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 3 Lesson PDFs.
  • 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:

  • Through the following lessons, you will have the opportunity to show your understanding of these Shanti Fundamental asanas via quizzes and uploaded photos. REMEMBER, you only need to demonstrate the asana in a way that is safe for you to do. This is not about your ability to perform, but about understanding the fundamentals of each of these 30 asanas. Please reach out to Shanti with any questions!

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