Where does Ashtanga Yoga come from?
The creation of Ashtanga was the Yogi Pattabhi Jois who influenced and brought yoga to the west. Pattabhi Jois was a student of the late yoga master Krishnamacharya.
How many poses are there in Ashtanga Yoga?
There are 115 total poses (asanas) in the Primary Series of Ashtanga and of those 48 are considered the core asanas. The remaining difference are transitional poses used within vinyasa to transition between each of the core asanas.
10 Examples of Ashtanga Yoga Poses with Names and Picture
While these 10 yoga poses don’t account for the full core 48 poses and especially the full list of 115 used to get all the way through the Ashtanga Primary series these are 10 of the more prominent Ashtanga poses and great ones to start with as a beginner.
The traditional beginning of an Ashtanga series and often many classes if not from a grounded position.
1. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
A shoulder and heart opener giving length and extension to your spine.
2. Warrior 1 Pose (Virabhadrasana A)
A staple within Ashtanga using a solid base of each foot pulling in towards the hips and strong arms and gaze skyward.
3. Warrior 2 Pose (Virabhadrasana B)
The second staple in many Vinyasa flow classes and certainly Ashtanga primary series, the Warrior 2 pose is both a transition pose from the front to the back of the mat as well as foundational pose.
4. Boat Pose (Navasana)
Often a pose that teases and tests our core which is essential to the entire series.
6. Plow Pose (Halasana)
Beginning the seated poses in the Ashtanga series the Plow pose uses all three bandhas and opens the airways as well as giving extension through our legs and spine.
7. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
A chest opener allows for a lengthening of the spine, balance and strength in our core.
9. Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)
The Pyramid Pose allows us to square off our hips and realign using the weight of our torsos to assist with natural extension through our hamstrings and back.
10. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
One of the most odd and challenging poses for beginners into Ashtanga the Fish Pose challenges the strength of our core and flexion of our spine.
Can beginners do ashtanga yoga?
Absolutely! Beginners can definitely do Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga has become the foundation for many follow-on styles of yoga and is taught throughout the world. Beginning with an Ashtanga class is a great way of introducing yourself to traditional yoga in a Vinyasa style class allowing you to expand and grow from there.