The Ashtanga Practice Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

30 Minute Ashtanga Quickie

30 min - Practice


Sarah guides us through a reduced primary series, designed for the practitioner who already knows the basics of the Ashtanga practice. Her delivery is quiet and reassuring, and she uses the sanskrit names of the postures. This practice will generate heat, and it will result in a feeling of lightness and expansion.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

Nov 03, 2014
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There are times when I don't have time to do a full practice and I'm sure I'm not the only one, so what we're going to do next is simply practice together, an Ashtanga quickie more or less. I'll offer some modifications as I move, so feel free to join me or to maybe take it to a fuller posture or to do less. This is really our time to practice together. Finding the breath, finding the rhythm, and just really getting into the flow. So we'll start at the top of the mat, in Samasthiti.

(deep breathing) Surya Namaskara A, inhale, arms up. Exhale fold. Exhaling, Chaturanga. Inahle, Up Dog, exhale, Downward Facing Dog. Feel free to walk your dog or simply settle in for five breaths.

(deep breathing) Inhaling halfway. (deep breathing) Two more times, I'll cue the breath. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Exhaling to Dog.

(deep breathing) Try to keep your eyes open. The gaze is between the knees, the feet, or the thighs. (deep breathing) Inhale halfway, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. (deep breathing) Downward Facing Dog is a time to catch up with your breath and to tone your breath, the same way you tone your muscles. (deep breathing) Inhaling halfway, exhale fold. Inhale all the way up, exhale.

Surya Namaskara B, inhaling sit back, exhale forward. Inhale halfway, exhale Chaturanga or stay where you are and breathe. Inhale Up Dog, exhale Down Dog, right foot forward. Inhale Warrior One, exhale Chaturanga. Inhale Up Dog, exhale Down Dog, left foot forward.

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. (deep breathing) Inhale forward, exhale fold. Inhale sitting back, exhale Samasthiti. One more time, I'll cue the breath.

Inhale, exhale. Exhale to Chaturanga, inhale Up Dog, exhale Down Dog. Inhale (indistinguishable). Exhale. Down Dog, left foot forward, inhale.

Exhale, Downward Facing Dog. (deep breathing) Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Some of you may choose to stop there. That's fine, that's a lot. We'll continue through the standing series and a bit of the seated series before we move all the way down to the floor.

Utthita Trikonasana, right leg steps out. Pivot your feet, exhale other side. It's okay to do less, it's okay to do more. Parivritta Trikonasana, revolved triangle. When you feel yourself start to pant, you're doing too much work, your breath should be easy.

(deep breathing) Inhale, flow to the other side, exhale. Take your twists, if looking at your top hand is too much, look down at the floor. Push through the top of your head. (deep breathing) Samasthiti, right leg steps back up. Utthita Parshvakonasana, extended side angle.

(deep breathing) Other side, you might want to modify, elbow on the thigh. Inhaling up, Parivritta Parshvakonasana, extended revolved side angle, left hand outside of your right foot. (deep breathing) Inhale, come up, change sides, exhale. It's okay to do less, it's okay to do more. Your breath is the boss.

Inhale coming up, exhale Samasthiti. Inhale stepping out Prasarita A, lift and fold. Inhale, lift again, exhale fold a little deeper. It's okay to bend the knees. Inhale, lift your gaze, exhale hands on your hips, inhale up, exhale out, Prasarita C, interlace your hands behind your tailbone, lift your gaze, exhale fold.

Gravity does a lot of the work. It's okay to do this or maybe this. Inhale all the way up, exhale, Samasthiti. Parshvottanasana, opposite hands to opposite elbow or reverse Namaste, inhaling lift your gaze, exhale fold. Inhale up, change directions, exhale other side.

It's okay to put your hands on the floor if you feel that that is right or to adjust your grip. Inhale up, exhale, Samasthiti. I told you you might get a little sweaty. That's alright, we're starting again with Namaskara B. Inhale, sit back for one, two, three, four, five.

Exhale fold, inhale halfway, exhale Chaturanga. Inhale Up Dog, exhale Down Dog, right foot forward. Inhale, five breaths here. (deep breathing) Simply turn around, change directions. Check in with your breath.

Check in with your bambas. Warrior Two, looking out over your left middle finger. Change sides. Exhale to the floor, Chaturanga. Inhale, exhale.

Look forward, bend your knees. Jump up, sit down, and take your legs out in front of you. Paschimattanasana, heels move away from the sit bones. Inhale up, exhale fold. It's okay to bend the knees, lift and move deeper.

Notice the rhythm and the pace of your breath and try to deepen it, improve it. Inhale up, we'll move into Purvatanasana. Hands behind you, inhale, lift the hips. Exhale, pull your feet in, hands on the floor. Jump back, Chaturanga, inhale, exhale.

Coming forward, we'll do Janu Shirshasana A. Right foot inside of your left thigh. Lower belly draws in, folding forward. Five breaths. (deep breathing) Inhale, come up, we'll do a Vinyasa but we'll modify together, inhaling, we're lifting, exhale we jump back into Chaturanga.

Inhale, Upward Facing Dog. Exhale, Downward facing dog. Inhale, jump through, exhale other side. (deep breathing) Inhale up, exhale, pull your knees in. You can modify your Vinyasa or step back and lower down.

Looking forward, stepping or maybe jumping up. Getting a little sweaty, Marichyasana C, the right foot in front of your right hip, right hand behind, we have a couple of options here. One, hook your elbow around your knee, look over your right shoulder. Option two, left hand slides around the right knee and connects to the right hand. Belly draws in, look over your right shoulder.

Five breaths. (deep breathing) Coming back to the middle, pull your knees in. Exhale, inhale Up Dog, exhale Down Dog. Looking forward, inhale, jump up, sit down, other side. Coming back to the middle, pull your knees in.

You can jump, step, walk, or skip back into your Vinyasa. Coming forward, lying down, we'll move into some back bending, I start with Bridge first. Other people do Setu Bandhasana. That's also fine, but for me I prefer Bridge. Inhaling, lifting the hips, sliding the shoulders underneath, maybe the hands come underneath.

Notice how your back feels, you've done a lot of back bending already. It's okay to stay here. If you feel comfortable and ready for something more, lower down, making sure there is no hair underneath your hands, put your hands alongside your ears, and we'll move into Urdhva Dhanurasana. Inhaling, lifting the hips, walking the feet in for five breaths. (deep breathing) As you're ready, slowly lower yourself back down.

You might need a moment here to wobble, that's okay. And then rolling up, put your legs out in front of you and fold again. Slightly less assertive this time, maybe bend your knees. Inhaling coming up, exhale lie down. Lift your hips, hands at your lower back for support.

Shoulder stand. (deep breathing) For those of you familiar with this practice, we're on the downhill slide. You're looking for a balance between work and relaxation. In Ashtanga, when the feet are in the air, the toes point. If you feel like you need more control of your legs, flex the feet.

From here, Finding Plow, toenails touch the floor or the legs hang out in space. You can stay here for a few more breaths and if you need to look at something, look with your eyes, don't turn your head, but if you want to move a little deeper, bend the knees. Being careful about your microphone. (deep breathing) And then from here, lifting back up into your Shoulder Stand, and in whatever fashion works for you, it doesn't have to be pretty. It doesn't have to be super correct.

Lowering yourself back down to the floor, working your elbows in, and as the legs start to lower, lift up onto the elbows, work the hands underneath you, and move the top of your head towards the floor. This is Matsyasana, fish pose. From here, tucking the chin, lying on your back for a moment. Pull your knees in, roll up, and sitting in Baddha Padmasana, bound lotus, or criss cross or half lotus. Opposite hands to opposite elbow or peace fingers to the big toes.

Sometimes you need to whip that left hand around, lift the chest, exhale forward. (deep breathing) Inhale up, Padmasana, forefinger and thumb pressed together on the knees, gaze is at the bridge of the nose, 10 breaths, eyes open. (deep breathing) Cultivate your breath here the same way you would in a more dynamic posture, stay present with the sensation of your breath. (deep breathing) Lift your gaze, put your hands on the floor alongside your hips, lift your hips and your knees. It's okay to go up and down like popcorn, hips on the floor, lift back up.

Almost done, exhale, hips back down. Loosen your lotus, come on to your knees. You can untie your legs or lean in and untie into your Chaturanga, exhale Down Dog, inhale jump through, lie down.


Melissa H
A nice quick practice that gets you glistening. You cover many asanas in this practice that will give you what you need.
Sarah Lowe
Hey Melissa! Thanks for practicing with me - glad to hear you got a nice Ashtanga glow. :)
Elke I
a good sequence - and yes, plenty of good work in a short time. Its inspiring to see you do the shapes at all the various accommodations. Thanks Sarah
Sarah Lowe
HI Elke! Thanks so much for your nice comments, and so glad you enjoyed it. Let me know if I can help you with anything. Xo S
Karly F
2 people like this.
This is my favorite video! Perfect to get me up and out in the morning.
Francesco B
I just tried to follow you along until the end.. You really have a nice Rythm! I enjoyed it a lot. Do you suggest to do this right after woke up? :) Thanks!
Eleanor M
2 people like this.
I really like that it's simple and easy to follow
Sarah Lowe
Thanks Eleanor! Happy to hear you're enjoying the practice! x
Cindy K
1 person likes this.
This short sequence is perfect when time is limited. You have incorporated a lot of asanas to feel like a well rounded practice. Great practice. Thank you.
Craig Killeen
love your work, not much talk all action
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