Second Series of Ashtanga Yoga

Definition - What does Second Series of Ashtanga Yoga mean?

The second series of Ashtanga yoga, also called the intermediate series or the nadi shodhana series, is a sequence of poses designed to clear the energy channels. Ashtanga yoga asana practice begins with five repetitions each of sun salutation A and sun salutation B followed by a standing sequence; and practice ends with the closing sequence. In between the standing and closing sequences, the yogi practices one of six series, which range from the primary series to advanced.

Ashtanga yoga is believed to be an ancient form of the discipline that was rediscovered by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in the early 20th century. Some say he developed the sequences that make up the series.

Yogapedia explains Second Series of Ashtanga Yoga

In the second series of Ashtanga yoga, the focus is on back bends, which benefit the spine and open energy channels that let prana flow. The series also includes hip openers and some headstands.

The second series begins with noose pose and then flows into heron, followed by a series of back bends, including locust, frog, bow, side bow and camel poses. The back bends provide a range of benefits, including improving posture, opening the heart center, and improving lung function. The back bends are followed by counterbalance poses and then deep forward bends, which assist nerve cleansing and increase blood flow to the spine, lungs and heart. The inversions that follow – mostly headstands – detoxify the internal organs and build confidence. The series ends with paschimottanasana, a calming forward fold.

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