Unfortunately, it’s not the same wherever you practice.
It has to be said, western yoga students are not always getting the full scope, and I’ve discovered the industry in so many areas, is selling aspiring practitioners short.
Let me explain what you might be missing and why it’s important.
It is not widely taught that Yoga actually marries together three very distinct systems.
Yoga, Tantra Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda. They are three parts of one collective body of training.
So, let’s look at these three systems.
- Yoga – cultivates self-knowledge – clear seeing, perception and knowledge of the world. Meditation is at its heart.
- Hatha Yoga (Tantra Hatha) is the PRIMARY focus of our training for Yoga and helps us burn through our limitations and the binds that tie us, helps us cultivate power that aligns with our soul’s purpose and unifies our spiritual life with our physical life. The idea is we train to have success in both areas of our life. Mediation is the culmination of Hatha Yoga practice.
- Ayurveda – the science of establishing and maintaining our physical and psychological wellbeing. We need a vessel that is optimised for evolution. It’s a major piece of the puzzle – but many Yoga teachers aren’t trained in it. Ayurveda prepares us for the path of Hatha Yoga and then Yoga itself.
Now you may have heard of Vinyasa-based classes. ‘Vinyasa’ classes are hugely popular in the west. You can recognise them as movement based flows, often to music. Physically focussed.
Is that Yoga?
Aside from not doing much, if anything of what you just read in the systems above, here’s what I know.
Vinyasa comes from the longer (yeah they cut it up and shortened it) Sanskrit term, Vinyasa Krama.
Vinyasa KRAMA is actually a system that integrates the 3 systems, Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda, into one modality.
It means wise progression, or putting things together in an organised way.
Through VK we navigate the pairs of opposites and work towards skilful dualism. It’s a scientific system that will evolve ourselves from the ordinary to extraordinary.
So, don’t shoot the messenger, but it has nothing to do with random creative flow styles labelled Vinyasa in most Western class environments.
Vinyasa Krama is a system to be followed. It’s a science.
No guesswork, no random elements. Specific. To achieve very specific energetic outcomes.
Vinyasa on its own means to chop up randomly (kind of sums up what’s happened here).
Certain sections of the yoga industry dropped the organised, scientific part and started offering something random.
But I’m not even sure the teachers offering these practices know this– because at one point, neither did I – even after two teacher trainings… it wasn’t explained to me by the teachers who taught me. A bad case of emperors’ new clothes mixed with a game of chinese whispers is how it feels. Sadly.
Until it was explained (third time of training lucky). And then everything I was grasping with intuitively on my own, without a map, made sense.
Thanks to some dogged curiousity. I got the map.
And having got it… it makes no sense not to share this science as it was meant to be shared.
Ali and I, through Yoga Local are going to be the change we want to see in the industry to keep this ancient tradition from becoming so diluted, it becomes a nonsense.
And we are looking for those who want to take up the charge and do the same.
Practice complete Yoga. The full scope of Yoga.
But first let’s just for the record, explain some more about what Vinyasa Krama is? Because that’s what you’ll be practicing when you practice here.
Vinyasa Krama is about reverse engineering the Samkhya philosophy, (the theoretical source of Yoga) which charts our descent from consciousness to matter.
In VK we use the body to connect to the breath, the breath to connect with the mind and the mind to connect back to source.
If we are truly going to align with Yoga. To call ourselves Yogis. We need to start remembering that Yoga, Hatha (Tantra Hatha – the same thing) and Ayurveda is one complete system to help us make that adventure back to source.
When we understand that – for ease, we can call it YOGA with a full stop exclamation mark!
We can look at it with a new, expanded view on what that actually means. But guys, we do have to remember it’s a COMPLETE system.
When you practice at Yoga Local, when you come to our classes, or sign up to our App and join our online community you can trust we are teaching Yoga from this expanded view of what Yoga means.
Nothing we do or teach, is random. It comes direct from the Sri Vidya lineage.
Passed orally, from teacher to teacher over thousands of years. Until it reached me, and Ali – and now we get to share it with you.
We our custodians of this beautiful tradition and all its teachings and our hope is that we can encourage as many aspiring students(and maybe even some teachers) to begin this journey into complete practice.
5,000 years of time-tested practice and tradition is not wrong. It works.
Yoga doesn’t need re-inventing for our ‘modern lifestyles’ – it’s come from source knowledge for cripes sake.
Only our ego driven, arrogant selves could think we can improve on nature’s creative source!
My money is with nature and the infinite universal knowledge to help me evolve, not a Yoga teacher who may have been misinformed, or a corporate body that’s come up with a fad that’s sexy and sells but get’s you nowhere near the goal of Yoga.
If you are too, why not join us?
Be the change you want to see in the world.
J & A
P.S Classes this month are about celebrating the breath. Remember our breath and mastering our energy is fundamental to success in climbing through the stages of Hatha (Tantra Hatha) Yoga.
Clear the blockages, the limitations, that bind our perception. We will teach you how we use binds in our asana to clear density and liberate energy.
Check out the timetable here: www.yogalocal.co.uk/book-a-class