Ashtanga Yoga Poses For Beginners

If you’re looking for ashtanga yoga poses for beginners this is a great place to begin. 

We offer practical guidance with an instructional video for convenience. 

Ashtanga defined: a class of yoga based on 8 principles and comprising a series of poses executed in rapid sequence, combined with deep, controlled breathing.

The term itself comes from the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, referencing yoga’s eight-limb practice.

Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta.

This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.

If you would like to know more on the history of yoga here is a good place to begin.



Ashtanga Yoga Poses for Beginners


The word Vinyasa means breathing while systematically moving.
For each movement, there is one breath. 

Vinyasa’s purpose is for internal cleansing.
While breathing and moving in unison during practicing your asanas (exercises), heat occurs in the blood.  

The heat created during a good yoga practice will cleanse your blood and make it thin which creates easier blood flow making it easier on your circulation.

The synthesis of asanas combined with your breath and movement help the blood to circulate easily around all your joints and can help take away any body pains associated with stiffness
Lack of healthy blood circulation creates pain in the body.

The heat created during your movements will  also help move and circulate blood through all internal organs while simultaneously removing impurities which can cause disease, impurities are brought to the surface by the sweat during your practice. 

Sweating is very important during vinyasa.
It is through sweat that we purify our bodies.

Ashtanga defined further:

Ashtanga Yoga’s eight principles:

  1. Restraint
  2. Observance
  3. Posture
  4. Breath Control
  5. Sense Withdrawal
  6. Concentration
  7. Meditation
  8. Samadhi (which literally means, “put together”)

Ashtanga yoga is a different class of yoga which is designed around the idea of cleansing the body.

Have you ever felt the need of a good healthy detox?

The yoga poses of ashtanga are created to help cleanse your body with the belief that a cleansed body will give better mental awareness and clarity.

Ashtanga Yoga Poses for Beginners:

This is a great way to begin practicing yoga in the privacy of your home. 
It is important to remember that not all poses can be done as the images or video provided below.

Take your time with each pose.

There is no one watching and no one critiquing you, therefore, it is even, more important to listen to your body.

When you are following a series of poses, be sure to take your time between each move.
Pay attention to your breath.

If something is hurting you stop and reposition.
Do not force yourself to do anything you are not comfortable with.

Touching your toes, or bringing your hands to the ground,  is not as important as being in a position and breathing correctly.

In other words, if you feel while bending downward you cannot bring your hands down on the ground, go as far as your body will allow without pushing yourself further.

In doing this, you will allow the muscles in your lower back, and the back of your legs, to stretch accordingly without hurting yourself. 

The following series of  poses is called the “Sun Salutation” also known as the Surya Namaskara

1– Begin by standing upright.

2– While inhaling, lift your arms over your head with your palms pressed together, slowly bending backward while stretching your arms over and above your head.

3– Slowly exhale while bending forward, try touching the ground, allow your head to touch your knees.

4– Inhale while moving your right leg back away from your body while keeping your hands and feet firmly on the ground, your left foot is between your hands.  Raise your head upward.

5– While slowly exhaling, bring your left foot together with your right, keeping your arms straight, raise your hips and align your head with your arms, facing downward.  This will form an upward arch.

6– Exhale and lower your body to the ground until your feet, knees, hands, chest, and forehead are all touching the ground.

Ashtanga Yoga Poses For Beginners

7– Slowly inhale and bring your head up while arching backward as much as you feel possible while keeping your hips flat on the ground.

8– While slowly exhaling bring your left and right foot together. Keeping your arms straight, raise your hips off the ground while aligning your head with your arms. Raise your hips to form an arch.

9– Slowly inhale and bring your right leg back away from your body in a wide backward step (same as #4) keeping your hands and feet firmly on the ground, your left foot is between your hands. Raise your head upward.

10– Step with your right foot forward and stand up. Exhale slowly while bending forward, try touching your hands to the ground, allowing your head to gently touch your knees (same as #3)

11– Inhale and bring your arms over your head, slowly bending backward while stretching your arms above your head. (same as #2)

12-Bring your body in a straight position facing the sun, bring both your palms facing together and breath deeply. 

Ashtanga Yoga

Practicing the sun salutation will benefit your emotions.  

Much of our day to day suffering is caused by our emotions.
While maintaining a solid yoga practice, you are forced to be in the moment, remaining the ‘witness’ to your environment.

Emotions become difficult to deal with if you do not have a daily practice.
You may resort to over the counter drugs or prescription anti-depressants.

The difference between your feelings and your emotions are significant.

Emotions come from reliving a previously imprinted condition.

Feelings are authentic sensations which arise in the moment, such as love.

While being emotional, you are acting out from past conditions.
While  ‘feeling’ you are in the present.

Practicing Yoga helps you feel more in the moment as it removes layers of old conditioning.

While practicing yoga, we must remain neutral and non-assertive with what we think we may know as truth.

Yoga is a science and it is most definitely not a religion.

The practice of yoga is for you to pursue inner knowledge, what you connect with and how to sustain that connection. 

To attain a peaceful, calm and centered self  is the ultimate benefit to a regular practice.

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15 Replies to “Ashtanga Yoga Poses For Beginners”

  1. Lot of great information about yoga here! I have a client that teaches yoga and I’ve been thinking of joining her class. The one I’m thinking of is called Yoga with weights. I’m a little worried, I’m so out of shape. But I know I need to do something good for my body to exercise, yoga might be just what I need.
    Thank you for some great posts on yoga!

    1. Yoga with weights is one form of yoga I haven’t heard of. don’t be worried about beginning something new. It’ll be worth it.

      THanks for leaving a comment!

  2. Hey !

    Thank you for this amazing post ! It seems that Ashtanga Yoga Poses are good for everyone ! The vinyasa thing is very interesting, i like the concept to synchronise our breath and our moves.
    I like how you describe all the positions, but do you have any tips to do the positions perfectly ? I would not like to hurt my back or something doing this ! 🙂

    Thanks for your post,


    1. I would suggest taking a beginners class with someone to moderate your moves if you are concerned with hurting your back. There are many classes offered all over the place these days.

      Thanks for commenting =)

  3. Thank you for that info i really wanted to get into yoga so it could help my wellbeing. great articles that i can read up on.Thanks


  4. I loved the article. I’ve never gotten into yoga before, but the layout in how to do these methods don’t make it seem to daunting. I do like to meditate at times and it is amazing how much it makes a difference in the day. Thanks for the post and keep up the good work!

    1. That is the exact purpose of this site. To make it easy for those who have always wanted to try yoga but was too afraid to begin.
      Like you say, most poses on the web and elsewhere look way too daunting and people shy away from ever giving it a chance.

      Thanks for your comment.

  5. Awesome post.

    I do Ashtanga as part of treatment for PTSD and it works wonders and really helps reconnect with the body.

    I really like all the photos and the video and will come back to this as a refresher since im still a beginner.

    I also liked how you described what is happening in the body when we do yoga.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. I’ve read many guys back from Iraq use yoga for PTSD and they’re very happy with the results.

      It sure beats antidepressants and other drugs.

      I appreciate you sharing and leaving a comment.

  6. A truly great post, you have bought Ashtanga yoga to light for me as I did not know about it nor had I ever even heard of it. I found your article to be very informative and compelling reading that {I have to take it all the way to the very end. Congrats on the post my friend I think it is just what is needed. Well done

    1. I am happy I was able to bring Ashtanga to light for you, and do hope you can use it for yourself!

      I’ll be adding more yoga styles to my menu so please check back as my site grows.

      Thank you for leaving a comment =)

  7. Thank you so much for this informative post. I have practiced this a few times before but your explanation and the chart diagraming each position are very helpful.

    Also I do not know that I remember learning the 8 priciples, which is obviously very important. I appreciate your work here.

    The use of the video is very nice, as well.

    Thanks Again

    PS I’ll be back 🙂

    1. Hi, Stephen!

      I am happy to know this post helped you. I find short video clips helps me out and thought it best to share with others.

      I appreciate your comment and, yes, please do come back as my site will continue to grow with content.


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