Building Your Ashtanga Primary Series

Taught by legendary teachers, this program will introduce a segment of the Ashtanga Primary Series each week, combining detailed tutorials with a vigorous practice. You'll repeat each segment for six days, then expand on what you've learned in the following week. The primary series is challenging, so you are encouraged to continue repeating a segment until you feel ready to progress. No matter your pace, by the end of the program you'll have learned the full, 90-minute sequence, giving you a solid foundation for a lifelong practice.
54
Classes
9
Weeks
Taught by legendary teachers, this program will introduce a segment of the Ashtanga Primary Series each week, combining detailed tutorials with a vigorous practice. You'll repeat each segment for six days, then expand on what you've learned in the following week. The primary series is challenging, so you are encouraged to continue repeating a segment until you feel ready to progress. No matter your pace, by the end of the program you'll have learned the full, 90-minute sequence, giving you a solid foundation for a lifelong practice.
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Week 1

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Welcome to the first class of your program! Today you'll learn fundamental concepts and practices such as prana, apana, bandhas and ujjayi pranayama, then begin building surya namaskar A and B and a sequence of standing poses. This class will thoroughly break down each posture to prepare you for the rigorous flow sequences to come. Each practice in this program will be followed with finishing poses, beginning today with detailed padmasana instruction and advanced variations.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Review the postures and concepts you learned in your first class, by repeating the practice. Repetition is the key to mastery in Ashtanga, so you'll continue to practice this segment for the rest of the week.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Surya namaskars strengthen and warm the body while focusing the mind. Let your breath and body synchronize as you create a rhythm for the practice to come.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

As you begin to become more comfortable with the postures, focus on the internal aspects of the practice, such as your breath, bandhas and gaze.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

When you become increasingly able to anticipate your movements, your awareness turns inward and your practice becomes a meditation in motion.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Remember that you can continue to repeat this practice until you feel ready to progress to the next segment. If you've practiced six days in a row, enjoy a day of rest tomorrow. You've earned it!

Week 2

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Now that you've built a foundation, move on to the next section of the primary series with another challenging sequence of standing postures. Begin with utthita hasta padangusthasana, using props as needed for support, then move steadily into ardha baddha padmottanasana, utkatasana and virabhadrasana. Finish with padmasana, then learn yoga mudrasana, taking time to focus on your ujjayi breath before relaxing into savasana.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Continue to ground yourself in the fundamentals of the primary series by repeating this week's sequence of standing postures.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Today, explore the contemplative roots of the practice by listening to the quality of your breathing and maintaining a soft and steady gaze.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Challenge yourself to commit this sequence to memory, so you can allow your movements to feel natural and free. Find stability in each pose and feel your connection to the earth.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Find a sense of interconnectedness as you flow from pose to pose. Turn your gaze inward and feel how all the aspects of the practice work together to create a moving meditation.

Yoga

Level 2-3 60 mins

Let go of the idea that you need to complete this segment in a predetermined length of time. Every day that you get on your mat is a step forward. Practice this class as long as you need to. When you are ready to move on, you'll begin to explore the finishing postures.

Week 3

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Take a pause from standing and seated postures to focus on the intensive, yet relaxing, finishing postures of the primary series. Building on the sequence in your last class, this practice introduces the shoulder stand family, including halasana, karnapidasana, urdhva padmasana, pindasana, matsyasana and chakrasana. You'll receive instructions for jalandhara bandha and the use of props, learning the subtleties of positioning your shoulders to provide spaciousness for your neck.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Revel in these contemplative poses again, allowing your breath to lead you inward.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Continue to explore the finishing postures, feeling how they calm your heart and mind.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

As you practice today, be mindful of the patterns of your inhalations and exhalations (prana and apana).

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Keep up the consistency! Though calming, these postures are complex. Repeat this class as often as you need to. You set the pace!

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Take a day to rest, then come back to this practice or move on to the next week. In class four, you'll add seated poses and continue to refine the finishing postures.

Week 4

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Build upon your growing primary series sequence by adding seated postures to your practice. The first half of class focuses on dandasana, paschimottanasana A, B and C, purvottanasana, ardha baddha paschimottanasana, tiriang mukha paschimottanasana and janu sirsasana A, B and C. In the second half of class, you'll practice the finishing postures you learned in class three, while continuing to receive detailed instruction on alignment and making modifications with props that are appropriate for you.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

You may have been surprised at the intensity of many of the seated poses. Keep practicing, honoring where you are, and allowing for slow and steady growth.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Remember to cultivate each pose gradually, using props to support you during these beginning stages of exploration.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Immerse yourself in your practice, relinquish your need to control, and trust that progress will occur with time.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Today, notice how forward bending encourages reflection and introspection. Surrender to the sensations of the poses as you create length and space in your spine.

Yoga

Level 2-3 75 mins

Explore this practice again with a fresh perspective. When you feel ready to move on, you will complete the first half of the primary series and study headstand.

Week 5

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

Expand upon the previous four classes and complete the first half of the primary series by adding marichyasana A, B, C and D, navasana and setu bandha sarvangasana. The finishing poses taught are matsyasana, balasana and sirsasana. What if you don't have time for a long practice? You'll also learn abbreviated versions of the finishing poses, for those days when you don't have time to practice through the whole sequence.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

As you settle back into these poses, pay close attention to the alignment cues to get the most out of each posture.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

When you continue to repeat the same sequence, you have a chance to truly witness how your practice is progressing. Take some time today to appreciate where you're at.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

Turn your attention inward and allow your breath to guide you as you flow from pose to pose.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

Remember that Ashtanga is a lifelong practice. There is always something new to learn.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

Whether this is your 6th time completing this class or your 60th, keep up the amazing work! Take a day to rest, and continue with the next class when it feels right.

Week 6

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

In this class, add a series of seated postures with grounding qualities to your sequence. You'll receive detailed instruction for bhujapidasana, tittibhasana, bakasana, kurmasana, supta kurmasana, garbha pindasana and kukkutasana. Conclude by practicing through the finishing postures you've learned so far, or take the abbreviated route, adding utplutih before taking savasana.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Return to these seated postures, allowing your mind to settle and feeling your connection to the earth beneath you.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Take this practice step by step and day by day. Moving too quickly can hinder your progress, so enjoy and appreciate where you are right now.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

The breath is the key to the postures. Today, let your focus be there.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

There is an ebb and flow to the primary series. Notice how every pose plays its part.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Really check in with yourself and decide whether it is time to progress to the next class. You'll add more seated postures that will begin to cool you down in preparation for the finishing sequence.

Week 7

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Learn the final sequencing of the seated postures in your primary series practice with baddha konasana A, B and C, upavistha konasana, supta konasana, and supta hasta padangusthasana. Complete your practice of finishing postures with urdhva dhanurasana, while also reviewing detailed alignment for sirsasana and balasana.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

The seated postures you've added help to cool you down from your rigorous practice and prepare you for the finishing poses.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

As you continue to add new poses to your series, maintain awareness of your breath, bandhas and drishti.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Progress isn't always linear, so on some days you might feel tighter or less energetic. Allow your practice to meet you where you are.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

If you focus on advancing anything in your practice, let it be consistency.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Take your time with this class and move ahead when you feel really comfortable. You've come so far and there are only a few more poses ahead.

Week 8

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Add the final three postures of the entire primary series to your practice, learning ubhaya padangusthasana, urdhva mukha paschimottanasana and setu bandhasana. Practice the full finishing sequence you have already learned, adding optional advanced lift up/lower down sirsasana variations. This well-rounded class will prepare you with all the remaining postures required for practicing the full primary series flow in class nine.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

You have now learned all of the postures in the primary series! It's important that you take the same care with these final poses and continue to practice with detailed instruction until you feel ready to progress to the full, uninterrupted series.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Remember that you can return to the previous classes for additional guidance on any of the poses.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Turn your attention to the internal aspects of the practice and allow your breath to guide you.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Strive to commit the sequence to memory, so your practice can become a moving meditation.

Yoga

Level 2-3 120 mins

Enjoy a day of rest, then continue repeating this class for as long as you'd like. Next, you'll practice the entire primary series, counting the postures and your breath with minimal instruction.

Week 9

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

This final class is the culmination of everything you've learned in this program - the entire sequencing of the primary series! Practice the full, uninterrupted flow with minimal instruction, honoring your level, and utilizing props and modifications as needed. Go back and review any part of this program at any time to refine your understanding of the postures. Remember, the most important element is your commitment to your own practice, regardless of progress or level.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

In Ashtanga, this sequence is traditionally practiced six days on and one day off. By now you should feel familiar with the poses, but every day you can experience this practice anew. Keep practicing and watch what kinds of transformations occur.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

Notice how the postures relate to one another. Poses meet counterposes. Heat-building postures give way to cooling postures. Take a moment to admire the intelligence of this ancient system, and give equal attention to each and every pose.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

Are you finding that you can remember the order of the poses? If not, keep practicing, this ability will come with time.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

While you'll undoubtedly gain strength and flexibility as you continue practicing, much of the transformation occurs within. Consider how you've progressed since you began this program and imagine all the room there is to grow.

Yoga

Level 2-3 90 mins

You've completed this program! Take a moment to celebrate the commitment you've made to yourself. Today is a milestone on a lifelong journey. You can continue to use this practice to develop power and presence in your life.

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