Contemplative Vinyasa Krama
Hatha yoga is an approach that, being rooted in the tantric tradition, works with the body. "Ha" and "tha" indicate the sun and the moon, that is, the two complementary principles (male and female) that dwell within us and that, when in harmony, give balance and health to the person. Hatha also means strength and in fact the postures (asanas) are vigorously felt in the body and increase the ability to concentrate. The body gradually becomes more flexible and strengthens, a correct posture is established and the unbalances and weaknesses affecting the spine and the joints are healed. The heart of this practice involves breathing techniques capable of turning what we commonly experience as a strained, short and uneven breath into a freer, deeper and effortless one, in which blocks are released and a more balanced and peaceful inner state is created. Breath is the privileged vehicle through which we can move the vital energy that flows within us (prana); the part of hatha-yoga dedicated to unlocking breathing is called pranayama.
Asanas and pranayama, in addition to being the core of tantric Hatha Yoga, are listed as the third and fourth limbs of the eight-fold path (ashtanga) of Patanjali’s Kriya Yoga, described in the renowned Yoga Sutra, a compendium or systematisation of the manifold yogic tradition. According to Patanjali’s system meditation represents the seventh moment of this journey. The last stage consists of realizing a supreme integration between subject and reality, a fullness of Being. Yoga is therefore both the way and the end.
After having gotten in touch with the basics of this discipline through Hatha yoga foundation classes, the practitioner is slowly introduced to more fluid transitions between postures, through what I call a Contemplative Vinyasa Krama Flow, a way of positioning oneself (nyasa) in a special way (vi) and with a gradual pace (krama).
I tried to keep together important aspects of different yoga styles with the aim of nurturing the needs of our individual being.
Instead of forcing our body into perfect and excessively schematic postures, this approach aims to train us in becoming aware of what is going on within us. Through careful listening, the body spontaneously becomes more supple and at the same time is strengthened.
Gentle and fluid transitions are combined with a careful attention to body alignment and with an intense mental awareness. Instead of being caught up in a restless and strenuous workout, the practitioner is given the chance to experience intensity and movement, but also to rest in the posture, allowing this latter to work deeply within the subtle body and the energetic centres.