Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Series: Importance Of Regular Practice
“Do Your Practice & All Is Coming”
The modern method of approaching Ashtanga yoga is known technically as the Ashtanga Vinyasa system, which was passed to Sri T. Krishnamacharya by his guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari and subsequently to his loyal disciple, Sri K. Patthabi Jois in the early 20th century. The Ashtanga Vinyasa system is known for its power, attention to detail, and dedication to tradition. The integrity of the lineage is maintained through Parampara or the unbroken transmission of knowledge from teacher to student.
Through the practice of Ashtanga yoga, simultaneously using Vinyasa, Bandhas, and Tristana, the poisons surrounding the spiritual heart will be burned away. The light of our true self will shine through.
Patanjali Yoga Sutra writes that yoga should be practiced consistently and with faith. With regular and devotional practice, one can acquire strength, steadiness, and openness of the mind and body. The mind becomes clear, precise, and lucid. Only through practice are we able to realize the truth.
Ashtanga Vinyasa System: The Primary, Intermediate & Advanced Series
Ashtanga Vinyasa System of yoga is comprised of three powerful groups of asana sequences in ascending order of difficulty that effectively purify, strengthen and open the body in preparation for higher yoga and meditation. These three groups of Asana sequences in the Ashtanga Vinyasa system are referred to as series. The sequences of asanas function like a combination lock. When performed correctly, with correct alignment, and in the proper order, the body and the mind open.
The Primary Series
The first sequence is known as the Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa, Yoga Therapy). Primary Series functions to heal, detoxify and align the body, with a focus, particularly on the realignment of the spine. Through consistent practice of the first series, foundational strength, endurance, and flexibility are built in preparation for fully accessing the benefits and effects of the subsequent series.
The Intermediate Series
The second sequence is known as Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana, cleaning of the Nadis). With the appropriate preparation through the practice of the first series, the second series purifies and balances the nervous system. By opening and clearing the subtle energy channels and the chakras, the second series purifies the complex Nadi system and balances the duality of energies within us.
The Advanced Series
The third sequence is known as Advanced Series (Sthira Bhaga, Divine Stability), which is divided into four parts (A, B, C, and D) to make it more approachable. The third series combines the lessons of the previous two series. It integrates the power and grace of the ashtanga practice into divine balance, which requires high levels of determination and humility.
The sequential order of each asana is to be followed systematically within the series, developing the appropriate strength, balance, and openness before moving further to the next asana. The series should also be practiced in sequential order, ideally with the guidance of a teacher. The practitioner should fully integrate the physical and energetic lessons of each series, often requiring years of consistent practice, before proceeding to the next series.
Importance Of Daily Practicing The Ashtanga Vinyasa System
For an Ashtanga yoga teacher or practitioner, practice is the only way to achieve its utmost benefits and knowledge of inner-self. Making a commitment to the regular practice of the Ashtanga Vinyasa System is essential to maximize the impact of teacher training sessions. After all, practice is the only key to becoming proficient and an expert Ashtanga yoga teacher.
Both the yoga practice and philosophy have a long history and a rich depth of knowledge. They are both essential aspects to examine and investigate in yoga practice. As a yoga instructor, you need to embrace the discomfort of being a beginner to continue growing and improving.
Yoga practitioners should practice yoga daily because it helps them feel better about themselves and improve their concentration while teaching. The Ashtanga Vinyasa system stimulates progress while inspiring you to discover more and dig deeper. Besides, there are many amazing benefits of practicing yoga—it makes us stronger, calmer, happier, healthier, and more flexible. The practice also allows you to connect with your bodies, minds, and spirits in ways that no other physical activity does.
Regular yoga practice allows us to explore parts of ourselves that we might otherwise ignore. It provides a safe space where we can try new things, fails, and try again. It teaches us patience, perseverance, balance, and humility.
We hope this blog helped you understand the primary and advanced series of the Ashtanga Vinyasa System and why practicing it every day is so beneficial and important for yoga teachers in Rishikesh. Till then, Keep Practicing!