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Ashtanga yoga. Is it always neccesary to follow a series or can you do random asanas?

I just started ashtanga yoga a couple of weeks ago. I´m not having trouble with barely any poses but i have a curiousity.
I´m doing the primary series right now. When you practice yoga is it necesary to do a series to get the benefit of it of can you do random poses?


  • Technically, if you don’t follow the series sequence, you are not doing “Ashtanga.”

    Instead, if you are mixing the sequence up, or leaving some asanas out, the style of what you are doing would likely fall under heading of “power yoga.”
    (Assuming you are still doing a vinyasa style where you flow smoothly from one asana to next).

    Power yoga was based on Pattabhi Jois’ Ashtanga vinyasa style.
    North American instructors like Beryl Birch and Baron Baptiste modified Ashtanga to make it more appealing to Western students.

    Of course, you are always free to do what ever appeals to you.


  • It is fine to practice individual poses, but the series are meant to work their way up from basics, limbering your body up, through to more advanced poses to enable you to gain the greatest benefits.

    Think about the initial poses as stretching prior to a run. You do so to warm your muscles up as well as to reduce the risk of muscular damage or damage to your tendons. The final poses as well, may be considered as your warm-down after the run.

    The series will also be directing your focus and breathing, each pose taking you to a new level.

    Enjoy your lessons!

  • There are basic poses, and then there are series. Basic poses are meant to be done for tension release, pain rehabilitation and so on. Like in your classroom or office or after lifting too much perhaps. The series of poses, routines, are meant to flow together to get the best benefit. If you have a routine on a video, follow it. If your looking at poses in a magazine or book, those are better to be done “as needed”.

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