1. Health

Video:Ashtanga Yoga Poses for Beginners

with Derrick

Ashtanga yoga beginners start with learning the sun salutation pose. Watch this video for some tips about how to preform the sun salutation, including the downward dog.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Health Videos
  • Yoga Videos

Transcript:Ashtanga Yoga Poses for Beginners

Hi I’m Derek, we’re here at the Massage Center in Lexington, Kentucky for About.com. Today I’m going to show you some introductory poses of Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga is a Popular and Traditional Yoga Style

Ashtanga Yoga is a very traditional style of yoga taught originally by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. Ashtanga yoga is characterized by a series of postures that are connected by the breath. There are three different aspects to Ashtanga: There is Ujjayi Breath, the Asana, and the Drishti, which is the eye gaze. The most important aspect is the Ujjayi breath, so shoulders back and down, you’ll breathe through your nose, you’ll constrict your throat slightly so you can hear yourself breathe, and exhale.

Ashtanga Yoga Beginners Perform Sun Salutation A.

Come down into a low-plank, Chaturanga Dandasana. If you need to bring your knees to the floor to rest. You’ll bring your chest three to four inches off the floor. Elbows tight to the body, shoulders rolled back and down. Inhale upward dog, shoulders back and down, chest to the front of the room. Exhale, roll onto your feet.

Downward Dog Requires Three Basic Motions to Perform the Yoga Pose

So the primary importance in downward dog is having a long spine, so your arms are stretched out in one line, coming all the way to your sit-bones. From here you’ll bring your knees up off the mat, just a little bit. We want to maintain that length. And if you feel you have the space, you can continue to lengthen your legs. Once they’re straight you’ll start to draw your heels towards the mat.

Three basic motions in this pose: pushing out from your hands, lengthening your spine, sit bones heading toward the ceiling, heels towards the floor. Look to the front of the mat, inhale, jump or step forward. Inhale look up, tall spine, exhale fold forward. Inhale draw your hands all the way up, look to your thumbs, and exhale, shoulders back and down, feet engaged, tall spine, tuck the chin. Surya Namaskara A - Sun Salutation A, you would normally practice this five times in sequence, before you go onto Sun Salutation B.

Thanks for watching, to learn more visit About.com
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.