There are many benefits of dedicating time to the Ashtanga Finishing Sequence – Marie outlines these for us here.

Join Marie for an Ashtanga Yoga Finishing Sequence workshop on the 13 Nov 2016.

I had practiced Ashtanga Yoga for a while in the Mysore self-practice tradition when I started to wonder why I was sometimes agitated and restless after practicing. My practice felt attentive and focused so why wasn’t I experiencing this blissful state of calm I had hoped for? When I asked my teacher about this he suggested I might not be spending enough time on my finishing sequence. I realised I was so focused on the standing and seated postures that I often made short cuts for the last part of the practice. I then began to spend more time on the finishing postures and sure enough, I very quickly found myself much calmer and relaxed after the practice.

The Ashtanga Yoga Finishing Sequence workshop sets out to remind us of the importance of how we conclude the Ashtanga Yoga practice. The aims of this workshop is to slowly go through each of the postures, to find modifications that suit each individual and to string them together to create flow in the sequence.

The aims of the workshop:

  • To break down the finishing sequence and become more familiar with all the postures including the five shoulderstand postures
  • To understand the order of the postures
  • To create flow in the finishing sequence by practicing transitions between postures
  • To offer modifications where the full posture is challenging
  • To practice the breath

The finishing sequence of the Ashtanga Yoga practice are the postures that close the practice, usually beginning with backbends followed by five shoulderstand variations, headstand and the three lotus positions before Savasana – the relaxation at the end. This group of postures is often overlooked mainly due to time shortage in the class because we tend to focus on getting through more of the seated postures. But the benefits of the closing postures are many and the order of how they appear returns our nervous system to its natural state and brings the body back in balance.

Benefits of the finishing sequence:

  • To allow the heart rate to slow down by inverting the body
  • To cleanse the body by letting the blood flow to the upper body
  • To slow down breath and relax an agitated mind
  • To anchor our minds into the ground

Like the rest of the sequence there are breath counts to the finishing sequence and when breath and movement is combined correctly this part of the practice is the antidote to the upwards energy of the Sun Salutation and standing postures. The sequence is very beneficial to slow down breath and mind after a vigorous practice and sure to leave the practitioner relaxed and energised.

We will finish the workshop by going through the sequence in ‘real class time’ as an opportunity for all participants to put their suitable modifications into practice.

All levels are welcome but some experience of the Ashtanga Yoga sequence will be expected.