ashtanga vinyasa yoga:

ashtanga fifth & sixth series

The concluding sequences of the ashtanga system --
also known as the ashtanga advanced C& D series.
The  ashtanga fifth series (also known as
advanced C) and sixth series (also called
advanced D series) have morphed a lot from
the days when the poses were part of one
huge "advanced series", later known as
"advanced A&B".  

Variations come and go and the order of the
poses change depending on when it was
taught.
Eka Hasta Vrksasana -- Eka = one, Hasta = hand, Vrksa = tree. Also
known as Eka Pada Adho Mukha Vrksasana. It's a one handed
handstand. See Melissa at left demonstrate how easy it is.

Once again, from samasthiti take a vinyasa  down to uttanasana to lift into
your handstand on an inhale. Or kick up from downdog for an easier
entrance.

Stabilize the pose and on an inhale, lift the right hand and try to take 5
breaths. Exhale as you replace the hand on the floor.

If you survive that, inhale and lift the left hand for another 5 breaths.
Drishti = nose. Exhale as you replace the left hand. Stabilize the pose
during an inhale.

Exhale as you vinyasa down to chaturanga and on to samasthiti.




Uttana Salabhasana A – Uttana = intense stretch,
Salabha = locust.

From samasthiti, again take a vinyasa down to
uttanasana to lift effortlessly with straight legs
into a handstand. Or kick from downdog.

The fun entrance here is being in handstand
and with an exhale slowly lower the chin to the
floor. No? Easier entry: Come onto your knees,
position the forearms at 45 degrees with
elbows into the sides of the ribcage and kick
up as you would into pincha mayurasana.
Take 5 breaths. Drishti = nose.

See Tiffany at left coming down from handstand.
Eva's picture at right is the fully extended version A.

Uttana Salabhasana B  

From version A,  the knees are bent and the feet reach scorpion style
toward the back of the head as we can see Holcomb doing at the left.
Take another 5 breaths. Drishti = nose.

To exit, inhale and stretch up again to  the vertical version.

Exhale down directly into chaturanga and a vinyasa back to samasthiti.


Utthita Swastikasana – Utthita = extended, the Swastika is an ancient
Indian symbol of prosperity. The seated version of Swastikasana is a
more common pose -- it shows up later.

From samasthiti, inhale as you bring the right leg into half lotus. Exhale
as you bend the left knee a bit and take the right arm over left in garuda
configuration as shown at right. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = nose.

Inhale as you release leg and arms, exhale in samasthiti. Repeat on the
second side for 5 breaths. After releasing to samasthiti from the second
side, inhale and stretch up for a vinyasa to downdog.


Simhasana – Simha = lion.

You may want to skip the full entrance. From downdog, inhale and kick up
to handstand. Exhale as you flip your legs into full lotus. Inhale and slowly
lower down (as if you were going to hover horizontally) and take the
knees to the floor. Exhale as you lean forward, stick out the tongue and
make a big lion-like noise. Repeat 4 more times. That is, we inhale as the
hips move up and back, exhale as you swing forward. Drishti = nose.
You could cheat on the entrance and just start the pose in a seated lotus.

The full exit is sliding the lotus up the arms like urdvha kukkutasana with
an inhale and then on up to handstand (it's the next pose) and
straightening the legs.

Vrksasana -- Vrksa = tree. Also known as Adho Muka Vrksasana, the
downward facing tree. It's the handstand.

If you're not already in handstand from your perfect simhasana exit, get
yourself to downdog and take a big inhale as you kick up. Take 5
breaths. Drishti = nose.  If it's going well, use your time to stretch up taller.
With an exhale, drop back into urdvha dhanurasana and you've started
the next sequence.



















Viparita Chakrasana – Viparita = flipped over, Chakra = wheel.

Tic-tocs. This fifth series pose is now practiced a lot in
the backbend portion of the finishing poses by students
who are ready for more adventure than just dropping into
urdvha dhanurasana from samasthiti.

Here in the fifth series practice it's 5 cycles of
handstand / urdvha dhanurasana / handstand /
downdog / handstand again. Try to
breathe. Inhale up into handstand
(from either direction), exhale down.

Drishti (if you can) = nose. When you
find yourself up in handstand for the
last time,take a slow vinyasa down to
chaturanga and on to downdog.
New York City Ashtanga teacher Tiffany Viehmann coming into Uttana Salabhasana from a handstand. Ashtanga advanced series fun!
Holcomb Johnston from Montana in Uttana Salabhasana B from the Ashtanga Fifth Series.
Yup, it's the easiest pose in Fifth Series: Utthita Swastikasana. Very exciting.
Bill in Simhasana
Handstand shows up in many vinyasas in the Ashtanga Advanced Series. Viparita Chakrasana starts and ends with the handstand. At the end it's a vinyasa down to Chaturanga.
Yogasana A -- Yoga = union, from the Sanskrit root "yuj" meaning to
join. Yoga is both the practice and the end result.

From downdog, inhale as you jump through to a seated position. Exhale
as you fold the legs into lotus and bring the lotus onto the chest with the
elbows out in front. Balance on the sitbones with the hands in namaste
as Kathy is doing at the left.    Take 5 breaths. Drishti = nose.





Yogasana B

From Yogasana A, leave the lotus folded toward the chest but take an
inhale and place the the hands on the floor. The palms are flat on the
floor, back as far as possible along the sides the hips. The fingers
point back. Take another 5 breaths. Drishti = nose.

See Amanda in the B version at the left.

To exit, spin the hands around, take an inhale, lift up and
balance while still in lotus. Float the legs back to chaturanga
on an an exhale and continue the vinyasa back to downdog.













The more advanced exit would be lifting up into a lotus handstand for the
vinyasa to downdog--as you can see Tiffany doing above.



Swastikasana – The auspicious pose. Swastika = an
ancient symbol of prosperity, creativity and fertility. The
feet interlaced in this manner form a Swastika-like design.  
Also known as Bhadrasana, the gracious pose. Note that
outside the ashtanga/Iyengar orbit, the name Bhadrasana
would usually refer to the pose we call Baddha Konasana.

From downdog, come through to sitting. Traditionally
the right leg is brought in first (we're trying to balance things
out doing the opposite in the photo). Note that the knees
are wider than in a lotus and both sets of toes are tucked in
between the opposite calf and thigh. Engage jalandhara
bandha, mulabandha (of course) and jnana mudra. Take 10
breaths. Drishti = nose. No vinyasa on the exit. Just come
out on an inhale and rearrange the legs for the next pose.

Siddhasana – Siddhis = the extra-normal powers achieved by long term
practice of the yoga. See Patanjali's
Yoga Sutra for a discussion of the
various siddhis in his chapter
Vibhuti Pada.

With an exhale, being the left heel into the perineum, the right heel
applying pressure to the pubic bone. But consider balancing things out
every other practice, as shown in our photo. Hands are on the knees in
jnana mudra. Chin tucked. 10 breaths.  Drishti = nose.

Release the bandhas on an inhale and place the hands at the sides to
lift up. Exhale and float back for a vinyasa to downdog.

Adho Mukha Padmasana – Adho = downward, Mukha = face, Padma =
lotus.

The full entrance is to kick up into handstand from downdog. Exhale as
you flip the legs into a lotus and come down to hover horizontally for 5
breaths. Drishti = nose. The lotus and torso are level, ideally with elbows
not in the ribcage but just out to the sides.

Lacking interest in the lotus handstand? Work on the pose starting in a
seated lotus and approach it as a padma mayurasana but with the
fingers pointing forward. Exit to chaturanga on an exhale and then go
right into bhujangasana (no downdog).

Bhujangasana A – Bujanga = cobra. Looks like an up dog to me --
cobra with thighs off the floor. Our current name for the pose, Urdvha
Mukha Svanasana, is a later bit of nomenclature. Before that name
came into use bhujangasana could refer to the pose with either thighs
on the floor or lifted into what we now call an updog.

From chaturanga, inhale as you draw the body forward as much as
possible to arch the upper back as you enter the pose. Lift the head to
keep the curvature of the back going up into the cervical spine. Take 5
breaths. Drishti = nose.

Bhujangasana B – With an inhale, engage jalandhara bandha and take
another 5 breaths. The heart is still lifting and upper chest is moving
forward as the pose deepens. Drishti = nose. To exit, gaze up on an
inhale and lower to chaturanga on an exhale. Take a full vinyasa to
samasthiti.

Tirieng Mukha Uttanasana –Tirieng = folded around, reversed, upside
down, Mukha = face, Ut=intense, Tan = stretch. Iyengar would spell this
Tiriang Mukhottanasana (page 419 in
Light on Yoga).

Like viparita chakrasana, this fifth series pose (and the variant, chakra
bandhasana, that follows) are frequently practiced by ashtangis who
need more of a challenge than just urdvha dhanurasana dropbacks in
the finishing pose cycle.

Drop back from samasthiti to urdvha dhanurasana and walk the hands
toward the ankles. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = nose. This can be worked
with a spotter (as shown) going up and down several times with arms
crossed over the chest as a warmup prior to reaching for the ankles.

Exhale dropping back, inhale coming up. Inhale up to samasthiti for a
vinyasa to downdog when you're done.


Chakra Bandhasana --Chakra = wheel, Bandha = a binding, a seal.

From downdog, plant the arms on the floor and inhale up into a clasped
hand headstand. Exhale as the feet drop over to the floor. Inhale as you
lift the head, open the upper chest and walk the feet in to meet the
hands. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = nose. An easier entrance (if you're not
ready for headstand dropbacks) is to enter urdvha dhanurasana by
lifting up from the mat. Then let the head come to the floor and take the
hands behind the head into a headstand clasp.
To exit, take the hands beside the head and inhale up to samasthiti.
Easier work would be just to release down to the mat. Take a vinyasa to
downdog.
Kathy Dominic in Yogasana
Amanda Houle in Yogasana variation B from the fifth series of the astanga yoga system.
Tiffany lifting from Yogasana into a lotus handstand.
Bill in Swastikasana, the pose dedicated to prosperity and happiness. Note the interlocked position of the toes.
Bill in Siddhasana, the pose dedicated to those enlightened beings with extraordinary powers (siddhis). One of several seated meditative poses in the middle of fifth series.
Nicky and the Fiday night Happy Hour yogis in Bhujangasana A
Bhujangasana B -- from the Ashtanga Fifth Series.
Holcomb Johnston in Tirieng Mukhottanasana from the Fifth (or Advanced C series) of Ashtanga Yoga.
Chakra Bandhasana: Holcomb Johnston in a pose from the Ashtanga Advanced C Series, aka Fifth.
Deborah Gumm in Kroukachasana A, the saw pose, from Ashtanga fifth series, also known as the Advanced C series.
 Kate Delaney in Kroukachasana B from the Ashtanga Yoga Fifth Series.
Kate Delaney in Sirsa Padasana (feet to the head pose) from the Ashtanga Yoga Fifth Series.
Sirsa Padasana -- Sirsa = head, Pada = foot.

From downdog, hop into a tripod base headstand with an inhale. Change
the hands to your clasped hand position and exhale as you bring the feet
toward the back of the head. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = nose.

To exit, inhale back up to headstand, exhale as you change hands to a
tripod base and take a vinyasa down to chaturanga and on to downdog.






Pungu Mayurasana – Pungu = wounded, Mayura = peacock. A one
armed Peacock pose.

From downdog, inhale as you release to the knees and take the right arm
toward the middle of the waist. Exhale as you come into peacock position
with the left hand helping to balance. If you get it, inhale and stretch the
left arm out straight with the fingers in jnana mudra. Take 5 breaths (ha!).
Drishti = fingers. Exhale down and repeat on the second side.

Release from the second side into chaturanga with an exhale and take a
vinyasa to downdog.


Gherandasana A & B -- Gheranda is a sage, author of the seminal
hatha yoga text
Gheranda Samhita (c. 1650). While we honor him with
this series of poses, they are not among the asanas in his book.

Come to the belly from downdog and place the left foot in bhekasana  
position. With an inhale, grab the right foot and raise it to padangusta
dhanurasana position. Hold for 5 breaths in variation A. Drishti = nose.


With an exhale, bring the right elbow down in front of the chin while
bringing the right foot toward the left shoulder. Hold for another 5 breaths
in variation B. Drishti = nose.


To release, inhale and stretch the right leg back up high, exhale
stretched out on the belly. Take a half vinyasa and do both variations on
the second side. Then take a vinyasa to downdog for variations C&D.




Gherandasana C & D  -- The same adventure except instead of a foot in
frog, it's now in half lotus, with the arm reaching diagonally across the
back to reach the toes.

From downdog, jump through to a seated position and place the left foot
in half lotus. Lift up with an inhale and float back to a face down position.

Reach across the back with the left hand and grab the left toes as you
exhale. Inhale as you grab the right foot and lift the leg high for 5 breaths
in variation C.

With an exhale, bring the right elbow down in front of the chin while
bringing the right foot toward the left shoulder. Hold for another 5 breaths
in variation D. Drishti = nose.


To release, inhale and stretch the right leg back up high, exhale
stretched out on the belly. Take a half vinyasa and do both variations on
the second side. Then take a vinyasa to downdog for the next pose.




Gandha Bherundasana -- Iyengar says Gandha means the side of the
face, referring to a version with feet on the side of the head. Berundha =
terrible. Also a species of bird. This is an extension of the ashtanga third
series work in viparita salabhasana and thus sometimes shows up on lists
of third series poses.

Start like viparita salabhasana: inhale onto the belly from downdog.
Exhale as you work the straight arms underneath the body with palms up.
Inhale the legs up in the air. Exhale and bring the feet over the head into
a backbend. If the balance is stable, bring the hands around front to help
the feet come to the floor. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = nose.

To exit, inhale the legs back up toward vertical. With an exhale, reposition
the hands for chaturanga and then on to downdog.


Urdvha Prasarita Padasana A -- Urdvha = upward, Prasarita = spread,
extended, Pada = foot or feet. Iyengar yoga uses this name for leg lifts.

From downdog, inhale as you hop into handstand. Exhale as you spread
the legs wide into a samakonasana configuration for 5 breaths. Drishti =
nose.





Urdvha Prasarita Padasana  B -- While still in version A, keep the legs
spread and horizontal as you rotate to the right on an exhale. Hold 5
breaths.

Inhale back to center, exhale to the left for another 5 breaths.

Inhale back to center and stretch legs upward. Exhale from your
handstand down to chaturanga and then onward to downdog.







Tirieng Mukha Utthita Trikonasana -- Tirieng = reversed or downward,
Mukha = face, Utthita = extended, Tri= three, Kona = angle.
This is a revolved triangle while in handstand. One foot comes down to
the opposite hand.

From downdog, inhale and hop into handstand again and stretch the legs
up straight. Exhale as the legs spread about 60 degrees and rotate to the
right. Try to drop the left foot down toward the right hand as far as
possible without losing the balance. Drishti = nose, if possible.

Inhale back up to center, exhale as you rotate to the left and the right foot
comes down to the left hand. Inhale back up to a full handstand with legs
together and then repeat each side one more time.

Once you inhale back to center after the second time, it's a vinyasa down
to chaturanga with an exhale. We'll see you for a rest in downdog.



Supta Kandasana A –Supta = reclining, Kanda = an energy center near
the navel. Like yoga dandasana from the ashtanga fourth series but now
it's done on the back and dwi pada: left foot into left armpit, right into right.

From downdog, inhale as you jump through to dandasana and lie on the
back. Bring the right foot up into the right armpit.

If it's willing to stay there, then bring the left foot up into the left armpit. If
you're still happy, the hands grab the knees. Smile and try to take 5
breaths. Drishti = nose.





Supta Kandasana  B -- From variation A, take the hands to namaste for
another 5 breaths if you haven't had enough by this point. Pick an inhale
to exit.

Plant the hands under the shoulders as you stretch out on the back.
Exhale as you roll backward through chakrasana to chaturanga and on to
downdog.
Mike Salmon on the Portland waterfront in Pungu Mayurasana -- a pose from the Astanga Yoga Advanced D series.
Urdvha Prasarita Padasana -- Mike Salmon working on this pose from Sixth Series Ashtanga.
Mike Salmon in Portland in Urdvha Prasarita Padasana variation B from the Astanga Sixth Series -- revolving around.
A upside down revolving triangle. Mike Salmon in Tirieng Urdvha Mukha Utthita Trikonasana from Sixth Series Ashtanga.
Jo Ellen Wilson from Atlanta in Supta Kandasana A from the Ashtanga Sixth Series.
Ashtanga Sixth Series: Here's Jo Ellen Wilson having a great time in Supta Kandasana B.
Bill in Ardha Chakrasana from the Ashtanga Yoga Sixth Series
Kari Djuve in a one leg handstand scorpion, known in the Ashtanga Yoga system as Taraksvasana.
Taraksvasana A –  Sva = internal power, Taraka = a demon who was
slain by Kartikeya, the god of war. It's a handstand scorpion. Iyengar would
call the pose Vrisikasana II.

From samasthiti, inhale reaching up, exhale to uttanasana. From
uttanasana  inhale and lift with straight legs (if you're able) into a
handstand. Exhale as you bring both feet down toward the back of the
head. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = 3rd eye. Easier entrances would be lifting
from uttanasana with bent legs, then straightening into the handstand. Or
jump from downdog.  Daniel, at left, is in the full version A.

Taraksvasana B – From the scorpion handstand, inhale as the left leg
straightens for 5 breaths. Exhale as the left leg returns to a backbend.
Inhale while stretching the right leg up. Take 5 more breaths.

To exit, inhale up to a straight handstand, exhale from the handstand
directly down to chaturanga and on to samasthiti.
Kari Djuve in the handstand scorpion, Taraksvasana, from the Ashtanga Fifth Series.
Bill back in downdog after Ardha Chakrasana. It's a jump around in a half circle to sitting.
Denise Payne at Yoga Bhoga in Yoga Pitha A from the Ashtanga Yoga sixth series. In the Iyengar yoga system  this pose is known as Goraksasana.
Yoga Pithasana A -- Pitha = a seat or throne. Also transliterated as
"pitta".  Iyengar calls thisGorakshasana. Other lineages (Sivananda, for
instance) call this Parvatasana, the mountain pose.

From downdog, jump through to sitting on an inhalation. Fold the legs into
a lotus as you exhale. Inhale as you lift up to balance on the knees with
the hands in namaste. Try to bring the hips forward and move the spine
toward vertical.  Take 5 breaths (if you can). Drishti = nose.

To exit, just sit down and stretch out on the
back while exhaling. You're ready for variation B.


Yogapithasana B – An elevated fish pose but unlike Padma Matsyasana
in the finishing poses, here the hips are lifted. Iyengar would call this pose
Uttana Mayurasana.

If you're on the back in lotus, use the elbows to help lift into the arch
during an inhale. Grab the toes if possible -- or just use the hands on the
mat near the head for support if needed. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = third
eye. The pose can also be entered (if you're flexible enough) as a
dropback from lotus shoulderstand.

To exit, release onto the back with an exhale. Stay in lotus and come to
sitting on an inhale. Plant the hands and lift. Swing the lotus back through
and straighten the legs to chaturanga on an exhale. Continue on to
downdog.



Sirsasana -- Sirsa = head.

Yes, we know that the headstands have become a traditional ending for
the second series practice. They've sort of migrated there but they're
actually a part of the sixth series practice. Note that here the 2 groups are
reversed compared to the currently taught order in second series -- and
no vinyasas between variations. See the
second series page for more
photos.

From downdog, just come down onto the knees and go up. Take 5
breaths. Then change hands around while you're up there for the next
variation. Drishti = the nose. The total cycle is 35 breaths.

Salamba Sirsasana A, B, C -- Salamba = supported. Also known in the
context of a second series practice as baddha hasta sirsasana
(headstand with bound hands).

A -- Clasped hand base, as shown at left.
B -- Arms out in front, grabbing opposite elbows
C -- Arms in pincha mayurasana configuration
D -- Head and elbows only on the floor -- hands up on
shoulders

Niralamba Sirsasana A,B,C,D -- Niralamba = unsupported.
Better known when done at the end of second series as
mukta hasta sirsasana (headstand with hands out free).

A -- Tripod base
B -- The forklift -- arms straight, about 60 degrees
apart, palms up. As shown at right.
C -- Arms out 180 degrees -- palms down, elbows straight

To exit the cycle after the 7 variations, change the
hands to a tripod base and float to chaturanga on
an exhale. Continue on to downdog.  
Deborah Gumm in Yoga Pitha B -- the elevated fish pose -- from the sixth series of the Ashtanga yoga system. There are easier versions to work on first.
Bill in Salalamba Sirsasana A (also known as Mukta Hasta Sirsasana A). Bill's Sacramento yoga classes include ashtanga, classical hatha and power yoga.
Yoga in Sacramento: Bill Counter in Niralamba Sirsasana B -- also known as Mukta Hasta Sirsasana B.
Parvatasana -- Parvata = mountain.  Manju Jois says: "Parvata is
symbolically the mountain where Shiva lives. It's Kailasa. You don't see
people even practicing Parvatasana in Ashtanga these days. Sitting in
Parvatasana is an important meditation and visualization. When you
draw the arms down [in this pose] you draw the energy in."

variation A – From downdog, jump through on an inhale, fold into lotus
on an exhale. Inhale as you interlace the fingers and stretch the palms
up toward the ceiling. Take 5 breaths. Drishti = hands.

variation B – With an exhale, fold forward with arms stretched out in
front, palms facing forward. Take another 5 breaths. Drishti = hands.
Inhale up to exit. Plant the hands beside the hips and lift. Exhale as you
swing the lotus back through the arms and a vinyasa to downdog..













Savasana -- Sava = a corpse. Not your garden variety corpse pose that
we do to "take rest" at the end of a practice session. In the ashtanga
system that one would be called Sukhasana (the easy pose). At least it's
easy compared to this one. Here it's the body totally stiffened so it could
be picked up without sagging. This is a meditation on our death -- the
corpse after rigor mortis has set in.

From downdog, jump through and lie down. Take 5 to 25 breaths in the
stiffened version of the pose, then relax. It's over.
Amanda Houle in Parvatasana A (the mountain pose) from the Ashtanga Sixth Series. Sixth series is sometimes known as the Advanced D series.
Bill Counter on the ghats in Portland, Oregon in stiffened savasana meditating on his death. It's all over -- the last pose of the ashtanga system.
Ashtanga yogis Amanda Houle and Pam Rentz in Parvatasana B.
Do you do any of these poses in your practice? We'd love to hear your comments on the fifth
and sixth series practice where your experience differs from what we have outlined.  

Please consult our
contact page if you'd like to get in touch.


Namaste!

|  back to top  |  class schedule   |  fourth series ashtanga  |  third series ashtanga  |  
|  
second series ashtanga  |  first series ashtanga  |  ashtanga FAQs  | power yoga FAQs


                                                                copyright 2008-2009  bill counter


OM
Ashtanga Fifth Series -- Tic Tocs
Dhanurasana, the bow pose, from handstand.
Viparita Chakrasana -- aka
Viparita Chakrasana -- landing in Downdog from Handstand.
Tiffany in Padma Adho Mukha Vrksasana after lifting from Yogasana.
DEnise Payne and Jasmine Deguire at Yoga Bhoga in Portland, Oregon working toward Kanda Pidasana. Eventually their knees will be on the floor with hands in Namaste or on the knees.
Kanda Pidasana -- Kanda = an energy center near the
navel, Pida = pressure. This pose is also known as
Kandasana.

From samasthiti, take a vinyasa to downdog and jump
through to sitting. Bring the feet in as if for baddha
konasana. Lift the feet up so the soles of the feet come
up flat on the stomach with the knees still on the floor.
Take 5 breaths with the hands on the knees in jnana
mudra, and engaging jalandhara bandha.  Drishti =
nose.
As with all the ashtanga yoga series, there are hard and easy poses intermixed. The
challenge of the practice, especially here in fifth and sixth is doing the poses as a
series and starting to add in the many handstand vinyasas.

We're interested in comparing lists if you have other versions of these sequences. Or
getting comments about order of the poses, vinyasas, etc. if your experience differs
from what we have shown here. The research (and the practice, of course)
continues. Are you practicing any of these poses? We'd love to add more photos.
How about sharing yours?

poses from the ashtanga fifth and sixth series...
Or just work from your baddha konasana toward this pose with the feet up on a block and the knees
still moving toward the floor. The photo shows Denise and Jasmine working toward the full pose.

With an inhale take the hands to namaste. Exhale as you tuck the legs under and float your way
back through a full vinyasa to samasthiti.

Kroukachasana A  -- Kroukacha = a saw. Maybe it's a keyhole saw. Looking at the pose from the
side, the torso and back leg form the handle while the front leg is the blade.

From samasthiti take a vinyasa down to downdog and hop into handstand. Separate the legs into
the splits and come down with straight legs into hanumanasana on an inhale. No?  How about just
bringing the right leg forward from downdog on an inhale and settling into hanumanasana with the
hands on the hips?  Exhale as you arch back and take the foot for 5 breaths in variation A. Drishti =
nose.

Kroukachasana B -- If version A gets too easy, work on straightening the back leg to take the foot
to the floor while still holding the toes for an additional 5 breaths. This is variation B. Drishti = toes.
Inhale up to release with hands coming back to the hips.  Exhale as hands go to the floor to (ideally)
lift and float back to chaturanga. Take a full vinyasa. We'll meet you in samasthiti.
Melissa Miller at a Sacramento Ashtanga Yoga class working on her one handed handstand.
Ashtanga Yoga: Eva Rosner in Uttana Salabhasana
Ahtanga Yoga: Melissa Miller in Gherandasana A
Sacramento Ashtanga Yoga: Yogi Melissa Miller in Gherandasana B
Ashtanga Yoga Fifth Series: Melissa Miller in Sacramento in Eka Hasta Urdvha Mukha Vrksasana
Sacramento Yoga: Here's Melissa Miller in Gherandasana C--one leg in half lotus, one in eka padangusthasana.
Melissa in Gherandasana D--warmups before a Sacramento Ashtanga Yoga class.
5th Series Ashtanga - Daniel Meltzer in the Handstand Scropion, known in the Ashtanga system as Taraksvasana A.

Kari at left eases
toward version A.

At right is Kari in
Taraksvasana B.
Ardha Chakrasana – Ardha = half, Chakra = wheel.

A flying adventure leaping from downdog around to the right,
lifting the right hand off the floor as you land with left leg straight
out in front, right knee up (like marichy A). Lift up and swing back
to downdog for lowering into a chaturanga/updog/downdog
vinyasa, then same on the left.         

Repeat once more on each side. Inhale during the jump around
to the seated position, exhale jumping back to downdog. Drishti
throughout = nose, if possible -- difficult while flying through the
air. The cycle ends back in downdog.
>>>
>>>
v
v
<<<
<<<
^       start
^