AshtangaYoga.info

International Infopage for Ashtanga Yoga

Vinyasa - like beads on a garland

Vinyasa arises from merging breath and movement into one another. Asanas become the pearls on a thread, thoughts like raindrops in the ocean, practice becomes an energetic track in the ether, the breath like the rush of the sea...

Vinyasa (movement) connects the individual postures (Asana) like pearls on a garland.The Ujjayi breath runs evenly through the movements (Vinyasa) and postures (Asanas), like the thread in the centre of the garland. This sequence of breath and movement of Ashtanga yoga, according to the tradition has been practised in this way for thousands of years. Each Vinyasa is supported either by an inhalation or an exhalation. Often, extra breaths are connected to the vinyasa. It can take a while until you have understood the system, but then you can ride effortlessly along the garland.

It is like using the body to pray with a rosary. Your thoughts are dissolved in the flow of movement, like raindrops that fall into the Ganga (=Ganges) and carried to the ocean.Meditation in movement is created; in breath – Vinyasa – Ujjayi – movement - breath … - no thought. „yogah chitta vritti nirodhah (योगः चित्त वृत्ति निरोधः, yogaḥ citta vṛtti nirodhaḥ) (Yoga is the suspension of the fluctuations of the mind)“ Yoga Sutra 1.2.

Ashtanga Yoga is moreover very exact. Each posture is taught with it’s own Vinyasa sequence.Each movement is counted in the ancient holy sanskrit language:
ekam (1), dve (2), trini (3), catvari (4), pancha (5), sat (6), sapta (7), astau (8), nava (9), dasa (10), ekadasa (11), dvadasa (12), trayodasa (13), chaturdasa (14), pancadasa (15), sodasa (16), saptadasa (17), astadasa (18), ekonavimsatih (19), vimsathi (20), ekamvimsatih (21), dvavimsatih (22), trayovimsatih (23), caturvimsatih (24), pancavimsatih (25), sovimsatih (26), saptavimsatih (27), astavimsatih (28),
… Don’t let yourself get confused. The count always runs from standing, back to standing. In actual fact, often only an extract is practised. That’s why the count (movement instruction) often doesn’t begin with ekam (1).

Everything that we do has a consequence. A footprint is left behind, a energetic track in the ether.When I stand on my mat in the morning, I can feel the gigantic energy field. For thousands of years, yogis have practiced this sequence of movements. The practise is already there, waiting for me, it calls me anew each morning. I stand on my mat, like at a bus stop. I wait for the practise. It’s energy field is strong, strong enough to carry me from vinyasa to vinyasa.

„Why is there a Vinyasa between each Asana (static Position)?“.This question is bordering on a misunderstanding: The Vinyasa is not between the Asanas, rather the Asana is between the Vinyasas. The postures are pauses in the flow of the movement.

If you try to bend glass while it is cold, it will break. Only when it is heated can it be formed.Your body behaves in the same way. If you try to perform asana without the necessary heat, you can injure yourself. Your vinyasa practise creates this inner fire.The traditional practise method is repeated in the Vinyasa-Count (in this Website):Name of the asana, complete vinyasa count, vinyasa number, at which the asana is reached. A detailed description of the individual movements follows: Traditional numbering, supporting breath (IN/EX), additional breaths in brackets, traditional duration in an asana (xBR). The count listed is always the complete count, from standing back to standing. The movements actually performed during the vinyasa sequence are printed bold.

Purvottanasana
Vinyasa: 15
Asana: 8
01 IN raise hands up
02 EX stretch forward and down to Uttanasana
03 IN open the chest, look to third eye
04 EX float back to Chaturanga Dandasana
05 IN roll up to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
06 EX roll back to Adho Mukha Svanasana
07 IN float up to arm balancing
(EX) lower slowly into Dandasana, place hands behind the back
08 IN lift hips up to Purvottanasana (5BR)
09 EX lower down to Dandasana
10 IN roll up to arm balance
11 EX float back to Chaturanga Dandasana
12 IN roll up to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
13 EX roll back to Adho Mukha Svanasana
14 IN float forward, look to the horizon
15 EX head down to Uttanasana
- IN head up, leave hands on the ground
(EX) Samasthitih

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