The four series of Ashtanga yoga are my favorite series. Despite all critics that I might express these days, Ashtanga yoga is my main practice. I ‘only’ adjust it to my needs. A home practice allows these adjustments.
There are two main challenges when practicing this style of yoga. Of course it’s the asana itself. Yet it’s also the vinyasa, that is how to get into an asana and how to connect them. Sometimes there are easier alternatives, sometimes not.
Hasta padangusthasana and pada hastasana are the first asanas of the standing sequence after the sun salutations. Also in the last years when I had issues with my SI joint, I was able to bend forward. I was able to touch the floor with my flat hands. In order to get into the asana without pain, I put my hands on my hips to support this movement.
This simple forward bending asana is so basic and so good. It shall allow to put on one’s shoes also when old. This gives independence. Extra blood is transported to the face. This might improve the eyesight. The extra blood that is transported to the head gives a fresh appearance.
There are many inversions. Hasta padangusthasana is one of my favorite as it can be performed everywhere. It refreshes me. Tiredness flies away after deep breathing in that position.
Engaging the bandhas helps to get deeper into that pose.
These days I add an asana. It’s a twist. It prepares the body for the next asanas, that is trikonasana.