Vinyasa Krama Yoga

Marichyasana E Vinyasa Krama Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

“Nowadays, the practice of yoga stops at the asanas. Very few of them even attempt to seriously practice dharana and dhyana [deeper meditation]. There is a need to seek once more and restore the practice and value of yoga in modern times”

— T. Krishnamacharya

Intelligence & Fluidity

The Vinyasa Krama Yoga method was described by

T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) currently considered the father of modern yoga. Many of today's best known yoga teachers including BKS Iyengar, TKV Desikachar and Pattabhi Jois studied with him and molded their own styles of yoga after his practice and teaching.

Srivatsa Ramaswami studied for 33 years (1955-1988) with Krishnamacharya, and during this time he learned all the sequences which later collected in  the complete works of Vinyasa Krama. Ramaswami came to know the entirety of the Complete Vinyasa Krama through the hands of his Guru.

Vinyasa (vi - variation / nyasa - within prescribed parameters) 

Krama (sequence) 

It is a spiritual practice that purifies the heart, body and mind, illuminating one's own divine nature .  Based on dynamic and varied asana sequences, in precise order and reflection to build spiritual strength, which combines the principles of the eight limbs Ashtanga of Patanjali and the development of Vinyasa by T. Krishnamacharya.

To achieve this we use the same foundation as Posture, Breathing and Drishti, except that on the work of breathing, in general the exhalations are longer than the inspirations, but this can change depending on your typology, and the drishtis are sometimes eyes closed centered on the breath.

In the practice of asanas, certain postures are done with retention and full uddiyana bandha. This Yoga system includes not only sequences of Asanas with linking movements, but also other aspects of Yoga:  Prânâyâma, meditations, Mantra, Mudra . It is a very complete practice that purifies, strengthens and gives flexibility to the body, it purifies the nervous system, purifies and stabilizes the functioning of the mind.

There are 12 sequences. They have variations and fluid movements resulting from a main posture. There are dozens and dozens of variations within each sequence. They are taught in a specific order. 

In each sequence and subroutine, the flow shifts from simple moves to those that may seem impossible at first glance. The purpose of Vinyasa Krama is to train the body and mind so that the practitioner can make safe and steady progress. Even though there are many difficult vinyasas, it should be remembered that with the help of slow breathing and total attention, one can make considerable progress.

According to Krishnamacharya the asana is Svadhyaya ; that is to say, it allows us to understand something about ourselves. He also strongly believes that the beginning of pranayama is in asana, if we use particular breathing techniques. The asana, and the asana only, accompanied by adequate breathing techniques, leads us to pranayama.

Marichyasana E Ashtanga Yoga Lausanne

Adaptation & Modification

The Vinyasa Krama method, as its name suggests (varied without violating the parameters indicated) must make it possible to adapt to each person.

Adapting yoga to individual requirements is an art in itself. We need to understand that there is no one standard practice that works for everyone. In medicine, you have to give different treatment to different patients; what suits someone who suffers from a digestive problem would be different from what suits someone who suffers from low back pain.

According to an important motto of Krishnamacharya, yoga for children and adolescents (growth stage) is different from practicing yoga in their 40s which is again different from practicing in old age. Body, mind and goals change during the different stages of life.

This is one of the strengths of the Vinyasa Krama method.

“Yoga should be adapted to the individual, not the individual to yoga”

— T. Krishnamacharya

Advantages

Another advantage of Vinyasa Krama is that you are able to access different parts of the body, which you will not, if you perform a fixed number of movements, a fixed number of asanas. There are so many different moves that you are likely to reach and exercise all parts of the body. Prana goes to those areas, Rakta [blood] goes to those areas.

Compensation / Consideration

Like medicine, yogasanas have good effects but can also have minor side effects, which are mostly 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 retain the benefits of the main posture. This combines both the asana and its counter pose, because doing the counter pose immediately after the asana is very important. To have proper straightening of the nerves on all sides.  

It is possible to teach for different people: young people, old people, middle-aged people. It is not necessary to have the same structure for young people as for elderly people.

Marichyasana F Ashtanga Yoga Lausanne

Teach what is in you.  Not as you apply it to yourself,

but as you can apply it to the one in front of you  »

— T. Krishnamacharya