We studied the Vinyasa Krama method with real understanding with Srivatsa Ramaswami, who studied for 33 years with T. Krishnamacharya.
Ramaswami is T. Krishnamacharya's longest-standing student.
The practice of Vinyasa Krama Yoga was described by T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), now considered the father of modern yoga. Many of today's best-known yoga teachers, including B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar and Pattabhi Jois studied with him and modelled their own styles of yoga after his practice and teaching.
Srivatsa Ramaswami studied for 33 years (1955-1988) with Krishnamacharya, during which time he learned all the sequences that were later collected in the complete works of Vinyasa Krama. Ramaswami came to know the complete Vinyasa Krama in the hands of his guru.
VINYASA (vi - variation / nyasa - within prescribed parameters)
A practice based on dynamic and varied asana sequences, in precise order and reflection, to build spiritual strength.
Breathing and movement (Vinyasa), posture holding (Bandhas) and Drishtis (internal focus, eyes open or closed) are central to the practice. Breathing involves many variations, depending on each person's typology: flexion or extension movements may involve longer inhalations or exhalations, and retentions at the end of inhalation or exhalation with Bandhas in certain phases of practice.
This yoga system includes not only sequences of ASANAS with linking movements, but also other aspects of yoga: PRÂNÂYÂMA, MEDITATIONS, MANTRA, MUDRA. It's a comprehensive practice that purifies, strengthens and gives flexibility to the body, purifies the nervous system and purifies and stabilizes the functioning of the mind.
There are 12 sequences with variations and fluid movements resulting from a main posture. These sequences must be combined in a precise order, while respecting the dozens and dozens of variations within each segment chosen and adapted in the moment for a unique individual. In each sequence and sub-program, the flow moves from simple movements to those that may seem impossible at first glance.
The aim of Vinyasa Krama is to train the body and mind so that the practitioner can make sure and steady progress. Although there are many difficult vinyasas, it's important to remember that with the help of slow breathing and total attention, considerable progress can be made.
According to Krishnamacharya, ASANA IS SVADHYAYA; in other words, it enables us to understand something about ourselves. He also firmly believes that the beginning of pranayama is in the asana, if we use particular breathing techniques. Asana, and asana alone, accompanied by the right breathing techniques, leads us to pranayama.
The Vinyasa Krama method, as its name suggests (varied without violating the indicated parameters), is designed to adapt to each individual. Adapting yoga to individual requirements is an art in itself. We need to understand that there is no single standard practice that suits everyone. In medicine, you have to give a different treatment to different patients; what's right for someone with a digestive problem would be different from what's right for someone with low back pain.
According to an important Krishnamacharya motto, yoga for children and teenagers (growth stage) is different from yoga practice in their forties, which is still different from practice in old age. Body, mind and goals change at different stages of life.
THIS IS ONE OF THE STRENGTHS OF THE VINYASA KRAMA METHOD
Another advantage of Vinyasa Krama is that you're able to access different parts of the body, which you won't be able to do if you perform a fixed number of movements, a fixed number of asanas. There are so many different movements that you're likely to reach and exercise every part of the body. Prana goes to these areas, Rakta [blood] goes to these areas.
COMPENSATION / COUTERPARTY
Like medicines, yogasanas have good effects, but can also have minor side-effects, which are essentially physical. To counteract these, each posture involves a counter-action or sequence of counter-movements that help preserve the effects of the main asanas and counteract any undesirable aspects.
In fact, some of the counter-positions help to maintain the benefits of the main posture. This combines both the asana and its counter-pose, as doing the counter-position immediately after the asana is very important. To have proper straightening of the nerves on all sides.
It's possible to teach for different people: young, old, middle-aged. It's not necessary to have the same structure for young and old alike.