Unleash your Flow: Master the Ashtanga Primary Series
The Ashtanga Primary series is a sequence of yoga postures that are practiced in a specific order. It is the first and foundational sequence in the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga system. The series consists of 72 postures, including standing, seated, and finishing poses, and is designed to build strength, flexibility, and endurance.
The practice is traditionally guided by a teacher and accompanied by dynamic breathing, or ujjayi pranayama, which helps to create a moving meditation. The Ashtanga primary series is intended to be a daily practice, with practitioners gradually working their way through the sequence over time.
History of Ashtanga
The practice was developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India, in the 20th century. Jois was a student of T. Krishnamacharya, who is known as the father of modern yoga. Krishnamacharya taught Jois the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system, which emphasizes breath-synchronized movement and a specific sequence of postures.
Krishnamacharya learned Ashtanga yoga from his guru, Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and through his own extensive study of ancient Hindu texts and scriptures. He also learned from his father and other teachers. Krishnamacharya then developed his own unique style of yoga, which later became known as Vinyasa yoga or the "Krishnamacharya tradition." Rama Mohan Brahmachari was an Indian physiologist and he worked at the University of Kolkata.
Adherence to the Sequence
I learned the Ashtanga series from several teachers including some of whom studied directly with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath. Some teachers practice the series with diligence while others have adapted it and modified certain postures.
Overall my opinion is to first learn the traditional series as it was originally taught, then make informed adjustments to optimize the benefits as needed.