Course 3 – Asana: Form, Function & Flow

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Asana must have the dual qualities of alertness and relaxation.

Patanjali, 2.46

Asanas are doorways to the true nectar of yoga.

Patricia Walden

Asana offers time-honored techniques for feeling more at home in your body. When you feel better, you not only enjoy asana practice, but you also have the energy necessary to continue your exploration of the Self, which is the soul of yoga. When you approach the poses with an open mind and loving heart, your journey remains fresh and rewarding as you make the poses your own.

Judith Lasater


  • Part 3, Schiffmann’s, Moving Into Stillness.
  • Course 4 in your manual.
  • Chapter 4 & 5 in Desikachar’s, Heart of Yoga.
  • Chapter 7 in Mark Stephens’, Teaching Yoga.

Journaling (optional – keep for yourself or share with Debbi)

  • Note how Desikachar & Schiffmann’s concepts fit into your yoga practice as well as in the classes you take. Note details such as foot placement, hip orientation, external and internal rotation of the limbs.
  • Use your texts and other sources, to research: One asana from each of the following categories: Standing, Seated, Balance, Backbends and an asana you have some confusion over, one that you find difficult to explain or that you avoid altogether.
  • Why do Desikachar and Schiffmann believe we add variations to asanas? Do they differ on this topic?
  • From your research above, pick one “interesting” thing you learned about each of the poses you chose.
  • What is the difference between Open Hip and Closed/Square Hip postures?
  • In the following poses are your hips moving towards cat tilt (retroversion) or dog tilt (anteversion)? What is your foot position?
    • Downward Facing Dog
    • Upward Facing Dog
    • Tree
    • Warrior 1
    • Warrior 2
    • Triangle
    • Side Angle

Competency Requirements:

  • Completion of Check Yourself on our website.
  • Demonstrate competency and understanding of all 33 Fundamentals I & II Asanas including the function, basic position, key actions, release valves, modifications and kramas. These can be done in person, by video or through our website.

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