Yoga has become a world famous practice to achieve overall fitness because of its mind, body and soul approach. Ashtanga yoga is a style of yoga and popularized by yoga guru K. Pattabhi Jois. David Garrigues is one of the disciples of the world renowned yoga guru. He is the director of the Ashtanga Yoga School of Philadelphia and one of the US certified teachers of Ashtanga Yoga. His teachings are based on the core idea of the teachings of his guru that is ‘Anyone can take practice’.
David has devoted himself to Ashtanga yoga to teach and help others to get the physical, physiological and spiritual benefits of this practice. He is very famous for his YouTube channel ‘Asana kitchen’ which offers a free and expert video on Ashtanga yoga to the beginners as well as to the advanced practitioners. He has also launched DVD programs on Ashtanga yoga, which are.
- Ashtanga yoga: a primary series guide
- A guide to Ashtanga yoga: intermediate series
- Vayu Sidhdhi: A guide to Pranayama, Ashtanga yoga’s Fourth Limb with David Garrigues
These DVDs guide you beyond the Kitchen asana videos and makes you further explore the concept and benefits of Hatha yoga. As we have seen that, his tutorials on Vimeo are always fresh and gritty with full explanations of posture and techniques of Ashtanga Yoga. Same thing goes with his DVD programs, in which he has demonstrated various postures with clear direction in his calm and peaceful voice which helps you indulge into the deep practice of yoga. If you want to buy Ashtanga Yoga DVD, must read this review. The DVDs contain some knowledgeable tips from the famous Ashtanga practitioner and it has sections in which postures are demonstrated in slow motion so that you can analyze the details of complicated posture and sequences.
Here we will discuss about Ashtanga Yoga DVD programs, its content and how it is going to benefit you.
Primary series DVD program
Ashtanga yoga is one of the most powerful and proven approach of yoga, which is based on perfect coordination of breathing and movement system also known as Vinyasa. It helps you in cleansing your mind, body and soul by producing internal heat and a purifying sweat that detoxifies your body system, improve the blood circulation, gives you a light and strong body and a calm mind. With a regular practice of Ashtanga yoga, it will combine your physical grace, power and mental clarity to awaken the spirit in you. It includes various internal and external techniques such as breathing, internal locks, meditation, posture, conscious movement and gazing. When these are applied on the body with discipline and skill, then these practices make you physically and mentally strong and perceptive.
Ashtanga yoga primary series is the basic step towards its learning and based on tradition and lineage. With every practice of primary series you will experience an inner transformation and enhanced physical strength and flexibility. In the primary series DVD program, every single posture is described in terms of alignment, anatomy and technique in order to make you understand how these posture works and affects your body and how it should be performed with safety. These are suitable for all learning levels (beginners or advanced practitioners) but some poses may seem a bit difficult in the beginning.
Ashtanga yoga: A primary series guide Disc 1
This DVD program is about one and half hour long and makes you learn about the rhythm and flow of primary series Vinyasa sequence and the internal heat which triggers the fire of awareness in the body. The program contains an introduction to primary series and the basic of Ashtanga yoga which includes
- Ujjayi (sound) breathing
- Surya namaskara
- Vinyasa (synchronizing movement with breath)
- Jumping back and jumping through
This DVD makes you feel the stability and predictability of the Vinyasa flows and you will enjoy practicing each sequence, especially the end of it where you perform a down dog pose held calmly for 5 breaths which helps you in unwinding of the body. As earlier said the instructions are very clear and addressed in David’s calm and soothing voice. There are repetitions of same sequence which helps you in understanding the changing self against a stationary backdrop.
Ashtanga yoga: A primary series guide Disc 2
This DVD program is about 1 hour and 45 minutes long and offers two sections. The first section includes some inspiring and challenging practices and focuses on six core approaches of yoga that are
- Asana (posture)
- Pranayama (free breathing)
- Vinyasa (movement with breath)
- Bandha (internal locks)
- Drishti (Gazing)
- Dhyana (Meditation)
This segment offers various verbal cues which helps you to immerse in internal practices of Ashtanga yoga, tips on how to handle the transitions between the alignment and flow of posture, provides instructions for in depth asana and breathing and helps you in understanding the devotion and sacred nature of Ashtanga yoga.
The next segment, i.e. asana modification is a visual guide which helps in step by step learning of many postures of the primary series, troubleshooting of difficult postures, use of props without compromising on the flow and creative ways to customize the poster
Ashtanga Second Series: A Guide to Ashtanga Yoga’s Intermediate Series
The second series of Ashtanga yoga, which is also known as intermediate series and traditionally titled as ‘Nadi Shodhana’ compliments the first or primary series of this famous yoga practice. As per the traditional name, it helps in purification (Shodhana) of the energy channels, i.e. Nadi and thus allows the free flow of Prana throughout the body. The Ashtanga yoga approach consists of six series of poses and each series is taught in a specific sequential order. The first and second series are somewhat on the same difficulty level, but have a different flavor of practices. The second series of Ashtanga yoga contains set of challenging poses which will increase your breathing capacity, triggers an energetic awakening that helps you in accessing the higher intelligence faculty of your mind.
The DVD is about one and half hour long and divided into two parts. The first part deals with the Vinyasa method live class that includes poses like back bends, deep hip opening postures, strength building asana and inverted postures and the variation of these postures are:
- Backbend – Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, and Kapotasana
- Deep hip opening – Eka Pada Sirsasana, and Yoga Nidrasana
- Strength building – Bakasana, Mayurasana, Nakrasana
- Inverted postures – Pincha Mayurasana and Karandavasana
There is also a supplement segment which highlights the actions of posture, Bandha and breathing. The second segment of the DVD program has ten new installments of the asana kitchen’s videos along with detail instructions of the following asanas for every level of practitioners:
- Eka Pada Sirsasana
The second series of Ashtanga yoga is full of benefits like its predecessor and it helps in rejuvenating the body by throwing off the lethargy and fatigue from brain and by making you feel lively, vigorous, strong and powerful. It affects every internal organ of the body and improves the blood circulation around the body especially in spine region.
Vayu Siddhi: A Guide to Pranayama, Ashtanga Yoga’s Fourth Limb
This DVD program consists of two discs and an instruction book. Disc one contains a set of breathing practices which gives you a better understanding of how to breathe in a right manner during the asana. It consists of following sequences
- Refinement of Ujjayi Breathing
- Understanding the breathing patterns of prana and apana vayu’s
- The important technique of viloma breathing (interrupting the breath’s cycle)
- An introduction to khumbhaka (retention)
It also includes videos on Jalandhara Bandha and maintaining a balanced breathing throughout asana practice.
Disc 2 of the DVD program has two sections. The first part introduces the stepwise learning of Ashtanga Pranayam sequence with detailed instructions and there are five Pranayama in the sequence which are as followed:
- Ujjayi (Bahya and Antara Kumbhaka)
- Nadi Shodhana (Sama and Vishama Vrtti)
- Surya and Chandra Bhedana
The second part emphasizes on the proper Ashtanga Pranayam sequence and interviews on the cooling effects of Jalandhara Bandha and the benefits of Pranayama. The written material is inspired by ancient scriptures of India such as The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, The Shiva Samhita, The Gheranda Samhita, select Tantra’s, and the Upanishads. It is very light in the context of the content means it is very easy to understand and heavy in instructions, guides and inspiration.
The DVDs from David Garrigues is the right thing which will encourage you to get on the mat and start practicing yoga. It is simple and straight forward, approached to yoga by the famous Ashtanga practitioner and you should go for this.