Teach what you practice. Practice what you teach.
My daily practice consists of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and Vinyasa Krama (also referred to as Viniyoga).
These two practices, though appearing quite different, been been passed down through the wisdom and teachings of Sri. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.
A core concept for both methods of practice is the “vinyasa.” Vinyasa in this context – the connection of a physical movement to a specific inhalation or exhalation. Breath linked with movement.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga is a systematic method as taught by K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) based on the teachings of his guru Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya’s teacher, Ramana Mohan Brahmachari is credited to have discovered the method in an ancient Sanskrit text known as the Yoga Korunta written by the sage Vamana Rishi. Yogi David Williams, one of the first Westerners to learn this method, calls Ashtanga yoga a “rigorous practice taken briskly.” The movement is steady but unrushed, following the rhythm of breath. It begins with the sun salutations, Surya Namaskara A and B, and continues though a series of postures (asana), with focus on the sound of breathing (ujjayi breath), direction of gaze (drishti) and the use of internal muscles or bandhas.
A “greatest hits” from the primary series:
Vinyasa is breath/movement connection; Krama – progressing step by step. I utilize this approach as a healing or restorative method focusing on common areas of tension, imbalance, injury and chronic pain, specifically back, hips, neck and shoulders. Generally a movement is repeated 3-8 times, followed by holding the posture for about 5 breaths.
Regarding posture names; Some yoga teachers use only sanskrit names, while others use no sanskrit and stick exclusively to English translations or other creative variations of their own design. Though I have great respect for the sanskrit tradition I realize that it can add a communication obstacle, especially to beginners and newer students. Sri. T. Krishnamacharya, considered the father of modern yoga, a sanskrit scholar and traditionalist was notable for his use of English names to make long and complex sanskrit expressions accessible.
In this spirit I’ve used English names for the examples offered below.