ashtanga yoga in sacramento :

second series ashtanga  
"nadi shodhana"         

2nd series is also known as the ashtanga intermediate series.
classes with
Bill Counter
in Sacramento, California
(916) 441-4914

Second series ashtanga

This series is an ideal complement to a first series practice.
The class starts and ends the same as a first series class but
with an amazingly different selection of poses in the middle.
Come do what you can and let the practice deepen over time.
We encourage skipping things you're not ready for or working
on modified versions of the poses that we'll suggest.

Nadi Shodhana, the traditional title for this series (also known
as the ashtanga intermediate series), refers to the results of
the practice -- said to purify the subtle energy channels or
nadis thus allowing the prana to flow freely throughout the
body. The ashtanga system consists of six series of poses,
each of which is always taught in a specific sequential order.  
First and second series are of approximately equal difficulty
with hard poses and moderately tame ones in each -- it's just a
different flavor of practice.

Second series is an invigorating practice with lots of
challenges. Some first series ashtanga experience is helpful
for the standing pose sequence at the beginning and the
finishing sequence. The poses in the middle are (for the most
part) not related to anything in a first series practice. The best
way to experience them (other than just coming to a second
series class) is to go to a vinyasa or power yoga class where
many of them cycle through the repertory.

We hope you'll join us!

The second series class sequence

opening sequence--

Surya Namaskara A
Surya Namaskara B
(big toe pose)
Pada Hastasana (hands under feet)
Trikonasana (triangle)
Parivritta Trikonasana (revolved triangle)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (side angle)
Parivritta Parsvakonasana (revolved side angle)
Prasarita Padottanasana A,B,C,D (wide leg forward fold)
Parsvottanasana (side intense stretch)

second series--

< < <  Pasasana  Pasa = a noose. Drishti = side.

Krounchasana   Krouncha =  heron.   > > >
Drishti = toes.

Salabhasana  Salabha = a locust.
Drishti = nose.

< < <  A - With the arms back
along the sides, palms up.

B - With palms on the floor
near the waist.  
 > > >

< < < Bhekasana  Bheka = frog.
Drishti = nose.

Dhanurasana    Dhanura = a bow.   > > >
Drishti = nose.

< < < Parsva Dhanurasana   Parsva = side,
Dhanura = bow. Drishti = nose or toes of top foot.

Ustrasana   Ustra = camel.  > > >
Drishti = nose.

< < < Laghu Vajrasana   Laghu = little,
Vajra = thunderbolt. Drishti = 3rd eye.

Kapotasana   Kapota = pigeon. Drishti = nose.

< < < A - With elbows on floor, hands grabbing feet.

B - Hands on either side of head, arms straight.   > > >

< < <
Supta Vajrasana   Supta = reclining,
Vajra =  thunderbolt. Drishti = nose.

Bakasana  Baka = crane. If we're calling this the
crow pose, better Sanskrit would be Kakasana.  
> > >
Drishti = nose.

A - Come forward, squat down and then lift up.

B - Jump from downdog.

< < < Bharadvajasana  Bharadvaja was the father
of the military tutor figuring in the Mahabharata. It's
a twist with half lotus. Drishti = side.

Ardha Matsyendrasana  Ardha = half,
Matsyendra = the name of a teacher (formerly a
fish or matsya) who learned the pose by watching
Shiva teach it to Parvati on a riverbank. It's the
classic spinal twist.  Drishti = side.  
> > >

Eka Pada SIrsasana  Eka = one, Pada = foot,
Sirsa = head.

< < < A - Seated with hands in namaste.
Drishti = nose.

B - Forward fold. Drishti = toes.   > > >    

C - Exit by lifting up into chakorasana for an inhale,
swinging back through to chaturanga on the exhale.

Dwi Pada Sirsasana   Dwi = two.

< < < A - Hands in Namaste.  Drishti = nose.      

B - Lift up and balance. Drishti = nose    > > >

C - Exit by straightening the legs to tittibhasana on
an inhale, floating back to chaturanga on an exhale.

< < < Yoga Nidrasana  Nidra = sleep. Drishti = 3rd eye.

Exit via chakrasana to chaturanga.

Tittibhasana  Tittibha = a firefly. Drishti = nose.

< < < A - Jump onto the arms,
balance with straight legs.

B - Feet to floor, reach arms
up and clasp in mid-back.   
 > > >

< < <
C - Go for a walk --5 steps forward, 5 back.

D - Heels together, lace hands around in front
and clasp.        
> > >

E - With an inhale, place hands on the floor and
lift up to the basic straight legged balance. With
an exhale exit to chaturanga.

< < < Pincha Mayurasana   Pincha = feathered,
Mayura = peacock. It's the forearm balance.
Drishti = nose.

The exit is jumping up in the air and while airborne
change the hands position and land directly in
chaturanga dandasana.

Karanda Vasana  Karanda Va is a species of duck.
It's a forearm balance in lotus. Drishti = nose.

Start in pincha mayurasana, then take legs
to lotus.
> > >

With an exhale, lower lotus to forearms for
5 breaths.   
 > > >

Inhale back up and straighten legs to pincha
mayurasana. Exhale as you jump up in the air
landing directly in chaturanga dandasana.

< < < Vrisikasana  Vrisika =  a scorpion.
Drishti = 3rd eye.

Exit by inhaling back up to pincha and
jumping upward. With the exhale, you're
directly in chaturanga. Or just come down
in a gentle fashion.

Mayurasana  Mayura = a peacock.  > > >
Drishti = nose.

< < < Nakrasana  Nakra =  the crocodile.
Drishti = nose.

Vatayanasana  Vatayana = a horse.     > > >
Drishti = upward.

< < < Parighasana   Parigha =  a bar used for
lathing a gate. Drishti = upward.

Gomukasana  Go = cow, mukha =face.

< < <  A - Hands on knee, jalandhara bandha.
Drishti = nose.

B - Reach up and clasp.      > > >
Drishti = nose or upward.

Supta Urdvha Pada Vajrasana  Supta = reclining,
Urdvha = upward, Pada = foot, Vajra = thunderbolt.
It's bharadvajasana again but with a more intriguing

< < <  From downdog, jump through to dandasana on an
inhale. Exhale as you roll into halasana, place the right
foot in a half lotus and grab the left toes with the left
hand. Drishti = navel.

< < <   Inhale as you roll up to a seated position with the
straight left leg folding back alongside the left thigh.

< < <  Exhale as you ease into the twist to the right. Left hand
goes under the right knee. Hold 5 breaths. Drishti= side. Inhale
with the drishti moving to the front first, then release the twist.

Exhale as you lift up and exit to chaturanga. Repeat on the
second side for a twist to the left (as shown in the photos).

Mukta Hasta Sirsasana   Mukta = free, Hasta = hand, Sirsa =
head. Thus these are headstand variations with the hands
away from the head.

The exit from each is to inhale and bring the hands to a tripod
base position, exhale and lift head as legs come directly to
chaturanga. Drishti = nose.

A -  tripod base     > > >

< < <
B - forklift, palms up

C - arms wide, palms down  > > >

Baddha Hasta Sirsasana
Baddha = bound, Hasta = hands,
Sirsa = head. Thus headstand
variations with the hands touching
or near the head. Drishti = nose.

All exit via tripod base hand position
directly to chaturanga.

< < < A - hands clasped behind the head        

B - crossed over forearms out in front of head   > > >

< < <
C - forearms in pincha position

D - elbows only -- hands on shoulder blades   > > >

finishing poses--  

basic backbending:
Urdvha Dhanurasana (upward bow, aka "wheel")
Lift up from floor into the pose 3 times, 5 breaths each

intermediate backbending:
Urdvha Dhanurasana
Drop back from standing into the pose with an exhale. Stay 5
breaths. Come back up to Samasthiti with an inhale. Repeat 2
more times.

advanced backbending:  (these poses come from the fifth series practice)
Viparita Chakrasana (Downdog to handstand to Urdvha
Dhanurasana and back over again).
Tiriang Mukhottanasana (Drop back from standing and work
toward grabbing calves).
Chakra Bandhasana (Drop back from standing and take
elbows to floor with hands reaching to ankles).

Paschimottanasana (forward fold)
Savasana (corpse -- 5 breaths)
Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulderstand)
Halasana (plow)
Karnapidasana (ear pressure pose)
Urdvha Padmasana (lotus in shoulderstand)
Pindasana in Sarvangasana (embryo in shoulderstand)
Matsyasana (fish)
Uttana Padasana (flying fish)
Sirsasana (headstand)
Urdvha Dandasana (upward staff -- legs horizontal)
Balasana (child's pose)
Baddha Padmasana (bound lotus)
Yogimudrasana (a bound lotus forward fold)
Padmasana (lotus)
Tolasana (scales -- aka Utplutihi, "lifting up")
Savasana  (corpse)

|  back to top  |  sacramento class schedule   |
fifth and sixth series photos   |  yoga class descriptions  |  home  |    

Just starting? Check out our page discussing the
first series
--also known as the ashtanga primary series.  How's your
practice of the
third series poses? Are you working on any of
fourth series asanas yet?

See you in class soon!

                   photo of karen pilz copyright 2004 paul d. miller
                      all other content copyright 2006-2009 bill counter

Melanie in the first pose of ashtanga second series -- pasasana, the noose pose.
Ashtanga Second Series --Salabhasana A, the locust pose.
Ashtanga second series: Bill in Bhekasana, the frog pose. Bill's Sacramento yoga classes include ashtanga first and second series.
 Bill with Freya Poller in Parsva Dhanurasana, the side bow, from Ashtanga intermediate series.
Melanie Everett in Laghu Vajrasana from the Ashtanga Second Series.
Melanie in Kapotasana from Ashtanga second series
A led second series ashtanga class in Mysore with Pattabhi Jois adjusting Portland Ashtanga teacher Courtney McElroy in Supta Vajrasana
Mike in Bharadvajasana from astanga second series
Ashtanga Second Series - Alicia Rawls from Sweden in Eka Pada Sirsasana A
Dwi Pada Sirsasana from Ashtanga Second Series at a led class in Mysore, India.
Sleeping Yogi--Jasmine Deguire in Yoga Nidrasana with  at Yoga Bhoga Portland.
Second Series Ashtanga -- Bill in Pincha Mayurasana. Bill teaches yoga in Sacramento, CA.
Karen PIlz in Vrsikasana from the second series of the Astanga yoga system. Photo (c) 2004 Paul D. Miller
Ashtanga Yoga Sacramento -- Bill Counter hopping in Nakrasana - the crocodile pose.
Parighasana in an Ashtanga Second Series class.
Supta Urdvha Pada Vajrasana--Starting in a half lotus plow, ready for the roll up.
Bill folding the leg back as he rolls up into Supta Urdvha Pada Vajrasana.
Supta Urdvha Pada Vajrasana -- the completed twist in the Ashtanga second series.
Ashtanga second series--Mukta Hasta Sirsasana A. Bill teaches yoga in Sacramento, CA.
Mukta Hasta Sirsasana B -- the forklift from the Ashtanga Intermediate Series.
Astanga Intermediate Series -- Sacramento ashtanga teacher Bill Counter in Baddha Hasta Sirsasana A.
Baddha Hasta Sirsasana C - Second Series Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga teacher Melanie Everett in Dwi Pada Sirsasana.
Tiffany Viehmann in Karanda Vasana from the Astanga Second Series. Tiffany practices and teaches Ashtanga in New York City.
Bill in Ardha Matsyendrasana, one of two spinal twists in the middle of an Ashtanga Intermediate Series practice.
Bill Counter in Mayurasana, the Peacock pose.
Ashtanga yoga in New York City: Tiffany Viehmann in Eka Pada Sirsasana B from ashtanga second series.
Bill Counter in Vatayanasana from the Ashtanga second series, aka Ashtanga Intermediate series.
Bakasana on the rocks -- Here's Bill in the crow pose from the astanga intermediate series.
Melanie Everett in Tittibhasana D from Ashtanga Second Series.
Sacramento, CA Ashtanga teacher Bill Counter in Vatayanasana from Ashtanga Second Series.
Nicky Veenker in Gomukasana, the cow face pose, from the Ashtanga Yoga Second Series.
Bill Counter teaches Ashtanga yoga in Sacramento, CA. Here he's with a class working on Dhanurasana, the bow pose.
Led Second Series Ashtanga in Mysore, India -- Ustrasana, the camel pose.
Bill with a class in Krounchasana, the heron pose from Ashtanga second series.
Bill with Denise Payne as she enters karanda vasana from the ashtanga intermediate series.
Intermediate series ashtanga yoga -- Mukta Hasta Sirsasana C
Baddha Hasta Sirsasana B - a
Astanga Intermediate Series -- aks the Second Series. Bill in the last of 7 headstands, Baddha Hasta Sirsasana D.
See our first series ashtanga
page for some photos of the
opening and finishing
Jessica Abelson, Boston ashtanga teacher in Kapotasana B from the ashtanga second series.
Portland yoga teacher Mike Salmon in Tittibhasana from the Ashtanga Second Series.
Sacramento yoga teacher Yvonne Macias in Tittibhasana B from Ashtanga Second Series
Ashtanga Yoga in Sacramento: Yvonne Macias going for a walk in Tittibhasana C.
Kathy Dominic on Pismo Beach in Salabhasana B from the Ashtanga Intermediate Series
Bill in Gomukasana A. Bill teaches Yoga in Sacramento, CA.