The Real Meaning of Vinyasa

And you may find yourself in another part of the world.

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile.

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house,

With a beautiful wife,

And you may ask yourself, well,

How did I get here?

-- Talking Heads

Have you ever find yourself thinking: How did I get here? Why is this happening to me? Why me? Like the events of your life have nothing to do with you. Like the life was coming at you and there was nothing you could do about it. For a moment you may indulge in this feeling of victimisation, but then as a yogi you know that can't be true and you start investigating.

When did I stop paying attention? When was I not present or in denial about the outcome of this action? When did I choose the 'easy' short cut and neglected to look at the whole picture? When was I self-obsessed instead of self-aware? Bottom line, the question is when did I lose my vinyasa krama?

Contrary to the popular belief vinyasa is not a 'flow class' or 'put some music on and let people flow or jump through inbetween asanas'. It is an awareness practice composed of linking breath, movement, intention, drishti (gaze) and bandha (energy locks). The word vinyasa means 'conscious, intelligent placement.' It is composed of two words: vi=order + nyasa=placement. Krama means 'the process' or “the uninterrupted sequence of events from beginning to end.” It refers to the succession of changes that occurs from moment to moment. You could say that the words vinyasa krama mean the ordered placement of the sequence of events.

Through yoga we practice awareness, we learn to focus, to be present in the moment. We are asked to be mindful. Be still. Look. Listen. And then engage and act. Thus we start making a connection between the events of your life. How you think, speak or act in any given moment decides how your life will be in the next moment. We are consciously co-creating the vinyasa krama of our life.

In the asana practice it is the sequential arrangement of asana for a specific result. Often described like a string of beads on a mala. Asanas are the beads, the string is the intention made conscious by the means of breathing, drishti and bandha. Taking your breath out of the automatic, unconscious realm and turning it into a conscious action is a revolutionary act. It makes it possible to become aware of our habits, change them when necessary, direct our prana (life force) towards the Divine, stop squandering our time and resources and use our precious life to bring light into our lives and the lives of others.

In the world of multinational, profit-hungry companies, disrespect for our environment, animals or the indigenous people, wars and countless refugees a revolutionary act indeed.

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