THE PRIMARY SERIES IS CALLED YOGA CHIKITSA - YOGA THERAPY AS IT ATTEMPTS TO REALIGN AND CEANSE THE BODY, CURE OUR MINDS AND CLEAR THEM FROM ALL THE JUNK THEY HAVE ACCUMULATED.
The Ashtanga system groups all asanas in 3 series, each having its own focus, aim and effect. But it is only the Primary and the Intermediate series that are suitable for most practitioners having a busy life.
STRUCTURE OF THE "SERIES"
SURYA NAMASKARA A & B
FUNDAMENTAL (STANDING) ASANAS
THE SERIES (USUALLY ON THE FLOOR - SITTING, TWISTING, ARM BALANCES)
REST IN SAVASANA
No matter which series you are working on, the structi=ure is the same and the methodology of studying too. Asanas are learned one by one, beacuse each asana builds on the ones before it. It is usually the teacher that decides when you are prepared to start learning the next asana, group of asanas or series. This ensures building a strong foundation and limiting the risks of overuse and/or injuries.
In addition, the Ashtanga method requires daily work - 6 days of practice a week except on Moon days and the "ladies' holidays". This teaches us to be present even if our body and mind aren't at their best - eventually it develops awareness, acceptance, letting go and non-attachment. daily practice is our sadhana.
The rest is practice, practice, practice...
SURYA NAMASKAR A
The practice of Surya namaskar can give us joy, health and long life, but today people prefer to enjoy pleasures without knowing the traditions and the practices of their ancestors and in this way they destroy the power of their minds for the sake of quick results or profit. They deny reality because ony reality cannot be seen.
Following the wisdom of the great sages -
"Shariramadyam khalu dharma Sadhanam" - our first duty is to take care of the body as no Truth or Realization cannot be achieved by a man with a weak body.
Surya namaskar should not be practiced by whim or as we like it, but following the shastras. Only then the grace of Surya - the Sun God will be with us and will pour its benefits on us...
- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, "Yoga Mala"