What Is The First Pose Of Ashtanga Yoga?

In the article, What Is The First Pose Of Ashtanga Yoga? I will explain Ashtanga Yoga, a dynamic and traditional form of yoga encompassing a series of poses that harmonize breath, movement, and meditation.

At the core of this practice lies the Primary Series, also known as Yoga Chikitsa. In this article, we delve into the essence of Ashtanga Yoga and explore the first pose of the Primary Series, shedding light on its significance and benefits.

Section 1:

Understanding Ashtanga Yoga Ashtanga Yoga, developed by the late K. Pattabhi Jois, is a vigorous and disciplined style emphasizing a set sequence of poses. It incorporates synchronized breathing techniques, known as ujjayi pranayama, which helps generate internal heat and purify the body. This style of yoga is physically demanding and focuses on strength, flexibility, and concentration.

Section 2

The Primary Series

The Primary Series

Here, Yoga Chikitsa The Primary Series, Yoga Chikitsa, translates to “yoga therapy” and is the foundation of the Ashtanga Yoga practice. It is designed to purify and align the body, mind, and spirit. The Primary Series consists of a sequence of poses that gradually increase in intensity and difficulty. Each posture builds upon the previous one, promoting a systematic and progressive approach to the practice.

Section 3

The First Pose

Samasthiti, The first pose of the Primary Series, is called Samasthiti, also known as Tadasana or Mountain Pose. It may seem simple at first glance, but its significance in Ashtanga Yoga should be noticed. Samasthiti is the starting point for the entire practice, creating a solid foundation and setting the tone for the subsequent poses.

Samasthiti involves standing with feet together, grounding the entire body evenly. The focus is aligning the body, lengthening the spine, and engaging the core. Afterward, the arms rest alongside the body with palms facing forward. In this pose, attention is given to the breath, which is deep and steady, initiating the connection between breath and movement.

Section 4

Benefits of Samasthiti While seemingly basic, Samasthiti offers numerous advantages to practitioners:

Postural Alignment

Samasthiti promotes correct alignment of the body, improving posture and body awareness. It strengthens the legs, engages the core, and elongates the spine, creating a balanced and aligned posture.

Mindful Presence

By focusing on the breath and grounding the body, Samasthiti cultivates mindfulness and presence. It sets the foundation for a meditative practice, enhancing concentration and inner awareness.

Stability and Balance

Regular practice of Samasthiti improves balance and strength. It strengthens the legs, improves proprioception, and enhances overall body control.

Breath Awareness

Samasthiti emphasizes deep and controlled breathing, fostering a connection between the breath and movement. This awareness of the breath is a guiding principle throughout the practice.


Samasthiti, the first pose of the Primary Series in Ashtanga Yoga, is pivotal in setting the stage for transformative practice. By grounding the body, aligning the posture, and establishing a connection with the breath, Samasthiti acts as a stepping stone towards physical and mental well-being.

Incorporating this foundational pose into your yoga practice can bring numerous benefits, leading you toward growth and self-discovery.


What is Samasthiti?

Samasthiti, also known as Tadasana or Mountain Pose, is the first pose of the Primary Series in Ashtanga Yoga. It involves standing with feet together, aligning the body, and focusing on steady breathing.

Why is Samasthiti important in Ashtanga Yoga?

Absolutely, Yamashita sets the foundation for the entire practice of Ashtanga Yoga. It establishes correct alignment, strengthens the body, and cultivates mindfulness and breath awareness.

What are the critical elements of Samasthiti?

In Samasthiti, the feet are together, the spine is elongated, and the core is engaged. The arms rest alongside the body with palms facing forward. The focus is grounding the body and establishing a deep and steady breath.

How does Samasthiti benefit practitioners?

Moreover, Samasthiti offers several benefits, including improved posture, increased body awareness, enhanced stability and balance, and a heightened sense of mindfulness. It also establishes a strong connection between breath and movement.

Can beginners practice Samasthiti?

Absolutely! Samasthiti is suitable for practitioners of all levels, including beginners. It provides a solid foundation for the Ashtanga Yoga practice and can be adapted based on individual capabilities.

How long should one hold Samasthiti?

Although the duration of holding Samasthiti can vary. In a traditional Ashtanga Yoga practice, it is typically stored for a few breaths at the beginning and end of the sequence. However, it can be prolonged to deepen the connection with the breath and enhance the benefits.

Can Samasthiti be practiced outside of Ashtanga Yoga?

However, Samasthiti can be practiced as a standalone pose outside the Ashtanga Yoga sequence. It is a foundation for proper alignment, breath awareness, and mindfulness, making it beneficial for any yoga or meditation practice.

Are there any variations or modifications for Samasthiti?

While the primary form of Samasthiti remains consistent, variations or modifications can be made based on individual needs. For example, those with balance issues can keep the feet hip-distance apart or use a wall for support until stability improves.

Consulting a qualified yoga instructor for guidance and ensuring proper alignment and technique while practicing Samasthiti or any yoga pose is essential.


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