Ashtanga Counted Led Primary Series

A led counted primary series class as directed by Sri. Pattabhi Jois is about as close to meditation in movement as guided yoga practice can be. Counted in Sanskrit, breath-by-breath, the verbal cues are concise and firm, without adornment of language. Simple directions employed by Guruji have become part of the Ashtanga teaching vernacular, from the opening instruction: “samasthiti,” until, mercifully: “lay down, take rest.”

With great respect, I offer this transcription of the Led Primary Series as conducted by Guruji and grandson R. Sharath Jois. I’ve tried to notate the vinyasa counting method with conciseness and simplicity, to capture the spirit of the teaching method. For clarity, the vinyasa count is in English, rather than Sanskrit. (An English/Sanskrit phonetic translation of the numbers follows.) The vinyasa for jump-backs are hyphenated, as in “11-4” which reads ekadasha-catvari. The “state of the asana” is bolded, and held for about 5 breaths, counted aloud in English.

Photo Credit: Tom Rosenthal

Photo Credit: Tom Rosenthal

We hope this effort may be a useful reference to students of Yoga everywhere.

With respect and gratitude to Sri. K Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois

Jeff Zweig
May 2014

Transcribed and edited from recordings of Sri. K Pattabhi Jois 2000 world tour, Maui, Sharath Rangaswami in Tokyo 2006, and Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series with R. Sharath.

Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series

Samasthiti


Surya Namaskara A (5X’s)
1 inhale
2 exhale
3 inhale, head up
4 jump back
5 inhale
6 exhale, breath
(Count 5 Breaths)
7 jump inhale
8 exhale
9 inhale, hands up
Samasthiti


Surya Namaskara B (“Second one”) (3 or 5X’s)

1 inhale, bend knees, hands up
2 exhale
3 inhale, head up
4 jump back
5 inhale
6 exhale
7 Take right leg, hands up
8 exhale
9 inhale
10 exhale
11 Take left leg, hands up
12 exhale
13 inhale
14 exhale, Breath
(5 Breaths)
15 jump inhale
16 exhale
17 inhale bend your knees, hands up
Samasthiti


Padangusthasana

1 inhale, catch your toes
2 exhale
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale, head up; exhale


Pada Hastasana

1 inhale
2 exhale
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale, head up; exhale
Samasthiti


Utthita Trikonasana A

1 inhale
2 exhale, catch your big toe
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale come up
4 exhale left side
(5 Breaths)
5 inhale, come up

B
2 exhale
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale come up
4 exhale left side
(5 Breaths)
5 inhale, come up
Samasthiti


Utthita Parsvakonasana

1 inhale
2 exhale
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale come up
4 exhale left side
(5 Breaths)
5 inhale come up

B
2 exhale
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale come up
4 exhale left side
(5 Breaths)
5 inhale come up
Samasthiti


Prasarita Padottanasana

1 inhale, catch your waist
2 exhale
again, inhale, head up
3 exhale, keep your head down
(5 Breaths)
4 inhale head up, exhale
5 inhale, come up
B
1 inhale
2 exhale
again, inhale
3 exhale, go down
(5 Breaths)
4 inhale come up
exhale
C
1 inhale
2 exhale, again inhale
3 exhale
(5 Breaths)
4 inhale come up, exhale
D
1 inhale
2 exhale, catch your toes,
again inhale, head up
3 exhale
(5 Breaths)
4 inhale head up, exhale
5 inhale come up
Samasthiti


Parsvottanasana

1 inhale
2 exhale, go down
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale, come up, turn this side
4 exhale, left side, go down
(5 Breaths)
5 inhale come up
Samasthiti


Utthita Hasta Padanghustasana

1 inhale
2 exhale, touch
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale head up
4 exhale
(5 Breaths)
5 inhale
6 exhale, touch
7 inhale head up
(5 Breaths)
Exhale
8 inhale left leg
9 exhale, touch
(5 Breaths)
10 inhale head up
11 exhale
(5 Breaths)
12 inhale
13 exhale touch
14 inhale, head up
(5 Breaths)
Samasthiti


Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

1 inhale
2 exhale, go down
(5 Breaths)
3 inhale head up, exhale
4 inhale come up
5 leave your leg
6 left leg
7 exhale go down
(5 Breaths)
8 inhale head up, exhale
9 inhale, come up
Samasthiti


Utkatasana

1 inhale
2 exhale
3 inhale head up
4 jump back
5 inhale
6 exhale
7 jump, bend your knees, hands up
(5 Breaths)
8 up
9-4 jump back
10 inhale
11 exhale


Virabhadrasana

7 inhale take right leg
(5 Breaths)
8 exhale, turn left side
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale, spread your hands
(5 Breaths)
10 exhale, right side
(5 Breaths)
11 up
12-4 jump back
13 inhale
14 exhale


Paschimottanasana

7 jump through, straight legs, sit down
(5 Breaths)
8 inhale, catch your toes, head up
9 exhale, touch
(5 Breaths)
10 inhale, head up, exhale
8 inhale lock your hands, head up
9 exhale, touch
(5 Breaths)
10 inhale head up, exhale
11 up
12-4 jump back
13 inhale
14 exhale


Purvottasana

7 jump through, straight legs, sit down
“Take 1 feet back your hands from your hips”
8 inhale, lift up (close foot or close your feet)
(5 Breaths)
9 exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhlale
13 exhale


Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana

7 jump
8 exhale
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale head up, exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale
14 left side
15 exhale
(5 Breaths)
16 inhale, head up, exhale
17 up
18-4 jump back
19 inhale
20 exhale


Tiriangmukha Ekapada Paschimottanasana

7 jump
8 exhale
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale, head up, exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale
14 left side (head up)
15 exhale
(5 Breaths)
16 inhale head up, exhale
17 up
18-4 jump back
19 inhale
20 exhale


Janusirsasana A

7 jump
8 exhale
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale head up, exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale
14 left side
15 exhale
(5 Breaths)
16 inhale head up, exhale
17 up
18-4 jump back
19 inhale
20 exhale
B
7 jump
8 exhale
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale head up, exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale
14 left side
15 exhale
(5 Breaths)
16 inhale head up, exhale
17 up
18-4 jump back
19 inhale
20 exhale
C
7 jump
8 exhale
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale head up, exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale
14 left side
15 exhale
(5 Breaths)
16 inhale head up, exhale
17 up
18-4 jump back
19 inhale
20 exhale


Marichyasana A

7 jump
8 exhale
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale head up, exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale
14 left side
15 exhale
(5 Breaths)
16 inhale head up, exhale
17 up
18-4 jump back
19 inhale
20 exhale
B
7 jump
8 exhale
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale head up, exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale
14 left side
15 exhale
(5 Breaths)
16 inhale head up, exhale
17 up
18-4 jump back
19 inhale
20 exhale
C
7 jump
(5 Breaths)
8 up
9-4 jump back
10 inhale
11 exhale
12 left side
(5 Breaths)
13 up
14-4 jump back
15 inhale
16 exhale
D
7 jump
(5 Breaths)
8 up
9-4 jump back
10 inhale
11 exhale
12 left side
(5 Breaths)
13 up
14-4 jump back
15 inhale
16 exhale


Navasana

7 jump
(5 Breaths)
8 inhale up, exhale down
7 again
(5 Breaths)
8 inhale up, exhale down
7 again
(5 Breaths)
8 inhale up, exhale down
7 again
(5 Breaths)
8 inhale up, exhale down
7 again
(5 Breaths)
8 inhale up
9-4 jump back
10 inhale
11 exhale


Bhujapidasana

7 jump
8 exhale, go down
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale, head up, exhale
10 take back your legs to bakasana position
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale


Kurmasana

7 jump
(5 Breaths)
8 take back your hands
9 Supta Kurmasana exhale
(5 Breaths)
10 up
11 take back your legs to bakasana position
12-4 jump back
13 inhale
14 exhale


Garbha Pindasana

7 straight legs, sit down
8 take pasmasana
(5 Breaths)
9 exhale go down (“inhale up, exhale down”)


Kukkutasana (“head up”)

9 lift up
(5 Breaths)
Exhale
10 up
11-4 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale


Baddha Konasana

7 jump
8 exhale, go down
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale, come up
10 exhale, touch your toes
(5 Breaths)
11 inhale, come up, exhale
12 up
13-4 jump back
14 inhale
15 exhale


Upavista Konasana

7 jump spread your legs, catch your heels, head up
8 exhale (go down)
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale head up, exhale
10 take up
(5 Breaths)
11 up
12-4 jump back
13 inhale
14 exhale


Supta Konasana

Jump through, lay down
8 bring both legs back, spread your legs, catch your big toes
(5 Breaths)
9 inhale, come up, exhale touch down
10 inhale, head up, exhale
11 up
12-4 jump back
13 inhale
14 exhale


Supta Padangustasana

7 jump through, lay down
8 inhale, take right leg
9 exhale, touch
(5 Breaths)
10 inhale, head down only
11 exhale take side
(5 Breaths)
12 inhale
13 exhale, touch
14 (inhale) head down only
15 (exhale) leave your leg
16 left leg
17 exhale, touch
(5 Breaths)
18 inhale, head down only
19 exhale
(5 Breaths)
20 inhale
21 exhale, touch
22 head down only
23 leave your leg
24 Chakrasana
25 inhale
26 exhale


Ubhaya Padangustasana

7 jump through, lay down
8 inhale, take both legs back, catch your big toes, exhale there
9 inhale, come up, look up, toes point
(5 Breaths)
10 up
11 jump back
12 inhale
13 exhale


Urdvha Mukha Paschimottanasana

7 jump through, lay down
8 inhale, take both legs back, catch your heels, exhale there
9 inhale, come up, straight legs
10 exhale touch
(5 Breaths)
11 inhale, head up only
12 up
13-4 jump back
14 inhale
15 exhale


Setu Bandhasana

7 jump through, lay down> >
8 take back your legs, cross your hands
9 inhale, lift up
(5 Breaths)
10 exhale
11 Chakrasana
12 inhale
13 exhale


Urdvha Dhanurasana

Backbending, jump through, lay down, straight legs.
8 take back your legs (or bend your knees)
9 inhale, lift up
(5 Breaths)
10 exhale, again
9 inhale, lift up
(5 Breaths)
10 exhale, again
9 inhale, lift up
(5 Breaths)
10 exhale
11 Chakrasana
12 inhale
13 exhale


Paschimottanasana

7 jump through, straight legs, sit down
8 lock your hands
9 exhale
(10 Breaths)
10 inhale (Guruji omits vinyasa in Maui: 10 lay down)
11 up
12-4 jump back
13 inhale
14 exhale


(Sarvangasana throught Uttana Padasana are done in sequence)

Sarvangasana
7 jump through, lay down
8 inhale
(15 Breaths)
Halasana
8 exhale, feet closed, lock hands
(8 Breaths)
Karnapidasana
8 exhale
(8 Breaths)
Urdvha Padmasana
Inhale
(8 Breaths)
Pindasana
9 exhale, lock your hands
(8 Breaths)
Matsyasana
9 exhale, take your feet, head back
(8 Breaths)
Uttana Padasana
9 toes point
(8 Breaths)
Chakrasana
10
11 inhale
12 exhale


Sirsasana

7 (take position)
8 inhale up
(15 Breaths)
Half-bend, exhale
(10 Breaths)
10 inhale up
exhale, go down.


Balasana, head down

4 jump back
5 inhale
6 exhale


Baddha Padmasana

7 jump through, straight legs, sit down
8 take Padmasana position, left hand first
Yoga Mudra
9 exhale
(10 breaths)
10 inhale, take it up
(10 breaths)


Utplutihi

10 up, inhale
(10 breaths)
10-4 jump back
5 inhale
6 exhale
Jump through
Lay down, take rest

Counting numbers in Sanskrit

Phonetic translations vary, some pronunciation suggestions are offered.

1 eka
2 dve (dway)
3 trini
4 catvari (chatwari)
5 panca (pancha)
6 sat (shat)
7 sapta
8 astau (ashto)
9 nava (nawa)
10 dasa (dasha)
11 ekadasa
12 dvadasa
13 tryodasa
14 caturdasa
15 pancadasa
16 sodasa (shodasha)
17 saptadasa
18 astadasa
19 ekona vimsatihi (eko-naa-vimsheetihi)
20 vimshtihi
21 eka vimsatihi
22 dwa vimsatihi
23 trayo vimsatihi
24 catur vimsatihi
25 panca vimsatihi
26 sat vimsatihi
27 sapta vimsatihi
28 astau vimsatihi