Ashtanga Yoga sites
February 11, 2005 2:45 AM   Subscribe

Ashtanga Yoga: I just started a few months ago and I love it. I'm having some trouble practising outside of class though, it's hard to remember the beginner sequence the instructor takes us through. Does anyone know of a site with descriptions/diagrams of the Primary Series? (Hopefully with alternate poses for neophytes) Google finds a heck of a lot of not much.
posted by philscience to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's a Primary Series poster you can buy; alternatively, if you can deal with practicing right next to your computer, Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois' site has an excellent section featuring the asanas in order, and with pictures. I also really like David Swenson's Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manual, which offers a thorough and detailed overview of the Primary and Intermediate Series, plus also has three "short forms," truncated Ashtanga sequences for when you don't have 90 minutes to do the whole series. And between his amazing form and wonderful teaching, the book's companion DVD is incredible, and well worth having for a home practice. The other really great thing about Swenson's teaching/practice manual is that, unlike many Ashtangis, he does emphasize (or at least offer) modifications -- the manual offers several alternatives for nearly every asana, and on the DVD he spends some time going over the options for many of the poses.
posted by mothershock at 6:58 AM on February 11, 2005

mothershock's answer is probably better than mine, but you can probably find good pics in one of mothershock's books or in Beryl Bender Birch's book Power Yoga, maybe photocopy them and blow them up into a sequence.

When I was learning the 100+ movement Wu tai chi form, I also made a big list of the movement names in large print on poster board to glance at. It never worked well though, and I really had to just rely on doing the form over and over in class till it became second-nature.
posted by Shane at 7:11 AM on February 11, 2005

I second David Swenson's book. It is what I use at home since it is less intrusive than a DVD, you can make your own decisions, making you more reliable on yourself than narration. Also, it won't be long before your practice is automatic.
posted by scazza at 9:33 AM on February 11, 2005

I do Iyengar yoga, not Ashtanga, so I can't help you out with the sequence. But I can offer some general practice tips, things I have found over the last seven years or so that work for me:

- It helps to practice at the same time every day, or every other day. Dawn and dusk are best, because that's when the earth's energy is changing.

- Don't set your goals too high. It's better to practice for 15 minutes a day, every day, than an hour once a week.

- Set aside space in your home/apartment for practicing, and try to make it somewhat serene. Turn off all phones, etc.

- When doing a pose, work from your feet up adjusting and aligning yourself. Think back to class, see if you can get your teacher's instructions to echo in your head. I bring a small notebook to classes and take notes afterwards about what I've learned; the act of writing it down helps me remember.

- If you live in a noisy place, don't let it bother or distract you. Just accept it as the environment you are in and focus on your asana and breath.
posted by j3s at 10:08 AM on February 11, 2005

There is some good info here, I've found.
posted by Espoo2 at 1:23 PM on February 11, 2005

Hey, thanks for the answers all. I decided to go with the David Swenson book. And I'll definately try to follow your advice j3s.
posted by philscience at 4:58 PM on February 11, 2005

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