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vinyasa and flow ————yoga

(2014-08-11 23:40:56)
标签:

杂谈

瑜伽

流瑜伽

阿斯汤伽瑜伽

分类: 瑜伽历史及现代化
有关现代瑜伽中的一些演化问题。从Vinyasa 到 Flow.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

There is often confusion about the meaning of ashtanga. The term means “eight limbs,” as in Patanjali’seightfold path outlined in the Yoga Sutras, but it is also the name of the popular approach to yoga taught

by Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India, and practiced worldwide. The complete name, Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, identifies Jois’s method of yoga practice, which for Jois is firmly grounded in the Yoga Sutras. The origin of this method has been somewhat mystified. We are told it is an ancient system of practice written down by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta, one of several texts said to have been transmitted orally to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in the early twentieth century by his teacher, Rama Mohan Brahmachari.

The Yoga Korunta is said to have contained lists of asanas grouped into what are now the six “series” of Ashtanga Vinyasa, each a set sequence of poses, along with original teachings on vinyasa, dristi, bandha, mudra, and philosophy. Told by Brahmachari that the original text could be found in the Calcutta Central Library, Krishnamacharya is said to have spent a year there in the mid-1920s researching the Korunta and transcribing what he could from the badly damaged original text. Jois says this was the source of the system he learned from Krishnamacharya. Jois’s version of the practice was first published in 1962 as Yoga Mala (Jois 2002). 

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is traditionally taught in “Mysore style,” in which each student in a class moves through a sequence of asanas on their own while the teacher gives individualized guidance. The practice

is done every day except Saturdays, new moons, and full moons. Sunday mornings, the teacher usually guides the class through the Primary Series. Although this is the beginning level, most students new to Hatha yoga still find it difficult. Indeed, there are many asanas in that series that are considered advanced in other approaches. Conversely, some poses in the intermediate and advanced Ashtanga Vinyasa series are considered relatively simple.

Through the regular practice of the Primary Series, an intense series of postures also called yoga chikitsa, meaning “yoga therapy,” the body’s energy pathways (nadis) are opened and prana flows throughout the body, ridding it of toxins and relaxing the nervous system. The second or Intermediate Series, called nadi shodhana, meaning “nerve cleansing,” focuses intensively on the spine and pelvis, further opening and balancing energy channels in and around the spine. In the Advanced Series, called

sthira bhaga and which encompasses four sequences, students integrate the strength and balance of the practice (Flynn 2003). When the teacher senses a student’s ease and steadiness in a pose, he or she gives the student the next pose, and when the student performs the entire series with steadiness and ease, the first pose of the next series is introduced. Advanced students continue to do the Primary and Intermediate series.

Ashtanga Vinyasa is a highly focused practice.6 The practice of dristana, in which one gazes steadily upon a specified point in and between each asana, lends to pratyahara, a more internal awareness. Ujjayi pranayama is maintained throughout, creating a steady rhythm in the breath that is sustained evenly from pose to pose, its sound and sensation creating a mantra that fosters greater mental focus and acuity.

Bandhas are employed in most of the practice, assisting in the regulation of pranic energy flowing through the body. The practice is tied together through vinyasa, the conscious connection of breath to movement that helps generate a “balance of strength and flexibility, lightness and heaviness, movement, and stillness” (Swenson 1999, 11).

To teach Ashtanga Vinyasa with authorization, one is required to study for several years directly with Jois’s grandson Sharath Rangaswamy in Mysore, India, and with one of his small cadre of authorized teachers. As a general principle, you must be two series ahead of the series you teach. Thus, to teach Primary Series you are expected to be in Third Series. Following the traditional model as taught by Jois, those interested in teaching typically apprentice for a year or more with an experienced Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher after completing the Intermediate Series, learning adjustments and other intricacies of the practice. Many devoted ashtangis in the Primary or Second series begin teaching when they feel the inner inspiration, often taking teacher-training courses outside the Ashtanga Vinyasa system to learn more about alignment, modifications, use of props, and other essential teaching skills that are not routinely taught in the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice.

 

Power Yoga 

Power yoga fully arrived on the yoga scene in 1995 with Beryl Bender Birch’s release of Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout (1995), Bryan Kest’s series of Power Yoga videos through Warner Brothers, and Baron Baptiste’s launch of Power yoga in New England. What most distinguishes Power yoga from other styles is its detachment from traditional yoga philosophy in exchange for an emphasis on yoga as a vigorous workout drawn primarily from the Ashtanga Vinyasa method. Recognizing that most students struggled to a point of frustration with beginning-level Ashtanga Vinyasa, Power yoga pioneers saw that this vigorous practice could appeal to fitness buffs if given a familiar language and presented in whatever form seemed doable. As with much of Power yoga, many asanas are taught in modified forms that make them more accessible to students interested in a physical workout.

Power yoga is very popular across the United States, especially in gyms and fitness centers, and is gaining a following in Europe and Asia. Sometimes it is given a slightly different name, such as power Vinyasa, power flow, hot Power yoga, etc. It typically attracts students looking for an intense workout free of strange Sanskrit words, chanting of aum, or sitting in meditation. Emphasizing a powerful workout, many Power yoga classes give little attention to alignment. Combined with a “go for it” attitude, this results in a high rate of injury that is similar to that sustained by students in the Bikram and Ashtanga Vinyasa systems. While some Power yoga teachers—including in recent years Birch, Kest, and Baptiste—encourage students to explore meditation and other contemplative practices, this is a small part of the Power yoga subculture.

In her book Power Yoga, Birch (1995, 274) sets forth the “Axioms of Power Yoga,” the first of which she says comes from Ashtanga Vinyasa but is more akin to Bikram yoga: “You must be hot to stretch.”

She suggests that this is a five-thousand-year-old insight, but that as recently as 1980 she was“practically the only one” saying this (Birch 1995, 23). For emphasis, she stresses that to stretch you have to be “not only warm, but hot and sweating.” Birch’s second axiom, that “strength, not gravity, develops flexibility,” is somewhat more curious because no one claims that gravity by itself is the source of flexibility. In Power yoga classes, many still go with Birch’s replication of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series, while many others have introduced other poses and sequences. Because physical strength, power, and getting a physical workout are the primary aims of the practice, most classes include long sets of standing balancing poses sequenced for their intense workout effect rather than safe opening of the body.

After years of instructing, many Power yoga teachers are encouraging a more well-rounded practice. In an online interview with the Web site About.com, Baptiste emphasized the importance of “adaptation,”saying that the practice is “to challenge you to experience a transformation, but starting from where you are presently, and steadily building to a place that allows you to authentically experience the yogic rewards of being stronger, more supple, relaxed, and stress-free” (Pizer 2007). In Beyond Power Yoga, Birch (2007) has refocused her emphasis away from “hot and sweating” and instead fixed her attention on spiritual philosophy, meditation, and bliss. And on his Web site, Kest (2007) says “Power Yoga is about working hard sensitively. It’s about feeling good, not just looking good. The tone and shapeliness you attain from this work is a by-product. The focus here is balance and healing.”

 

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Vinyasa flow yoga is somewhat less definable than others approaches precisely because it embodies the continuous, dynamic, conscious evolution of the practice. It reflects the constant interplay of human beings in the flow of life, connecting our inner nature, life experience, and the received wisdom of tradition as we explore and discover new possibilities for creative expression and conscious living on this planet. The term vinyasa is derived from nyasa, meaning “to place,” and vi, meaning “in a special way.”The term flow, originally defined by Ganga White (2007, 114) in relationship to Hatha yoga, “implies a practice with a theme or purpose with poses linked or associated together.” Taken together, Vinyasa Flow thus suggests a practice in which we consciously place the body-breath-mind in the constant flow of space and time. In The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga, Srivatsa Ramaswami (2005, xvii, 260), a longtime student of Krishnamacharya, defines vinyasa simply as “variation” or “variations and movements.” Godfrey Devereux (1998, 253) offers two definitions: lowercase vinyasa, meaning“progression, continuity,” and uppercase Vinyasa, meaning “a continuous sequence of breath-linked postures.” At the heart of each of these definitions is a spirit and process that Vinyasa Flow teacher Shiva Rea describes as “one that awakens and sustains consciousness.” She continues: In this way vinyasa connects with the meditative practice of “nyasa” within the Tantric yoga traditions. In nyasa practice, designed to awaken our inherent divine energy, practitioners bring awareness to different parts of the body and then, through mantra and visualization, awaken the inner pathways for shakti (divine force) to flow through the entire field of their being. As we bring the techniques of vinyasa to bear throughout our lives, we open similar pathways of transformation, inner and outer—step-by-step and breath-by-breath (Rea 2005, 6).

As in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, Vinyasa Flow moves steadily from pose to pose in sequences of movements synchronized with ujjayi pranayama, often pausing to hold poses for various lengths of time while maintaining the rhythmic flow of the breath. Unlike Ashtanga Vinyasa, each class usually offers a different sequence of poses, although most use some form of Surya Namaskara A and B from the Krishnamacharya lineage. Many classes also closely follow the basic standing poses and finishing sequence found in Ashtanga Vinyasa. Many Vinyasa Flow classes apply Iyengar alignment principles, energetic actions within poses, and use of props. The insights and methods of Krishnamacharya are seen in Vinyasa Flow’s emphasis on vinyasa krama, krama referring to “stages” that create a deliberate sequencing of asanas. Vinyasa krama also refers to the staging of practice that accommodates differing intentions and abilities, so you start from where you are and move consciously—“in a special way”—as you progress from simpler to more complex asanas. Vinyasa Flow often applies the concept of pratikriyasana, meaning neutralizing or “counterposes.” Working with the idea “to place in a special way,” many Vinyasa Flow teachers highlight this concept in several relationships within the practice: being conscious of how the body is moved and placed within and between poses; conscious linking of breath and body-mind within and between poses; the way you approach your mat, set an intention, stay connected with that intention throughout a practice, get up from your mat, and move out into the larger world; paying attention to what you are doing while practicing—breathing, moving, feeling, watching, being in the flow; opening in a more intuitive way that expresses and embodies the feeling of pranic energy flowing in the universe.

Unlike most approaches to Hatha yoga, which have a fixed system, Vinyasa Flow is not a system. This allows creativity in sequencing asanas and offering a diverse array of themes in different classes. This freedom and dynamism help make Vinyasa Flow one of the most attractive forms of yoga today, variously resonating with the spirit, intentions, and life experiences of different teachers and students. Like its cousin, Power yoga, there is no hierarchy, no leading guru as in Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, and many other approaches. Without gatekeepers as in the hierarchical systems, anyone can teach Vinyasa Flow yoga. Amid this freedom there can be misguided instruction, confused or ineffective sequences, even dangerous classes, but with a growing number of recognized teacher trainers who are respected for their depth of knowledge, wisdom, and skill, Vinyasa Flow teachers are increasingly finding rich sources of guidance along their own creative paths. In the ideal Vinyasa Flow class, the teacher will have substantial training and experience that combines skills and knowledge of yoga philosophy, subtle energetics, functional anatomy and physiology, the biomechanics of sequencing asanas, hands-on adjustments, and other areas of teaching, all the while opening to the spontaneity of life and immediate experience to share in the further evolution of yoga.

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