Welcome back to Olotita’s Yoga Asana Series! Today is Video 23 of our Yoga Series and we look at the next posture in the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, Pūrvottānāsana.
This is an eastern bend stretch or backward facing stretch. Up until this point in the practice most of what we have done, and will primarily continue to do throughout the primary series, is forward bending. This is the first and only posture, until backbends at the end of primary series, that we take the body backward in space and open the chest, stretch the psoas, and engage the back of the body (lats and erectors and hamstrings and glutes). Don’t worry though, we explore many opportunities to take the body backward in space when we reach the second, or intermediate series of the Ashtanga Yoga practice!
In video #22 of our Yoga Series we explored Daṇḍāsana, or Staff posture; and Paścimottānāsana or seated forward bend stretch posture. Now we do the opposite and take the body backwards to open the front of the body. Pūrvottānāsana is a challenging asana for many people because of how we live. Many of us spend our day sitting in an office chair, driving, bent over. The front of the body is often short and tight (psoas and chest muscles), and the back of the body is often long and weak. On top of that, when you take your hands backward and open your chest, it can make the practitioner feel very vulnerable as there is no way to protect your heart. It makes this posture challenging both physically and mentally. So its important to take this posture in steps. To work your way up to the full expression so you feel both physically capable and emotionally comfortable.
For those reasons, today we will explore two modifications or variations before we explore the full expression of this posture. I’ll demonstrate this posture in two modified forms so it is easier for newer students to begin to access these poses. I’ll then demonstrate the asanas in their full or final expression, so you can see where you wish to work to in terms of how the postures will look and feel when your body opens from your consistent practice efforts.
This yoga stuff is hard because you have to commit to it for yourself, you have to show up and do the work, and you have to be consistent to see the results. Keep showing up to your mat, keep taking this time for self care, for wholeness practices that are here to help you live your best life.
Each tutorial video is here to help you go a little deeper in your understanding of the body mechanics of the movements, and your own body in space.
If you are brand new to yoga, you are at the right place! And if you have an established practice, I will be sure to share a few tips that help you take your practice to the next level.
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!
If you want to join me in person I teach daily classes in Winter Park, Florida. I also offer virtual sessions in Yoga, Meditation, Breath-work, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Mentorship. Check out www.olotita.com for more details.
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YOGA ASANA SERIES: VIDEOS 1-22
Yoga Series Video 1: The Foundation – Breathing, Bandhas, Drishti and Sun Salutation A
Yoga Series Video 2: Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga Finishing Sequence
Yoga Series Video 3: PRACTICE YOGA WITH KRISTA: Sun Salutation A & Modified Finishing Sequence
Yoga Series Video 4: Sun Salutation B
Yoga Series Video 5: PRACTICE Sun Salutation A & B and modified Finishing Sequence with Krista Shirley
Yoga Series Video 6: How to Hold Your Spine in Space
Yoga Asana Series – Video 7 – Standing Postures: Padangusthasana and Pada Hastasana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 8: Standing Postures – Utthita Trikoṇāsana and Parivr̥tta Trikoṇāsana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 9: Standing Postures – Utthita Pārśva Koṇāsana and Parivr̥tta Pārśva Koṇāsana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 11: Standing Postures – Prasārita Pādottānāsana A-D
Yoga Asana Series – Video 12: Tensegrity
Yoga Asana Series – Video 13: GUIDED PRACTICE: Sun Salutation A & B through Prasarita Padottanasana A-D with Modified Finishing Sequence
Yoga Asana Series – Video 14: Standing Postures – Parsvottanasana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 15: Balancing Postures – Utthita Hasta Padāṅguṣṭhāsana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 16: Balancing Postures – Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 17: PRACTICE: Sun Salutation A & B through Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana with Modified Finishing Sequence
Yoga Asana Series – Video 18: Standing Postures – Utkaṭāsana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 19: Standing Postures – Vīrabhadrāsana
Yoga Asana Series – Video 20: PRACTICE: Sun Salutation A & B through Vīrabhadrāsana with Modified Finishing Sequence
Yoga Asana Series: Video 21: Vinyasa
Yoga Asana Series – Video 22: Daṇḍāsana and Paścimottānāsana