Are you coming to Saint Tropez area, and you would like to practice yoga?
Here I wrote this article for you to know a little bit of what you will find if you practice with me.
Where does it come from?
Vinyasa Krama Yoga was developed by Srivatsa Ramaswami, direct student of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, who trained with him from over 30 years. The base of its practice is to connect the beautiful flows and transitions with breathing, generating consciousness in a harmonious way, uniting movement with a focused mind.
Fast or Slow?
There is a misconception on Vinyasa Yoga, that it has to be done fast.
Normally we will go to Vinyasa classes where you don’t stop or hold the Asanas. But in my personal opinion, we can’t move fast, if we can’t move slow. Only through holds, we generate self knowledge of each Asana.
Many movements are way harder when we do them slow, and the way our body improves is much more efficient, regarding strength, endurance and control.
Also, the correct way to practice Vinyasa Krama Yoga is, that if I move slow, my breathing should be slow, and if I move fast, my breath has to go fast. This requires a lot of concentration and focus, to really generate union between them.
Normally in my own practice, I prefer to start slow, until I feel 100% connected into a flowing breathing movement. Then it starts being faster and with less time holding the Asanas, but only in a speed that the breath-movement flow is not lost. If my breath starts being faster due to lack of endurance, then I will come back to longer holds.
I picture it as a dance, both (breathing and movement) have to go together at the same pace, otherwise the rythm is lost.
Sequences and Creativity
What happens if we always repeat the same sequence? We get very good at it, but at nothing else.
That is why, I believe that we have to explore different ways to come from one Asana into another. Different ways will generate different connections in our nervous system.
Once we get good at some basic movements and transitions, we should explore into different ways to reach them. We develop an encyclopedia of movements in our brain and body. And from time to time, get back to the basics and repeat them again, so we widen our base. Through time and practice we will be able move in lots of different ways and our practice will seem limitless.
The only constant is change. One day we will choose a peaceful relaxing practice and some other day we will prefer a vigorous one. Depending in how we feel, what our body and mind needs, external circumstances, etc. So we should play with this, feel free to create and explore, and the most important thing, learn to listen to your body.
Because we should always aim for balance, if we only practice in one specific way, we lose our balance too. Our practice should have several goals, rather than just relax, or strength or flexibility. It should take them all in account and give time for all of them to develop.
We will always have some preferences, such as doing handstands or just sitting into breathwork and meditation, but because we are a whole, and this practice focuses on that, then we have to practice what it doesn’t feel confortable or fun to us. With the correct guidance and support, we will learn how to reach new limits and produce a true change in ourselves.
Does the practice has to adapt to the practitioner? Or on the contrary, the practice should be rigid and is the practitioner that has to adapt to it?
I believe that is the practice the one that has to be adapted. First, based on the nature of our bodies. Our body structure will tell us, where our limits are. Then, after getting better at practicing within them, we can start exploring the possibility of widen them, little by little. But always considering our health and well-being as a priority.
Sometimes in the same classes we will find people with very different level of practice and physical conditions. In my experience, high level practitioners tend to focus their practice more specifically, and novice practitioners, will do just what they can.
How do we find a balance under this circumstances? I believe that, by focusing on the base, even a high level practitioner will gain from it, and the novices will learn and have fun at the same time.
Opening the door to Meditation
Moving in fancy ways is fun, but Yoga is much more than just movement. It should be a door to Meditation.
We should at least have as we have a yogasana practice every day or 3 times a week, we also should meditate in the same way in a different practice time or moment, but we all know how hard is to do this, very few have the discipline to get into it for a long period of time, and I include myself into this group. That is why, when we practice Yoga, it should be taken as an opportunity to meditate, first in an active way, and then, spend 5 to 10 minutes sitting down.
If we don’t do this, then Yoga transforms only in a gymnastics practice. Which for many, including myself, is a deformation of its original purpose.
As I mentioned before, the practice has to adapt to each person, but it also should keep a certain structure that enables anyone to develop all kind of skills, and meditation is one of them, probably the most important one.
There are enough studies that reveal how good is meditation for our health and life in general. And originally, Yoga was developed, to enhance the practitioner capacity to stay in a sitted position for meditation. So even if we end up doing fancy handstands or backbends, we have to remember, that the real purpose for our practice is to meditate.
Vinyasa Krama in Saint Tropez
If you read until this point of this article, you will know exactly what will you find if you attend to my classes. Private or groupal, the base will remain the same. We will work hard, to gain focus and control, over our mind and body.
I invite you to practice with me, in any circumstance, as a Private course or Group classes. We will learn the bases of Pranayama and Meditation. We will talk about some deep concepts that can clear our understanding of life and ourselves, and we will practice and sweat together in the rhythm of Vinyasa Krama Yoga.