The perfect cheat sheet to place next to your yoga mat: Asana sequences in a small and practical format for downloading and printing. These cheat sheets contain photos of the fundamental poses as well as pictures of the first, second and third Ashtanga yoga series.
Ashtanga Yoga in its traditional form, as taught by the late Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois. – Today this is the practice that is most common around the world.
Traditional mantras are chanted at the beginning and end of every Aṣṭāṅga Yoga practice.
Sun Salutation A & B
The sun salutation (Sūrya Namaskāra) forms the foundation of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga practice. Here you will establish the calm rhythm of breathing (Ujjāyī) direction of Energy (Bandha) and concentration (Ḍṛṣti). The powerful flow of a moving meditation is born.
The fundamental positions (Āsana) tune the physical and energetic body to balance (Alignment). The dynamic of the sun salutations transform to new forms of movement. (Vinyāsa).
The finishing sequence guides the practitioner in Aṣṭāṅga Yoga to an energetic culmination. The breathing (Ujjāyī) calms down, muscle contractions (Bandha) become subtle and concentration (Ḍṛṣti) turns inward.
The positions of primary series extend the previous practice. They require more power, flexibility and endurance. You will need some practice to learn them.
After about two years of constant practice a new energetic dimension unfolds for you. This phase on the path of Yoga is called Nāḍi Śodhana, the cleansing of the energetic channels. Breath (Ujjāyī), energy control (Bandha) and focus (Ḍṛṣti) become continuously more deep in experience. Sometimes at this point the physical body is so flexible and powerful that the 1st Series (see there) is no longer adequate as a field for learning. Then 2nd Series forms a new opportunity for practice.
The advanced sequence of the Ashtanga Yoga, the third series, demands a high degree of strength and flexibility. A lot of practice and endurance is neccessary to learn it.
Variation by BNS Iyengar
In their essence, the series taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and BNS Iyengar are same. But in details we will find some minor differences. Here you will find Ashtanga Yoga as taught by BNS Iyengar (from Mysore):
Fundamental Positions with BNS Iyengar
Fundamental positions from Ashtanga Yoga, here as practiced by BNS Iyengar.
Primary Series with BNS Iyengar
Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga here as practiced with BNS Iyengar.