Sixth Series of Ashtanga Yoga

Definition - What does Sixth Series of Ashtanga Yoga mean?

The sixth series of Ashtanga yoga is the most advanced sequence of postures that comprise asana practice in this structured form of yoga. Some say that only one person has ever advanced to the sixth series, Sharath Rangaswamy, the grandson of K. Pattabhi Jois, who developed the modern Ashtanga series of postures. Others, however, claim to practice what is known today as the sixth series and even to have learned it from Jois.

What is not disputed is that the asana sequences have evolved in the modern era, as series were added or existing series split into several series.

Yogapedia explains Sixth Series of Ashtanga Yoga

The Ashtanga yoga vinyasa series today consists of primary (first series), intermediate (second series) and four levels of advanced series, which are collectively referred to by the Sanskrit term sthira bhaga, or “divine stability.” Each series includes challenging and restorative poses performed in the same order each time, but each series of vinyasa is increasingly more difficult than its predecessor. The goal of vinyasa in these series is to strengthen body and mind.

Like all Ashtanga practice, the sixth series starts with two different sun salutations and a standing sequence; it ends with the same closing sequence. Between the standing and closing sequences, the yogi follows the flowing sequences of poses that comprise the series. Unlike in the primary and intermediate series, the postures in the sixth series are not universal. The makeup of the vinyasa and the order of the poses can vary depending on when it was originally learned. The sixth series, though, tends to include difficult backbends, handstands and other inversions that require advanced flexibility and balance.

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