated as Yoga Therapy. Therefore this series purifies and heals the body.
The first or primary series forms the basis for all subsequent series. Superficially seen it may seem the easiest of all six Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga series. It is however the most difficult one; it is the series first learned by every Ashtanga-Yogi; this is where one becomes familiar with the Vinyasa System and gets used to everyday Yoga practice. The following series do not bring anything that is relatively new. Only a couple of new postures integrate into the system one is already familiar with.

Paschimottanasana [A]

पश्चिमोत्तानासन [अ]

Paścimottānāsana [A]

Forward Bend

Virabhadrasana [A] [thumb mini] Virabhadrasana  [B] [thumb mini] The way out [thumb mini] Dandasana [thumb mini] Paschimottanasana [A] [thumb mini solar] Paschimottanasana [B] [thumb mini] Paschimottanasana ["] [thumb mini] Paschimottanasana [D] [thumb mini] Purvottanasana [thumb mini] Ardha  Baddha  Padma  Paschimottanasana [thumb mini]
Paschimottanasana [A]

Paschima (पश्चिम, Paścima) = Back, West, Back of Body
ud (उद्, ud) = Prefix for Verbs or Nouns which indicates superiority in Location, Rank, Power, Intensity.
Tana (तान, Tāna) = stretched
Uttana (उत्तान, Uttāna) = intense stretch, straight, straightened
asana (आसन, āsana) = Posture
Paschimottanasana (पश्चिमोत्तानासन, Paścimottānāsana) = Intense-Stretch-of-Back-of-Body

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) jump through, get down slowly
(IN) put hands to the ground, to the left and right beside the body, back straight, legs straight
5BR nāsāgre Dandasana (दण्डासन, Daṇḍāsana)
8 IN bhrūmadhye grab big toes, back straight
9 EX lean elbows to the side, top of head goes in direction big toes
5BR pādayoragre Paschimottanasana [A] (पश्चिमोत्तानासन [अ], Paścimottānāsana [A])
10 IN bhrūmadhye stretch arms, straighten back
EX put hands onto the floor
11 IN nāsāgre lift up balancing on straight arms, bend legs in the air
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