Monday, August 10, 2009

Vinyasa: Placing things in a special way, step-by-step.

Sincere thanks goes out to Ron Reid from Downward Dog in Toronto for coming to share and visit with us here in Squamish. And also to all of you who joined to move and breath through Ron's 2.5 hour Yoga Jam class! Thankyou.

At the start of Ron's class on Saturday he spoke about the Sanskrit word Vinyasa.

Often I use the word Vinyasa in relation to its' role in the dynamic ashtanga yoga practice. But, I had never really broken down the roots of the word to really understand what it menas. I love (albeit challenging at times) when it is brought to my awareness that something I say or do actually means something different then I am thinking.

In Sanskirt
"Vi" means "in a special way"
and "Nyasa" means to place.

So Vinyasa means "to place in a special way"

Ron translated Vinyasa in his own words as STEP-by-STEP.

The actions we take, one foot in front of the next.
Not merely the jump-backs we take during the physical yoga practice, or the label our culture has given to the idea of flow yoga.
But rather, a sense of the yoga practice on a much deeper level -
the way that all actions in our lives are part of a step-by-step process,
what we do today, does actually influence the next steps which unfold in our lives -
real listening is vinyasa yoga, as listening needs 'to be placed in a special way' before any notions of understanding and wisdom can begin to blossom.

The way we move and breath in each moment of each pose
The way we transition between postures with intelligence and awareness,
Staying present with our lovers, and our mothers.
It is each step that we take and every mountain that we climb -
this is all vinyasa yoga, if we choose to see it that way.

Now this isn't profound, of course - as i have long been open to the idea that yoga happens on and off of a yoga mat. It is just curious that a word i use so often is loaded with much more depth then I ever stopped to explore.
Perhaps it is also curious for you??

Ron started a yoga studio 15 years ago and seemed excited to return to the grassroots of starting up a yoga studio by teaching here in Squamish as well as at a new underground ashtanga studio, Babylon, in Vancouver. His passion and curiosity towards the process of yoga in our lives is incredibly inspiring.

This is just the beginning for The Yoga Studio here in Squamish, but Ron's words reminded me of the importance of beginning things with intention - placing things in a special way - one step at a time.

Thankyou all for being a part of this journey in the early steps (both those reading from afar, or those enjoying the rain today here in Squamish) - we look forward to having more experienced teachers visit to teach and share with us in the months to come.


p.s. we have updated the website with a number of fall courses and workshops...check it out!

1 comment:

Gwendolyn said...

Great post! Thank you!

I'm so used to associating the word "Vinyasa" with "flow", and it was refreshing to look at it closer. It's so helpful to keep in mind while practicing, it helps me remember to adopt a more deliberate, careful and aware approach, and, in a similar way, to look closer and break down the poses in each moment, recognizing that the same pose done in a different moment is in fact a different pose, being done with a different body and mind.

Recognizing change means that everything is new all the time! How fun is that!?