Learn the Ashtanga pranayama sequence

David Garrigues a week ago uploaded a series of videos teaching the Ashtanga pranayama sequence.

The whole series on Vimeo is right here. Cost: $35, and it runs 132 minutes — broken into parts. Here’s DG’s description:

This video series is dedicated to Sri K Pattabhi Jois, who was a Vayu Siddha, a master of breathing, and from whom I learned this sequence. Study the material offered on these discs and your breathing can become a well spring, a main source for tapping the tremendous life force within you. Like Hanuman, the loyal servant of Ram, your breath can become a formidable ally, a most devoted friend that guides you further into the beloved practice of Ashtanga Yoga. Through practice may you attain Vayu Siddhi, perfection of breathing and go inwards to Self.


TRACK 1 consists of the first 6 videos and introduces you to the Ashtanga Pranayama sequence by giving you step by step, detailed instruction in each of the five pranayama’s that make up the sequence. You can study each pranayama separately or all at the same time with the Full Instructed Pranayama Sequence.

TRACK 2 consists of the last 6 videos where you can practice each pranayama separately without instruction or you can practice the entire thirty plus minute Ashtanga Pranayama Sequence without instruction.

Depending on your perspective, this could be controversial, I suppose. Some teachers hold off on pranayama for more advanced students. (There are requirements for being part of the pranayama classes during Sharath’s visit to the U.S. in September, for instance.) While leading us through basic pranayama on our Yatra (while at about 12,000 feet, camping in the Himalayas), Robert Moses recounted a story or two of people doing too much pranayama and having some strong reactions. I think the technical term is, “They sort of went crazy for a while.”

Of course, there are Third Series videos available out there — again, your reaction probably will vary. DG does include this description of his teaching philosophy:

As an Ashtanga Ambassador he bases his teachings on the idea that ‘Anyone can take practice.’ said by Sri K Pattabhi Jois. He is dedicated to sharing the beauty and soul of Ashtanga Yoga with everyone.

David’s mission is to be part of an ever wider circle of people who are dedicated to exploring the living, contemporary, lineage of Ashtanga Yoga. He wants to join with enthusiastic people who are open and committed to learning and applying the teachings in ways that promote physical, psychological, and spiritual growth in themselves and others.

You can get a pretty clear sense of his perspective there. Still, perhaps I’ll make sure to add this caveat: Be careful. This type of controlled, intense breathing can stir up your physical and subtle bodies, alike. If done properly and under the guidance of a teacher, though, it can be a very important piece to your sadhana. (The videos may have similar warnings.)

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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