What is Vinyasa Krama Yoga?
“Vinyasa Krama Yoga is an ancient practice of physical and spiritual development. It is a systematic method to study, practice, teach and adapt Yoga. This Vinyasa Krama approach to yogasana is unique in all of Yoga. By integrating the functions of mind, body and breath in the same time frame, a practitioner will experience the real joy of Yoga practice.” Srivatsa Ramaswami
Vinyasa Krama Yoga
Vinyasa Krama Yoga is the method practiced and taught by the Indian Yoga master, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. The parameters of Yoga indicated in the Yoga Sutras are faithfully respected to maintain an effective, authentic practice.
Vinyasa Krama is the art and science of combining the elements of Yoga in a sequence that makes an effective and safe practice. You may also have heard of viniyoga; this is appropriate application of yoga methods to an individual student.
What do the words mean?
Vinyasa means variation. Many variations of each posture are practiced to fully explore the possibilities of the body. Starting from wherever you are, practicing all the variations means you can develop full body movement, and progress towards achieving the classical asana with steadiness and comfort.
Krama means order or method. Vinyasa Krama is an intelligent whole body exercise method that develops flexibility, strength and endurance without undue stress or strain on any one body part. Logical sequences are followed which progress from easier postures to more difficult ones and each posture has variations to ensure all body parts are accessed. Counter postures are used to restore balance in the body after difficult asana. Slow controlled ujjayi breathing is used to support all movements.
Yoga means … cessation of the activities of the mind. This peace and spiritual freedom is the ultimate goal of yoga. In the modern world, sitting quietly in meditation is challenging, but Vinyasa Krama yoga gradually prepares you for this through:
Ujjayi – this simple breathing technique is used throughout asana practice. It requires you to focus attention inwards on your breath . Since meditation is single pointed focus on an object, once you focus your attention on controlling your breath using ujjayi, you are developing your ability to meditate.
Asana - appropriate asana practice (incorporating body, breath and mind) will strengthen, balance and stabilise the body. This allows you to sit still comfortably for long periods in the classical mediation poses. Practicing asana with ujjayi is a moving meditation; the focus is on matching smooth and controlled breath with movement. Asana also removes rajas or restlessness in the mind.
Pranayama – is the conscious regulation of the breath. This reduces mental disturbances and minimises impurities in your system so that your mind becomes clearer, more focused and ready for meditation.
The intelligence of Vinyasa Krama is that anyone can do yoga, starting from wherever they are, and can make progress towards the goals of optimum health, mental peace and spiritual freedom.
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