Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Returning to Ramaswami's Vinyasa Krama

OK, so I know I said I wasn't going to blog throughout August, but this is a big change for me and I figure I should put some of my thinking down right away, rather than retrospectively a couple of weeks from now.

Back in June I came across Ramaswami's presentation of Krishnamachaya's Yoga and took a short break from my Intermediate to explore it. (link to my Vinyasa krama posts from June http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/search/label/Vinyasa%20Krama )

After two weeks I went back to Ashtanga, but as the weeks have gone I've been feeling more and more dissatisfied with my practice. I haven't been feeling as connected, as grounded. I've missed those long slow breaths, the repeating and deepening of poses, the engaging of bandhas at every exhale, the building up of poses. I tried to incorporate some of these elements into my Ashtanga practice but it hasn't worked out, I'm just in a different place.

Last week I decided to shift the main focus of my practice back to Vinyasa Krama, although I still intend to practice Primary and Intermediate one day a week.

One of my reasons for going back to Ashtanga at the time was that I missed the regularity of the practice, the familiarity. In Ashtanga you practice the same sequence every day (although this changes slightly as you advance to the 2nd series). You know where you are with Ashtanga, which is part of the point.

With Vinyasa Krama I really wasn't sure how to approach the practice as a home practitioner. Do I do one sequence one day, another the next and so on throughout the week. Should I do two of the smaller sequences on one day or split one of the longer sequences? Should I cherry pick from each sequence to create a new Ashtanga type series of my own? It became confusing. The main focus of this blog will now be concerned with the attempt to address those issues and turn this great big book of Asana sequences, Srivatsa Ramaswami's Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga into some kind of a home practice.

I had thought about starting a new Vinyasa Krama blog but, hey, this place feels like home now. No doubt I'll lose half my readers if not more, I'm sorry about that. However, I will still be practicing Ashtanga one day a week and it may be interesting to see how the Vinyasa Krama impacts on the Ashtanga. Besides which Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, of course, started out practicing Krishnamacharya's Vinyasa Krama. Ashtanga is derived from this, it's fascinating to me to come across all the elements of Ashtanga practice and get some glimpse into how it was turned into the system we know and love.

I have ten days off work coming up and want to spend it working through each sequence (spent three and a half hours on two of them this morning) and doing some serious meditation. I don't plan on turning on a computer in that time so wont be back posting until the beginning of September.

PS. I had trouble with my blog side bar a couple of weeks ago. Deleted the whole thing bit by bit. Found the problem eventually but in the process I deleted all my blog list. I think I added most of it back via Arturo's but if I've missed yours please let me know.

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