The Ashtanga Practice Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 3

Primary Series: Short Form

60 min - Practice
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Description

Maria guides us in a counted modified primary series practice with variations. We move through Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) A and B, and standing and seated postures up to Navasana (Boat Pose). Whether you are new to Ashtanga Yoga or have been practicing for years, you will feel held by Maria's clear instruction and steady pacing.
What You'll Need: Mat

Transcript

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(waves crashing) Welcome back, today we'll be practicing a short form of the Ashtanga first series. We'll be taking out poses like Marichyasana B and D and eliminating some of the vinyasas, just to keep the practice time down. If you need any blocks or straps, please be prepared with them and otherwise we'll come to standing. So we'll come up to Samasthiti, hands at prayer position and we'll begin with the opening mantra, the invocation. Om.

(speaks foreign language) Om. And then we'll release the arms down alongside the body. Surya Namaskara A, inhale, reach the arms up over head. Exhale, hands to the hips and fold forward. Inhale, look up lengthen and they're leaving the hands on the floor, taking the hands to the shins or just coming to fingertips.

Exhale, set the hands flat, bend the knees and stet back to the top of a push up, plank, shift forward and lower down. All the way to the floor for the first one. Point your toes back, keeping the feet about hip distance apart, roll the shoulders down the back and either come up into cobra or the option to come all the way up to upward facing dog. And then exhale back, downward facing dog. Holding here for five breaths.

One, two, three, and if you can reach the heels straight down to the floor, go ahead and do so. Four, start to press the thighs back. And five, end to the exhale, look forward and we'll step the feet to the hands. With inhalation, looking up and lengthening the spine. Exhale and folding forward.

Inhale to come all the way up to the top. And exhale, Samasthiti. And again, inhale, arms reach up. Exhale, hinging at the hips and folding forward. Inhale, looking up and lengthening.

This time you can jump back if you like. Exhale, jumping right to Chaturanga. Gazing forward. Inhale, upward facing dog. And exhale, downward facing dog.

That's one, relaxing the toes but spreading them wide. Two, pressing from the roots of the fingers to push the hips up and back. Three, wrapping the outer upper arms around towards the face. Straightening the arms as best you can. Four, holding the lower belly in and expanding the breath into the entire rib cage.

And five, completing the exhalation. If you'd like you can jump forward. Inhale, look up and lengthen. Exhale, lean forwards as you fold. Inhale to come all the way up to standing.

Exhale, Samasthiti. Last one, inhale, arms reach. Exhale and fold. Inhale, look up and lengthen. Exhale to Chaturanga.

Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. That's one. Two. Three.

Four. And five, looking forward. Inhale, lengthening. Exhale, fold. Inhale, coming all the way up.

And exhale, Samasthiti. Surya Namaskara B, bend the knees, sit the hips back, inhale, arms reach up over head. And exhale, folding forward. Inhale, look up, lengthen. Exhale, step or jump to Chaturanga.

Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Step the right foot forward, pivot the left heel down, inhale Virabhadrasana I, pressing out through the back heel, outer edge of the left foot and exhale all the way to Chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog.

Step the left foot forward, right heel down. Inhale, Virabhadrasana I, left side. And exhale, all the way to Chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog.

That's one. Two. Three. Four. And five, complete the exhalation, look forwards.

Step or jump. Inhale, look up and lengthen. Exhale and fold. Bend the knees, sit the hips back. Inhale, Utkatasana.

And exhale, Samasthiti. Bend the knees, inhale. Exhale. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, Chaturanga.

Inhale, upward dog. Exhale, downward dog. Virabhadrasana I, right side, inhale. Exhale, all the way to Chaturanga. Inhale.

Exhale. Virabhadrasana I, left side, inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Five breaths. One. Two. Three. Four.

Five, look forwards, step or jump. Inhale, look up and lengthen. Exhale and fold. Bend the knees, sit the hips back. Inhale to Utkatasana and exhale Samasthiti.

Last one, inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

Exhale. Right side. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

Exhale, left side. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. And exhale.

That's one. Two. Three. Four. Five.

Inhale. Exhale. Bend your knees, sit the hips back, inhale. Exhale, Samasthiti. Padangusthasana, hands to your waist, jump your feet apart, inhale, lift the chest up.

And exhale, hinge to the hips. Reach down, grab a hold of your big toes. With inhalation, look up, lengthen. Exhale and fold forward. One leaning the weight forwards so it's in front of the heels, a little more into the toes.

Two, using your arms to pull yourself in deeper. Three, finding a little bit of length with the inhalation, a little contraction and folding a little deeper with the exhalation. Four, keeping the legs as straight as you can. And five, inhale, straighten the arms. Look up, lengthen, exhale, Padahastasana, taking the hands underneath the feet underneath the toes.

Inhale, look up, re-lengthen and exhale folding. That's one. Two, still keeping the weight a little more forward. Three. Four.

And five. Inhale, look up, lengthen. Exhale, pause. Bring your hands to your waist. Inhale to come all the way up to standing.

And exhale, Samasthiti. We'll step or jump open to the right. Inhale, turn the right toes out, left toes in. And exhalation, you'll come into Trikonasana. Grabbing a hold of your big toe if it's available to you, otherwise just taking the hand to the shin or a block if you have one.

Looking up to your left thumb as long as it doesn't put a strain on the neck. Otherwise just staying looking to the side wall. That's one. Two. Three.

Four. And five, press your feet, inhale, come up, change sides, turn left toes out, right toes in and exhale, left side. That's one. Two. Three.

Four. And five, press your feet, inhale to come up. Turn all the way to face the back of your mat, so your right foot is forward, left foot is at an angle and exhale, fold out over your right leg, taking your hand either to the block or the floor. And then revolving to your right and if you can you look and turn the head to look at the right thumb. That's one, press the outer edge of the left foot down.

That's two. Three, continue to reach the sternum towards the back. Four. And five, press your feet, inhale, come up. Turn all the way to face the opposite direction so that your left foot is in front, right foot is at an angle and exhale folding on to your left side, setting the hand to the floor or the block then revolving to your left and reaching the left arm up towards the ceiling.

That's one, strongly press into the right hand. Two. Three. Four. And five.

Inhale, come up, exhale, parallel the feet and step or jump to the front of your mat. Parsvakonasana, inhale, again open to your right. Turn your right toes out, left toes in, a wider stance this time, exhale, bend your right knee so that it's directly over top of your ankle. We'll set the right hand to the floor or a block outside of your right foot. Left arm comes up over your head and gazes to the palm of the hand.

That's one, press the outer edge of the left foot down. Keep the left leg straight and strong. Two, lengthen the tailbone towards your left heel. Three, draw the front ribs down and in. Four, slightly revolve the chest open to the ceiling.

And five, press down into your feet. Inhale, come up, turn your left toes out, right toes in and exhale, bend your left knee over top of your ankle and then set the left hand to the floor or a block outside of your left foot. Right arm, up and over head. And if you can, you look to your right palm. That's one, right thigh presses back, leg is strong.

Two, recreate the arch in the right foot by pressing on the outer edge of the foot to the floor. Three, wrap the outer upper arm towards your face. Four, slightly spin the chest open to the ceiling. And five, press the feet, inhale, come up, turn all the way so your right foot is in front of you. Exhale, bend the right knee, keeping the outer edge of the left heel planted.

We'll take the left elbow to the outside of the right knee. Either bringing the hands to prayer position or if it's available to you, taking the left hand to the floor outside the right foot. The right arm will come up and overhead in line with the ear. That's one. Two.

Three. Four. And five, press your feet, inhale, come up. Turn all the way to face the opposite direction so your left foot is in front, right foot is at an angle. Bend your left knee, take the right elbow to the outside of the left knee and you can bring your hands to prayer or take the right hand to the floor outside the left foot.

Continue to press the outer edge of the right foot to the floor and take the left arm up and overhead. One. Two. Three, right leg stays nice and straight. Four.

And five. Press the feet, inhale, come up. Exhale, parallel the feet and step or jump to the front of your mat. Prasarita Padottanasana E through D. Inhale, open to the right and take your hands to your waist.

Lift the chest up. With exhalation, you'll fold forward and set the hands flat on the floor. Inhale, look up, straighten the arms, lengthen. Exhale, lean forwards as you fold. Reaching the head towards the floor.

That's one, hands are shoulder distance apart. Two, if you can bring a little weight into the head. If the head is in contact with the floor. Three, squeeze the elbows in and pull the shoulders back. Four, continue to strengthen the legs, lift the knee caps up the thighs.

And five. Inhale, look up, lengthen. Exhale, pause, inhale, come all the way up to the top and exhale. B, inhale, arms out to the side. Exhale, hands back to your waist.

Inhale, lift the chest, tip the head back and look down the edge of the nose. Exhale, and fold forward. That's one. Two, hands stay at the waist for this one. Three, start to broaden across the chest.

Elbows reaching straight out to the side. Four. And five, press the feet, inhale, come up. And exhale. C, inhale, arms out to the side.

Exhale, interlace the fingers behind your back. Inhale, pull the arms straight, lift the chest up, tip the head back, exhale and fold forward, reaching the arms up and overhead. That's one. Two. Three, if you like you can turn the palms to face the other direction as well.

Four. And five. Inhale, come all the way up. And exhale, hands to your waist. Inhale, lift the chest, tip the head back, exhale and fold for D.

Reaching down and grabbing hold of the big toes with middle and index finger. Inhale, look up, lengthen. Exhale and fold. That's one. Shoulders down the back away from the ears.

Two, reaching the elbows straight out to the sides and the thumb touches the tip of the toe, big toe. Three. Four. And five, inhale, look up, lengthen, straighten the arms. Exhale, pause, inhale, come all the way up.

And exhale, step or jump to the front of your mat, Samasthiti. Parsvottanasana, inhale, open to the right and turn to face the back of your mat taking either reverse prayer position or taking the knuckles together behind your back. Lift the chest up, tip the head back, inhale, and with exhalation, we'll fold out over the right leg. And gaze towards your right big toe. That's one.

Two. Reaching the sternum towards the toe as well to keep the chest open. Three, continue to press the big toe mound. Four. And five.

Inhale, come up, turn all the way to face the other direction so your left foot is in front. And exhale, fold out over your left leg. That's one. Two. Three.

Four. And five, press your feet, inhale, come up. Exhale, parallel the feet and step or jump to the front of your mat. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. We'll take the left hand to the waist and we'll bring the weight down to the left foot.

Two options here, one is you just take hold of the right knee with the right hand and you can stay here for all variations. Or you reach for your big toe. Pull your right shoulder back and then with exhalation, you extend the right leg straight. Then if you'd like you can work on bowing towards the knee. That's one.

Two. Three. Four. And five, inhale, come up, if you bow, exhale, open up to the right. If balance is challenging, you'll stay looking forward.

Otherwise you'll turn your head to look over your left shoulder. That's one. Two, wrap the outer right hip down towards the floor. Three. Four.

And five, inhale, bring the leg back to center. Exhale, bow. Inhale, back up, exhale, point the toe, keeping the leg straight. That's one. Right hand to your waist, two.

Three. Four. And five, releasing it down. Second side, we'll take the weight to the right foot. Inhale, either grabbing hold of either the left knee or hooking the left big toe and straightening the leg.

You have the option to bow towards the left knee. That's one. Two. Three. Four.

And five, inhale, coming up, exhale, open out to the left. That's one, turning the gaze if you feel steady. Two. Three. Four.

And five, inhale, coming back to center. Exhale, bowing to the leg. Inhale, back up, exhale, point the toe, hands to your waist, that's one. Two. Three.

Four. And five, release. Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. So for this one we need to modify. Can be a little dangerous for the knees if your hips aren't open enough.

The modification we're gonna do is either holding the ankle and staying up right here or you can take tree pose. If you're comfortable in half lotus, you know your hips are open enough, you'll point the toe, start to reach the right knee out, bringing the outer edge of the right foot into the left hip crease, and then we'll reach the right arm around. Either grab a hold of the left elbow or you'll reach for your right big toe. If you have a hold of the right big toe, with exhalation, you'll fold forward. Left hand will come outside the left foot and you'll fold.

That's one. Two, careful not to lock out the left knee. Keep a soft bend in it so you're working with the muscles and not just letting the weight go into the joints. Three. Four.

And five, inhale, look up, exhale, pause. Inhale, come all the way up and exhale, release the right side, coming Samasthiti. Second side, take the weight to the right foot. Either modifying by just holding the ankle and notice I say holding the ankle and not the foot. 'Cause when you hold the foot, we have a tendency to sickle and we wanna keep both sides of the shin bone equally long.

Staying there and just working the opening in the hip or taking tree pose. Or coming into half lotus, bringing the outer edge of the left foot into the right hip crease. Keeping hold of the left foot with the right hand, take the left arm around and either reach for your right elbow or grab a hold of the left big toe. If you have a hold of the left big toe, on exhalation you'll fold forward. Bring the right hand next to the right foot and fold all the way down.

That's one. Two. Three. Four. And five, inhale, look up, lengthen, exhale, pause.

Inhale, come all the way up to the top, keeping hold of the foot and then exhale, release and come back to Samasthiti in front of your mat. Inhale, arms reach up over head. Exhale, and fold forward. Inhale, look up and lengthen. Exhale, step or jump to Chaturanga.

Inhale to upward facing dog. Exhale downward facing dog. End of the exhale, jump your feet to your hands for Utkatasana. Bend the knees, sit the hips back and inhale. That's one.

Two. Three. Four. And five, folding forward, setting the hands down but keeping the knees bent and you can start to plant the hands slightly in front of the feet so that you can start getting used to leaning the weight into the hands and lifting the feet up the floor. So it's inhale, and an exhale to Chaturanga.

Inhale to upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Virabhadrasana I right side. Inhale, step the right foot forward, pivot the left heel down. And come up to Vira I.

It's one. Two. Three. Four. And five, inhale, straighten the right leg, turn all the way to face the back of your mat.

Keeping your arms up and exhale, bend the left knee. That's one. Two. Three. Four.

And five, inhale, open up. Vira II on the left. That's one. Two. Three.

Four. And five, inhale, straighten the left leg. Turn the right toes out, left toes in and exhale, bend the right knee. That's one. Two.

Three. Four. And five, bring the hands down to the floor. Inhale and exhale, Chaturanga. Inhale, upward dog.

Exhale, downward dog. End of the exhale, look forward and step or jump through to seated. Dandasana, keep your feet flexed, arms straight, hands right next to the hips, pull your shoulders back, chest up and drop the chin. Gaze to the tip of the nose, it's one. Press the sitting bones down to the floor.

Two. Three. Four. And five, reach forward, grab a hold of your big toes with middle and index finger. Keep pulling the outer edges of your feet back.

Inhale, lift the chest and exhale, folding forward, leading with the chest. Keeping gaze to the toes or just keep the back of the neck long. That's one. Two. Three.

Four. And five, inhale, straighten the arms, look up. Exhale, either taking B position with the thumbs to the base of the big toe and the hands are on the outer edges of the feet or if it's available to you, reach around and grab a hold of your rest. Inhale, we'll look up, lengthen. Exhale, fold.

That's one, again gazing to the big toes or keep the back of the neck long and just gaze down the edge of the nose. Two. Three. Four. And five, inhale, straighten the arms, head up, exhale, pause, find your Bandhas.

Press your hands, inhale, lift up and exhale Chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. From downward facing dog, you'll look forward and step or jump your feet through to seated. Purvottanasana, take your hands behind you about eight inches, fingertips pointing forward but maybe turned out just a little bit.

Tuck the tail bone under, pull the belly in. Point the toes and with inhalation, you're gonna lift the hips, reach the toes to the floor. If it's okay for your neck, you'll look all the way back. That's one. Two.

Three. Four. And five, exhale, release. You'll set your hands next to your hips slightly in front. Cross the ankles, inhale, lift it up and exhale Chaturanga.

Inhale, upward dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. From down dog, we'll jump through to seated. And we'll fold the right leg back for Janu Sirsasana A. So there are a few poses before this, but we're gonna skip those for today.

We'll either take the foot to the left thigh. Or if your hips are really open, you can start working this with the toe pointed and the knee out more so that your legs are at about 90 degrees, your thighs, then you start to square the hips off towards your left foot. Reach forward for shin, ankle or foot. Inhale, lift the chest, and exhale, fold out over the left leg. That's one, pull the right rib in.

Right side of the body in. Two, gazes to the left big toe. Three, keep shoulders down the back. Four. And five.

Inhale, straighten the arms, look up. And exhale, release. We'll straighten the right leg and we'll go right to the left side. You'll fold your left leg back. Again either bringing the foot to the right thigh or you can point the toes, take the knee a little bit more open, so we're going towards 90 degrees here.

Square yourself off towards your right leg. Either stay here holding on to the shin, ankle or reach for the foot. Inhale, lengthen and exhale, fold. As you fold, you sort of twist towards the right bringing the right side of your ribs in towards mid-line, otherwise it becomes more of a side bend. That's one.

Two. Three. Four. And five, inhale, straighten the arms, look up. Exhale, release, cross the ankles, set the hands, inhale, up.

And exhale back. Inhale, upward dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. End of the exhale, jump through to seated. Inhale, take the right leg back into Marichyasana A.

So we bend the right knee to the ceiling, have the right foot pointing straight forward and the right heel is just outside or in front of the right sitting bone. Reach forward with the right arm. One option is we just stay here with the support of the left hand, holding on to the right shin or foot. Working towards deepening the flex in the hips. Otherwise, we wrap the right arm around the right shin and reach back for a left rest.

Inhale, lift the sternum, lengthen and exhale, fold out over the left leg. That's one. Two. Toes pointing straight to the ceiling. Three.

Four. And five. Inhale, look up and exhale we'll release. Straighten the right leg, fold the left leg back. Again setting the heel in front of or just outside of the left sitting bone.

Use the right hand for support. We'll reach the left arm forward. Either reaching for the shin, ankle or foot and holding here or if your shoulder comes beyond your left knee, you'll start to work the left arm around the shin bone and reach back for your right rest. Inhale, look up and lengthen. And exhale, fold out over your right leg.

That's one, right toes continue to point to the ceiling. Two. Three. Four. And five, inhale, look up.

Exhale, release. Cross the ankles and take a vinyasa. I suggest each time you do this, you switch the cross. Inhale, up. Exhale, back.

Inhale, to upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. End of the exhale jumping through to seated. Marichyasana C, so we'll bend the right knee to the ceiling. Keeping the right heel in front of the sitting bone.

Now you wanna keep the foot a little closer to your right thigh here than we did in A. For some of us, we'll just take the left arm, wrap it around the right knee and we'll just start to twist to the right, maybe looking over the right shoulder. Another option is to bring the left elbow to the outside of the right knee working towards the left shoulder outside the right knee. If the shoulder's outside of the right knee, then you let the left arm spin in, and you reach for your right wrist. That's one, lift up out of the low back as you twist all variations.

Two. Three. Four. And five. If you're bound, you'll unbind.

And everyone will turn back to the front and we'll take the left side. So you'll fold the left leg back, again keeping it a little closer to the right thigh here. Toes pointing straight forward. Left hand will come behind you. Either wrap your right arm around your left knee and just start twisting to the left.

Another option is take the right elbow to the outside of the left knee. You'll twist to the left. Start to work the rib cage across the thigh and work the shoulder outside the knee. If it's available to you, spin the right arm in and reach for your left wrist. That's one, continue to lift up out of the low back.

Two, the right toes point to the ceiling. Three, broaden across the chest. Pull the left shoulder back. Four. And five.

Exhale and release the pose. Straighten out your left leg and we'll cross the ankles to jump back. Inhale, lift up. And exhale. Inhale, upward facing dog.

And exhale, downward facing dog. From downward facing dog, we'll jump through to Navasana, you can jump right into position or you can jump through to seated. Options here if you jump to seated are to lean back, take hold behind the knees, lift the chest, we don't want our boat to sink, so we wanna keep lifting the low back. Lift the chest up, and then the shins. This maybe Navasana holding on behind the knees or you have the option to straighten the arms and maybe straighten the legs, but if you're here and you're able to lift the low back, but as you start to go further, you start to sink, you're much better off just staying with this modification.

That's one. Two. Three, toes eye level if the legs are straight. Four. And five, cross the ankles, set the hands.

It's a little inhale to lift the hips up. Maybe lift the feet up. Inhale, maybe the feet, exhale, lower down. We'll do this three times. Inhale Navasana, any modification.

That's one. Two. Three. Four. And five, cross the ankles, set the hands.

Inhale, little lift, exhale, release and inhale, third one, Navasana. That's one. Two. Three. Four.

And five, release, cross the ankles. Set the hands in front of the hips. Inhale, lift up and exhale Chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog.

Jump through to seated. We'll take our last three most important finishing poses. Our three lotuses. If lotus isn't available to you, you'll cross your ankles in a Sukhasana easy seat. First one, we'll reach around and grab a hold of the elbows.

If you're choosing to take lotus and you know your hips are open enough, you're not gonna hurt your knees, we'll take the right leg back and then the left leg over top. From there, we reach around with the left arm to hook the left toes. Then the right arm to hook the right toes. Inhale and exhale, fold forward. That's one.

Two. Three. Four. And five. Inhale, coming up.

Exhale, releasing the binds and we'll just take index finger to thumb. The other three fingers straight, backs to the hands at the tops to the knees. Shoulder drop down, just lifted, chin can drop. Gaze to the tip of the nose. That's one.

Two. Three. Four. And five, Uth Pluthi, last effort. Setting the hands down slightly in front of the hips, everything lifts up here except the hands.

Inhale, one, two, three, four, and five. Releasing down, you can take one final transition from here, either undoing your lotus and just regularly stepping back or you can try propping yourself up. Setting your hands in front of you, you'll squeeze the elbows in so you can rest your chest on your elbows and then you'll lift the knees up, undo your lotus and then take an inhale to up dog and an exhale to downward facing dog. From downward facing dog, you'll jump through to seated. And then we'll lie down on our backs for Shavasana.

Taking the arms down alongside the body with the palms open to the ceiling. The legs are turned out, the hips are relaxed, the quads are relaxed, the calves relaxed. Zero effort anywhere. Taking the first few moments to adjust the body any way necessary to be comfortable. Really taking this time, Shavasana is so important.

Important not to skip Shavasana, to really take at least five minutes to allow the seeds of your breath just to take root in your being. Just to allow your body to restore. Allow the mind to relax. So remaining relaxed. Just start to deepen the breath.

Stretch through fingers and toes. If you like, you can reach the arms up over head and stretch in both directions. Then when you're ready, you'll bend the knees and roll over to your right side. Resting here as long as you need to. And then pressing yourself up to a comfortable seated position.

Lotus and those lotus postures in first series are challenging for you then you should watch the practice on opening the hips for first series which has a lot of great options and different ways to work on preparing for lotus position. Thank you very much and namaste.

Comments

Thank you so much for this lesson! I have not felt this good in a very long time, really a thank you from the heart
1 person likes this.
Thanks! Loved it!
Thank you, Maria for very mindful practice for body and soul. I feel beautiful lightness in body and release of tension in mind. Very beautiful practice. Appreciate from the bottom of my heart. 
1 person likes this.
I needed a little Ashtanga fix tonight and came to the right place! Your gently encouraging voice and spacious pacing make it all flow so sweetly! : )
Thankyou Maria! Loved the breath count with absence of unnecessary words!

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