RF introduced the weekend workshops by announcing that we would be exploring the system of vinyasa, which I think is one of the most confusing terms in yoga today. Vinyasa is often used to indicate a style of yoga, somewhat interchangeable with the term Power Flow as a style. Most teachers teaching this style will say it is movement with breath. As a system, it is derivative of the Ashtanga system as taught by Patabhois Jois.
Right now, there is a lot of discussion over the system from the historical perspective. I will refer you to Grimmlys site who has studied and blogged about this extensively.
Jois, along with Desikachar, Iyengar, and Ramaswami, among a few others, are considered to have brought the teachings of Krishamacharya out of the East and to the West. The teachings of Vinyasa are inherent in all of their teachings, but do not necessarily match up to what the West considers Vinyasa. I would assume a student of Power Vinyasa is not going to recognize what they consider to be Vinyasa in Ramaswami’s teachings of Vinyasa Krama, yet this form is recognizable in the other styles.
So going into this weekend, I already know that the Vinayasa system RF is teaching is within the form of Primary and Intermediate Series of Ashtanga yoga, but the system he brings into Vinyasa includes all of the subtle practices into the physical form.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika says that the practice of asana is bringing about the union of the prana and apana vayu systems. The union of these systems allows the central channel of shushumna to open, allowing the energy of kundalini to rise through the seventh chakra, which is the eighth limb of samadhi.
In order to do this energy as to go UP. How? Through the bandhas, breath, and drishti. You have to go through a few limbs to get there.
This is probably a little more than you learn in your average yoga class, no matter what “style” or dogma you are attracted to. A lot of teachers know these systems, but the Vinyasa system pulls them altogether. So they are married! (RFs lecture on the marriage of the pubic bone to the coccyx into the marriage bed of mula bhanda while trying to avoid mother in law sacrum is hilarous.) But the point is that all the physical centers have subtle components so when I posted about EXPERIENCE yesterday that is what I meant.
RF says often during workshops, you won’t get this today. The elusive bandhas. I tell students often that teachers will teach and remind you of bandhas often and then one day YOU will experience and that is what it is.
RF pretty much teaches this through the first three movements of Sun Sal As, ekam dve trini. You can go home after that.
I seldom go to a workshop or go through a week of blog reading without coming up with a discussion or lecture on chatarunga dandasana. I think most students and many teachers have a hard time with this pose and this weekend someone asked and RFs answer is that hands next to heart, heart open, shoulder down, and no shoulder blade wings. Also no tilting into the anterior deltoids. Check.
At that point I could have raised my hands and say but sir Gregor Maehle says that the hands are supposed to be lower with elbows over wrist. Which is the correct form?
RF addressed that. This is the first time I heard chataranga distinguished between A and B. According to RF, Krishamacharya devised Chataranga B, the version with hands further back as some sort of torture workout, one your trainer might give you, to hold for a long series of breaths, like maybe 10. Chat A is the Surya Namaskar version to moved into on the exhale from trini, also known as chatrvaari.
I have a few pictures to show but am not feeling that well today. I will upload them tomorrow.