Ashtanga Yoga Primary & Intermediate Series Poster

If you’d like to have a reference for your at-home Ashtanga Yoga Primary or Intermediate Series practice, check out Krista Shirley’s Yoga Poster of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary and Intermediate series postures. It’s a great tool for your practice … and beautiful when framed!

Poster Information:

Ashtanga Yoga

Sun Salutations A and B

Primary Series Asanas

Intermediate Series Asanas

Closing Asanas

24×36 color

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Ashtanga Yoga:

Ashtanga Yoga  is an eight limb system.  This is an ancient practice.  It is intended for people seeking a deeper connection and understanding of the external world around them.  It is also for those seeking the internal and external world of self. The yoga method starts the seeker at its third limb, called the Asana, or physical movement with breath practice.

Ashtanga Yoga has eight limbs. Each has many branches, just like the limbs of a tree. The first limb is comprised of moral codes for how to treat and care for the world around you.  These moral codes are broken into five separate branches of what this entails. The second limb is made up of moral codes for how to treat and care for self, again broken into five separate branches. The third limb, the Asana limb, contains six separate branches or series of Asana (breath with movement sequences). Using the Mysore method, each and every practitioner works to master these in order, sequentially, over time.

Getting Started

Every student starts at the same place … which is wherever they are! If new to this yoga method, you will start at the beginning.  This means you will start with the Asanas of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series.  This series is known properly as Yoga Chikitsa (which means “Yoga Therapy”).  Perhaps had an established or semi-established practice that fell away, you will start over and rebuild your foundation to be solid this time!  Or maybe you have an established Ashtanga yoga practice, you are welcome to join our community where you are – whether primary, intermediate or advanced series – and receive guidance from where you are.  Each student slowly works to learn and apply the fundamentals of deep breathing, coupled with sound, awareness, and education and application.

This leads to eventual knowing of specific gaze or looking points to master the skills of focus.  In time you also gain education, awareness, application and eventual mastery over internal muscles to guide and direct our practices.  Ashtanga Yoga is a set of time tested movements in a sequence, and working in the mysore setting helps you find mastery over those movements, before attempting more advanced movements that require mastery over those that come before them.

These principles apply regardless of whether you are working to master primary or advanced series postures.  By design, each new asana given provides the seeker with a unique and challenging new set of lessons to learn.  You also gain new skills to acquire and master, discomforts to reflect upon, and so much more.  The practice is so many things. One is that of a Kriya or cleansing practice.  Just like washing your face and body and brushing your teeth are cleaning practices, so too is daily asana practice.  You must “wash, rinse and repeat” to reap the jewels of the practice.  And these are jewels of the emotional, mental, spiritual and mystical world, as well as of the physical one.

Over time, a student will need less and less verbal guidance and cueing from the teacher as they begin to commit the sequence to memory. This occurs as the student begins to be more present in their own body and mind, paying greater attention to how they are breathing, more attention to how they are holding asanas and breathing, looking into a steady position or how they are breathing, and where they are looking as they move with breath – vinyāsa – from one steady position to another.

Yoga Model:

Krista Shirley is a level II authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher (check out her yoga videos). She owns The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, FL, (near Orlando), where she teaches yoga classes and offers private virtual yoga sessions. She created this yoga poster for women and men to enjoy as a reference for the Ashtanga Yoga Primary and Intermediate Series postures.

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