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Ashtanga Yoga Sequence: Ashtanga Closing Sequence

(Tummee Reference Yoga Sequence)

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Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans

Overview

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Ashtanga Yoga Sequence: Ashtanga Closing Sequence: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions

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  • Full Body Stretch Pose (Supta Utthita Tadasana)
    This is done after the main series of Ashtanga Yoga depending on the practitioner's level of practice and experience. Hence ending the main series with the Full Body Stretch Pose before starting with the Closing series of Ashtanga Yoga, take about 5 breaths and stretch the entire body.
  • Shoulderstand Pose (Sarvangasana)
    The following 5 poses, are done holding it for 8-25 breaths depending on the level of experience and capacity of the practitioner. Here we are considering it as the Advance Level and hence using the 25 breath count capacity.

    A. Lying on the floor taking 5 breaths in the Full Body Stretch Pose, release and as you inhale pick the legs up to raise the entire lower body in a flow while exhaling.

    B. Using the strength of the arms and supporting the hips and the lower back, push the entire body taking the legs straight up in alignment to the chin and the chest in Salamba Sarvangasana.

    C. Stretch the entire body, taking the upper back upwards and locking the chin close to the chest, while ensuring the entire body weight is spread across the entire back and the hips.

    D. Stay here for about 25 breaths going slow with the breathing.
  • Plough Pose (Halasana)
    A. From Salamba Sarvangasana, take the legs stretching them and placing them on the floor behind you while in exhalation.

    B. Placing the hands interlocked at the fingers, on the floor stretch the entire body while locking the abdominal muscles to get the maximum benefit in Halasana or Plough Pose.

    C. Stay in this deep stretch of back and the legs in Halasana or Plough Pose for about 25 breaths while moving slowly with the body as you exhale and inhale.

    D. The awareness of the breath will help to keep the body light and hence hold longer without any kind of stress in the muscles and the breathing.
  • Ear Pressure Pose (Karnapidasana)
    A. Continuing in the series, release from Halasana and bring the knees to bend while placing them on the floor close to your ears in Karnapidasana or Ear Pressure Pose.

    B. This pose requires practice with the breathing to ensure the body is comfortable in the posture.

    C. Remain here for about 25 rounds of breathing if possible and make sure the arms placed on the floor helps you to pull the body in position.
  • Upward Lotus Pose (Urdhva Padmasana)
    A. Going in the flow, release and stretch the legs up again in Salamba Sarvangasana.

    B. Inhale and bring the legs to be crossed in the Lotus Pose or Padmasana while still balancing the body on the shoulders.

    C. Crossing the legs come to be in Urdhva Padmasana or Upward Lotus Pose, while placing the hands on the knees to push the body for the right posture.

    D. Using the abdominal muscles, push the thighs and the lower part of the abdomen to get the best results from the practice of this pose.

    E. Remain here if possible for about 25 breaths.
  • Embryo Pose in Shoulder Stand (Pindasana)
    A. Releasing from Urdhva Padmasana, take the legs and place knees on the floor close to your ears, while sit seated in Padmasana.

    B. Using the hands to hold the legs and thighs in place lock the chin and the neck deep into the chest to go into Pindasana or Embryo Pose in Shoulder Stand.

    C. A minimum of 10 breaths to start with and then deeper with practice and confidence.

    INVERSIONS are all about blood flow, and the above poses helps the stale blood which stagnates in the lower portions of the body to be purified and circulate better.
  • Fish Pose Variation Lotus (Matsyasana Variation Lotus)
    COUNTER Balance poses are important in the practice of Ashtanga Yoga Series, and here the following two poses helps to counter balance the shoulder stand poses.

    A. Releasing from Pindasana, bring the crossed legs on the floor, resting the hips and the thighs on the floor. While exhaling, bring the crown of the head on the floor to go into Matsyasana Variation Lotus.

    B. Placing the crown of the head on the floor, raise the entire back and the shoulders off the floor, while holding the toes with your hand with bent elbows.

    C. Remain here for about 12 breaths and watch the flow of blood towards the crown of the head while taking the breathing slow and steady.

    D. Taking the chest out to the maximum, encourages the breathing capacity to increase at the diaphragm and lungs.
  • Raised Legs Pose (Uttana Padasana)
    A. Release and as you exhale, release the crossed legs in Padmasana and stretch them out taking it close to 60 degrees off the floor.

    B. Exhale and continue to keep the crown of the head on the floor behind you, while raising the arms above your chest to keep the body posture in Uttana Padasana or Raised Legs Pose.

    C. Balancing the body on the crown of the head and the hips, stay here for about 12 breaths or more taking the breathing to a slow rhythm.

    THE ABOVE POSES helps to purify the esophagus and also strengthens the neck and the core while acting as a counter pose to the various shoulder stand poses.
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Note: Above yoga sequence is for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical professional and/or a licensed yoga teacher or yoga therapist before starting any exercise regime, including yoga.

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