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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.

Urdhva-Mukha Paschimottanasana

ऊर्ध्वमुख पश्चिमोत्तानासन

Ūrdhva-Mukha Paścimottānāsana

Supta  Padangushthasana [thumb mini] Supta  Parshvasahita [thumb mini] Way in [thumb mini] Ubhaya  Padangushthasana [thumb mini] Way in [thumb mini] Urdhva-Mukha Paschimottanasana [thumb mini solar] Setu  Bandhasana [thumb mini] Urdhva  Dhanurasana [thumb mini] Chakrasana [thumb mini] Paschimottanasana [thumb mini]
Urdhva-Mukha Paschimottanasana

Urdhva (ऊर्ध्व, Ūrdhva) = upward, up, raised
Mukha (मुख, Mukha) = face
Paschima (पश्चिम, Paścima) = back of body, west, back
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
Urdhva-Mukha Paschimottanasana (ऊर्ध्वमुख पश्चिमोत्तानासन, Ūrdhva-Mukha Paścimottānāsana) = Face-upward-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 nāsāgre jump forward balancing on straight arms, bend legs in the air
(EX) jump through, lay down flat on back
8 IN nāsāgre lift both legs, feet stay together
(EX) grab outside of feet
9 IN ūrdhvadr̥ṣṭi roll upward with legs straight, balance for a short while on your bottom
10 EX elbows to the side, shin to chinbones
5BR pādayoragre Urdhva-Mukha Paschimottanasana (ऊर्ध्वमुख पश्चिमोत्तानासन, Ūrdhva-Mukha Paścimottānāsana)
11 IN ūrdhvadr̥ṣṭi stretch arms, lift head, straight back
(EX) prop hands on floor
12 IN nāsāgre lift up balancing on straight arms, bend legs in the air
13 EX nāsāgre lower down slowly, elbows close to the body, Chaturanga Dandasana (चतुराङ्ग दण्डासन, Caturāṅga Daṇḍāsana)
14 IN bhrūmadhye roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms, Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (ऊर्ध्व मुख श्वानासन, Ūrdhva Mukha Śvānāsana)
15 EX nābicakre tuck toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms, Adho Mukha Shvanasana (अधो मुख श्वानासन, Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)
16 IN bhrūmadhye jump feet between hands, straighten the spine half way up, lift your head,
17 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