What is the Primary Series of Hatha Yoga


“Yoga is not an ancient myth buried in oblivion. It is the most valued inheritance of the present. It is the essential need of today and the culture of tomorrow.” – Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Yoga is the science of living a healthy life in present as well as future. Hatha yoga is a classical branch of yoga containing postures, breathing techniques and meditation practices to balance the pair of opposites that exist within us: feminine & masculine, hot & cold, movement & stillness. Hathha yoga is composed of several practices: Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathwork), Mudras and Bandhas (gestures and locks), Shat-kriya (6 cleansing process), Nadausandhana (meditation and sound) that enhances physiological system of the body, stability of the mind and connectedness to the core.

Hatha yoga works with 8400000 asanas to balance the sun-moon, to open the Sushumna Nadi and to help the practitioner attain liberation. In the hatha yoga primary series, you practice some of the 8400000 asanas that aligns you physically, mentally and emotionally for achieving higher possibilities.

Here is the list of asanas taught in the primary series of Hatha yoga at a yoga school in Nepal:

Surya Namaskar:

Surya Namaskar is an ancient art of paying homage to the sun-- the universal source of life for our own betterment and enlightenment. The Surya Namaskar asanas stretch, tone, massage and strengthen the entire body. Practiced at the beginning of the primary sequence of Hatha yoga, Surya Namaskar vitalizes the solar energy allowing you to kickstart the day with enthusiasm.

  • Pranamasana
  • Hasta Uttanasana
  • Padahastasana
  • Ashwa Sanchalasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Ashtanga Namaskar
  • Bhujangasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  •  Ashwa Sanchalasana
  • Padahastasana
  • Hasta Uttanasana
  • Pranamasana

Standing Yoga Poses:

Standing yoga asanas are practiced to strengthen the back, shoulders, legs, etc. By enhancing muscle coordination, confidence and posture, the sequence of standing yoga poses accentuate your ability to maintain an upright stance during meditation and pranayama. They also pave the way for advanced yoga postures as they make the body strong and flexible. Some of the highly practiced standing yoga poses at a yoga school in Nepal during YTTC:

  • Tadasana
  • Trikonasana
  • Parsva Uttanasana
  • Eka Pada Pranamasana
  • Utkatasana

Kneeling Yoga Poses:

Kneeling yoga asanas are influenced by Vajrasana or Thunderbolt poses. This kind of postures is practiced all around the world for activating the genitor-urinary Nadi. The kneeling yoga poses strengthen back and knees of the body and improves the functioning of the reproductive system. Improved digestion, toned sides of the waist, smooth bowel movements are added benefits of regular practice of kneeling yoga poses:

  • Veerasana
  • Ustrasana
  • Simhasana
  • Balasana
  • Marjaryasana-Bitilasana

Sitting Yoga Poses:

Sitting yoga poses of hatha yoga primary series is inclusive of forwarding bending and twisting yoga asanas. For the correct practice of sitting yoga poses, your hips and hamstrings should be stretched and opened. Sitting spinal twisting asanas makes spinal column flexible and stimulates spinal nerves whereas forward bending poses assist in the release of tensions.

  • Paschimottanasana
  • Gomukhasana
  • Ardha Matysendrasana
  • Baddha Konasana
  • Dandasana

Prone Position Yoga Poses:

Prone position yoga poses are the ones in which a practitioner lie down on the floor on the stomach. Healthy digestion, toned stomach, strengthened spinal nerves are some of the rewards of prone positioned yoga poses. The backward movement in the position expands the chest and strengthens the shoulders.

  • Chaturanga Dandasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Makarasana
  • Ardha and Poorna Salabhasana
  • Dhanurasana

Supine Position Yoga Poses:

In supine position yoga poses, you lay your back on the ground. This group of yoga pose includes abdomen related yoga asanas. The supine position yoga poses work on the back, thighs and activates the chakras. It includes relaxation poses as well that can be practiced post yoga sessions.

  • Pawanmuktasana
  • Naukasana
  • Padottanasana
  • Supta Balasana
  • Setu-Bandhasana

Inverted Yoga Poses:

In the inverted group of yoga poses, you defy the gravity for heightened concentration, balance and mental power. As the heart rest against gravity in the inverted yoga poses, its health gets augmented. Apart from physical revelations, inverted yoga poses reward emotional aspects, like revitalizing the mood, refreshing thought patterns and stimulating blood flow to the brain.

  • Salambha Sirsasana
  • Chakrasana
  • Halasana
  • Sarvangasana

Benefits of Hatha Yoga Primary Series:

1. Activates Chakras and Nadis: The practice of Hatha yoga primary sequence assists in the opening of seven chakras and Sushumna Nadi, the central energy channel in the subtle body. The awakening of energy centers and channels lead to higher physical-mental evolution.

2. Strengthens Body-Mind: The physical Hatha yoga practice of asanas, pranayama and meditation strengthens the body, mind and soul so that you can progress in your yogic journey as well as personal life.

3. Mental Resilience: The inverted hatha yoga poses create emotional strength and mental resilience allowing you to face the difficulties of life with grace.

By embracing Hatha yoga physically, mentally and emotionally, you can lead a robust and awakened life.