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June 14, 2010 / Gabriel Azoulay

DVD insight

The practice of Ashtanga traditionally is learned in a Mysore style, where the teacher provides the practitioner with a new pose every time the students has achieved a certain level of proficiency in the preceding posture. In such a way, as much as each series prepares the body for the next series, so each posture educates, opens, and prepares the body for the next posture.

Often this preparation is forgotten in today’s ashtanga classes, where students are practicing the entire primary or secondary series without having a daily practice.

This intense teaching and practice, while invigorating in its own right, leaves the nervous system and the over all structure unbalanced and overly energized. Often this enhanced flow of energy causes injury rather than strength, health, and long term practice.

The First or Primary Series is called in sanskrit “Chikitsa Bhaga“. This translates as the curative or therapeutic section. The intent of this series is to first prepare the way. To remove the obstructions structurally, organically, emotionally and mentally thus enabling the practitioner to move on to the higher forms of yogic practice. This series clears out nervous and physical build up in the bones and muscles, prepares the connective tissue for enhanced circulation of physical and energetic fluids, as well as cultivates the strength and balance needed in order to flow through the practice without interruption, as is seen in these DVDs.

The Second Series is labeled “Nadi Sodan,” which translates as nerve or channel purification. The Second or Intermediate Series builds on the skills learned in the First, or Primary Series. It is only after a certain degree of mastery of the Primary Series that a student is taught the Intermediate Series. The postures of Second Series are added “one-by-one”, in the words of Pattabhi Jois, to the practice of First Series. As a student gains proficiency in the new postures more are added until the entire new series is learned. In fact this is the method of progression in all the series of Ashtanga yoga. Progress is based on the ability of each student.

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June 14, 2010 / Gabriel Azoulay

The participants

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, (July 26, 1915 – May 18, 2009) affectionately known as Guru-ji, was a sanskrit scholar who held two degrees from the renowned Sanskrit College of Mysore. His knowledge of Ashtanga Yoga is practical as well as scholarly and is summarized here – Ashtanga Yoga Institute’s website

Much gratitude is offered to the practitioners in these videos. Thank you for your dedication. For those who will come after you, the perfection of your practice shines a light on the possibilities of whatyoga asana can be.

Participants:

June 14, 2010 / Gabriel Azoulay

The postures

Primary Series Intermediate Series
  • Ashtanga Yoga Mantra chant in call and response
  • Surya Namaskara A – 3x
  • Surya Namaskara B – 3x
  • Padangusthasana
  • Padahastasana
  • Utthita Trikonasana A
  • Utthita Trikonasana B (Parivritta Trikonasana)
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • Prasarita Padottanasana A
  • Prasarita Padottanasana B
  • Prasarita Padottanasana C
  • Prasarita Padottanasana D
  • Parsvottanasana
  • Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana
  • (Utthita Parsvasahita)
  • (Utthita Eka Padasana)
  • Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana
  • Utkatasana
  • Virabhadrasana A
  • Virabhadrasana B
  • (Dandasana)
  • Paschimattanasana A
  • Paschimattanasana C
  • Purvattanasana
  • Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana
  • Tiryan Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattanasana
  • Janusirsasana A
  • Janusirsasana B
  • Janusirsasana C
  • Marichasana A
  • Marichasana B
  • Marichasana C
  • Marichasana D
  • Navasana – 5x with lift only
  • Bujapidasana
  • Kurmasana
  • Supta Kurmasana
  • Garbha Pindasana – and rolling 5x
  • Kukkutasana
  • Baddha Konasana A
  • Upavishta Konansa A
  • Upavishta Konansa B
  • Supta Konasana
  • Supta Padangusthasana
  • (Supta Parsvashita)
  • (Chakrasana)
  • Ubhaya Padangusthasana
  • Urdhvamukha Paschimottanasana
  • Setu Bandhasana
  • (Chakrasana)
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana – 3x
  • (Chakrasana)
  • Paschimattanasana
  • (Tadaka Mudra) – 5 breaths
  • Sarvangasana – 10 breaths
  • Halasana – 8 breaths
  • Karnapidasana – 8 breaths
  • Urdhva Padmasana – 8 breaths
  • Pidasana – 8 breaths
  • Matsyasana – 8 breaths
  • Uttana Padasana – 8 breaths
  • (Chakrasana)
  • Sirsasana – 25 breaths
  • (Urdhva Dandasana A) – 10 breaths
  • Balasana (30 seconds) – uncounted
  • (Baddha Padmasana)
  • Yoga Mudra – 10 breaths
  • Padmasana (with Jnana Mudra) – 10 breaths
  • Utpluthi – 25 breaths
  • (Half vinyasa only)
  • Savasana
  • Ashtanga Yoga Mantra chant in call and response
  • Surya Namaskara A – 3x
  • Surya Namaskara B – 3x
  • Padangusthasana
  • Padahastasana
  • Utthita Trikonasana A
  • Utthita Trikonasana B (Parivritta Trikonasana)
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • Prasarita Padottanasana A
  • Prasarita Padottanasana B
  • Prasarita Padottanasana C
  • Prasarita Padottanasana D
  • Parsvottanasana
  • (Half vinyasa only)
  • Pasasana
  • Krounchasana
  • Salabhasana A
  • Salabhasana B
  • Bhekasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Parsva Dhanurasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Ustrasana
  • Laghuvajrasana
  • Kapotasana A
  • Kapotasana B
  • Supta Vajrasana
  • Bakasana A
  • Bakasana B
  • Bharadvajasana
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana
  • Eka Pada Sirsasana
  • Dwi Pada Sirsasana
  • Yoga Nidrasana
  • (Chakrasana)
  • Tittibhasana A
  • Tittibhasana B
  • Tittibhasana C
  • Pincha Mayurasana
  • Karandavasana
  • Mayurasana
  • Nakrasana
  • Vatayanasana
  • Parighasana
  • Gomukasana A
  • Gomukasana B
  • Supta Urdhva Pada Vajrasana
  • Mukta Hasta Sirsasana A
  • Mukta Hasta Sirsasana B
  • Mukta Hasta Sirsasana C
  • Baddha Hasta Sirsasana A
  • Baddha Hasta Sirsasana B
  • Baddha Hasta Sirsasana C
  • Baddha Hasta Sirsasana D
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana – 3x
  • (Chakrasana)
  • Paschimattanasana
  • (Tadaka Mudra) – 5 breaths
  • Sarvangasana – 10 breaths
  • Halasana – 8 breaths
  • Karnapidasana – 8 breaths
  • Urdhva Padmasana – 8 breaths
  • Pidasana – 8 breaths
  • Matsyasana – 8 breaths
  • Uttana Padasana – 8 breaths
  • (Chakrasana)
  • Sirsasana – 25 breaths
  • (Urdhva Dandasana A) – 10 breaths
  • Balasana (30 seconds) – uncounted
  • (Baddha Padmasana)
  • Yoga Mudra – 10 breaths
  • Padmasana (with Jnana Mudra) – 10 breaths
  • Utpluthi – 25 breaths
  • (Half vinyasa only)
  • Savasana

    June 9, 2010 / Gabriel Azoulay

    Finally here

    After 2 years of discussion, research and editing, we were able to find the original tapes to videos Gabriel Azoulay discovered while in Mysore, India.

    Now they are available for purchase, with just a simple donation and postage charge. We are not doing this for money, we are doing this so that the world can see the true Ashtanga practice. In his travels Gabriel constantly sees people saying they teach ashtanga, and yet what they teach and what Guruji was teaching are two different things all together.

    We are excited to share these with the ashtanga community, with the hopes that it serves and continues to inspire new and continuing practitioners.

    As this was filmed in 1993 it stands as a true expression of how the pace, cadence, drishti, feet and chin position should go and how the vinyasa and breath count should proceed.