Yoga series

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Yoga series consist of asanas done in sequence. The most common yoga series is Surya Namaskara or the Sun Salutation,[citation needed] originating in the Hatha Yoga system.[citation needed]

Surya Namaskara[edit]

Shavasana is practiced to take rest after Surya namaskara
Main article: Surya Namaskara

Surya Namaskara Sanskrit for Sun Salutation owes its name for expressing devotion (bhakti) to Surya, the solar deity in the Hindu pantheon, by concentrating on the Sun. The Sun Salutation is, for many yogis, an exercise to be performed at sun rise, or at least in the morning. Surya Namaskara is a sequence of twelve asanas, where the five beginning asanas[1] are the same as the last five asanas of the sequence. The Sun Salutation can be practiced at varying levels of awareness, ranging from that of physical exercise, to a complete sadhana which incorporates asana, pranayama, mantra and chakra meditation.[2]

A series of yoga poses.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga[edit]

Main article: Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

This style of yoga involves practising asanas which are easily and quickly done sequentially or consecutively where ujjayi breathing can be incorporated. Vinyasa means flow in Sanskrit, In this practice of yoga vinyasas are completed between poses to refresh the body and prepare for the next posture. A vinyasa typically consists of chattaranga, followed by a cobra/ upward dog position into a downward dog. Downward dog is considered to be the restorative posture and is a resting pose to regain the ujjayi breath before moving on to the next posture.

Bikram Yoga[edit]

Main article: Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury and a Los Angeles, California based company[which?]. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105 °F (40.5 °C) with a humidity of 40%, and classes, which are 90 minutes long, are a guided series of 26 postures and two non-pranamic breathing exercises.

Five Tibetan Rites[edit]

Main article: Five Tibetan Rites

The Five Tibetan Rites, more commonly referred to as "The Five Tibetans", is a derivative of Taoist Yoga and closer in nature to the practices of Chinese alchemical and martial practices of qigong and nei gung than traditional Hindu Yoga.[3] The technique does focus on the higher level practices of chakra balancing, and the cultivation of both pranic energy and kundalini, which is what warrants its mention in this article.[4]

The "Tibetans" found its way from Taoist Yoga into Tibetan Buddhist practice, hence the name, and was first publicized in the West by Peter Kelder in 1939, and republished in 1975.[5] The practice was re-introduced by Christopher S. Kilham in 1994, with his publication "The Five Tibetans".[4]

The first Rite involves spinning 21 times with the arms stretched, like the Sufi dervish practice, and the last four by executing a simple sequence of moving back and forth between two different asanas. According to Kelder, the rites are healthy because of the fitness element it contains, and that people above the age of 40 would rejuvenate by doing them each day.[5] Kilham focuses more on the metaphysical aspects of the practice, noting the benefits of chakra balancing, energizing the pranamayakosha sheath, and awakening kundalini.[4]


  1. ^ "Yoga Sequences for Beginners". Retrieved 2013-02-14.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Surya namaskara, A Technique of Solar Vitalization, ISBN 81-85787-35-2
  3. ^ Lu K'uan Yu (aka Charles Luk) (1973). Taoist Yoga: Alchemy & Immortality. Samuel Weiser, Maine.
  4. ^ a b c Kilham, Christopher S. (1994). The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power. Healing Arts Press, Vermont.
  5. ^ a b Kelder, Peter: The Eye of Revelation (1939, 1975), Borderland Sciences Research Foundation

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