The Ashtanga Yoga finishing sequence is a beautiful flow of backbends, alot of inversion postures, headstand and a few seated lotus postures. It can be really intimidating and sometimes physically impossible for new students to safely practice the full finishing sequence.
As a long time Ashtanga yoga teacher, I slowly introduce the finishing postures to newer students, gradually adding more of that sequence as they get more comfortable with postures from the standing and seated sequence. Today we will look at the postures safest for newbie’s to start with. If you’d like to jump right into the full finishing sequence, check out this youtube tutorial.
You always want to begin your finishing sequence after you’ve done your sun salutations and whatever standing and possibly seated postures you’ve been working on.
Modified Finishing Sequence Step by Step:
Once you finish the last standing or seated sequence posture you’ve been working on, either take a vinyasa to seated or simply have a seat on the floor.
Slowly roll down to your back, legs flat. On your next inhale, bend your knees and bring your feet hip width apart, parallel. Pressing your head back and your chin up, slowly inhale and press your hips up towards the ceiling, into bridge posture. Hold this asana for five deep breaths. At the end of your fifth exhale, slowly lower back down to the floor. Repeat bridge posture three times (3x) five breaths each time.
After your final bridge, slowly inhale and roll up to seated position. On your next exhale, fold forward grabbing your chins with your hands or binding your hands around your feet. Breathe here for ten deep breaths.
Inhale and sit up to take a vinyasa. Once you come through to seated position, cross your legs or take half or full lotus posture. With your legs crossed or in lotus, bring your arms behind your back and grab your forearms with your hands, or bind your hands around your toes. Exhale and fold forward into Yoga Mudra. Take eight deep breaths here.
From here, inhale and sit up straight. Keep your legs where they are and bring your arms forward. Bring your thumb and index finger together and place the back of your hands on your knees. Drop your chin towards your chest and breathe here for eight deep breaths.
On your following inhale, lift your chin back to neutral and place your hands on the floor half way between your feet and your glutes. Looking forward, inhale and try to lift your hips, and if you can, your feet, off the floor. Try to hold the lift 4-10 breaths. From this position, known as Utplutith, or sprung up, you will either take one more vinyasa and then take rest, or simply lie down and take rest.
Be sure to lay on your back in rest position for a few minutes, up to ten. It’s such a great way to help balance the energy you’ve created and destroyed during your yoga practice!
If you are brand new to yoga, you are at the right place! Check out our Youtube Tutorial on the introduction to finishing sequence. If you would like to join me for yoga classes, I offer both virtual and in person yoga classes Monday-Friday. I also offer virtual sessions in Yoga, Meditation, Breath-work, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Mentorship. Check out www.olotita.com for more details.
I am a level II authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher and I am passionate about sharing these teachings with all who wish to learn.
I hope you find this video series helpful to you in creating or maintaining your at home yoga practice!
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YOGA ASANA SERIES: VIDEOS 1-2
Yoga Series Video 1: The Foundation – Breathing, Bandhas, Drishti and Sun Salutation A
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