Tuesday, 24 August 2010

New Vinyasa Krama Yoga Blog, sequences and subroutines.

Here's an open invitation to visit my new blog, Vinyasa Krama Yoga, sequences & subroutines, humbly dedicated to my teacher Srivatsa Ramaswami. I want to stress humbly because the blog is intended as a presentation of the sequences and subroutines found in his book The complete book of Vinyasa Yoga and yet there are so many errors and inaccuracies that I hesitate to make the association. I hope to update most of the videos ( mostly taken before I attended his VK TT course ) over time to bring them into greater correspondence with the text.

Although much taken with the book, when I first came across it around June 2009 (here's my review, the day after I received it ) I found it difficult to develop a practice based upon it. I was used to Ashtanga and the same set postures every day, faced with the 10 sequences in the book and it's hundreds of vinyasas as well as no DVD's available (unlike Ashtanga ) I really didn't know where to start.

Having so many vinyasas (variations ) made it difficult to learn too, I had to keep stopping to look at the book and work out where I was and how one pose moved into the next and one subroutine into another.

Ramaswami has pointed out that while good to learn the sequences as laid out in the book and how each pose relates to one another, one should not necessarily approach one's daily practice in this manner. He did suggest however, that it might be beneficial to occasionally review the sequences.

The key, for me at least, has been to be to see the book as a collection of subroutines rather than whole sequences or individual postures. In your practice you might do a number of subroutines taken from different sequences based on the needs of your body and ability. Ramaswami stresses some key postures that his teacher, Krishnamacharya, recommended to practice daily, long stays in Paschimottanasana, Sarvangasana, Sirsasana and maha mudra and that, in your daily practice, you might aim to include these postures while attempting to cover a wide range of vinyasas over a weekly or fortnightly cycle.

The new blog seeks to present the different subroutines in order of the book, as divided up and numbered by Ramaswami in his September newsletter. The hope is that a visual representation may help in learning the sequences and transitions.

Here, In my current blog , over the last few weeks I've included some practice reports. The idea is that in the future I can present a report with links to the different subroutines on the sister blog, as well as offering some alternative practices aimed at different levels of ability.

So, for example, I tend to do a variation of the backbend focused practice below, pretty much every other day just switching some of the different vinyasas but keeping a large backbending element. A click on the highlighted subroutine takes you to the video on the sister blog.

Tadasana p.1
Usual key vinyasas but extra attention on backbend variations
*Dropbacks x 5 including Eka & Dwi pada chakra bandhasana.

Triangle Element p.147

On one leg element p87
Standing marichi, Ardha-Badha-padmasana in Vrikshasana (half locked lotus in tree pose inc toe balance) *Natajarasana

*I should really be doing my Paschimottanasana here before Bow rather than after but I want to take a long 10 min paschi as a counterpose to all the backbends coming up.

Bow Sequence p.137

Meditative pose Sequence p.176
Ustrasana (camel) subroutine, includes *Kapotasana and *Eka Pada kapotasana

Paschimottanasana p.71 10 min.
as counter to all the backbending

Apanasana (pelvic lift)
U- formation (arms and legs raised while supine)
Dwipadpitam (Desk pose)

Shoulderstand 5mins p.123
Dropping back into uttana mayurasana as a counterpose

Headstand 10 mins p.161

Shoulderstand 5 mins p.123

feet together UD as counterpose

Lotus element p.189
Bhandrasana (peaceful pose), Yoga mudra and it's vinyasas etc

Kapalabhati 108

Nadi Shodhana 30 minutes

Pratyahara 3min

Mantra meditation 30 min

takes about 2 1/2 hours

As you can see, there are still some videos I haven't posted. I'm thinking it might be possible to link the videos together and perhaps speed it up to have a video of the actual practice. I'm planning on posting some pranayama videos in the next week or two as well. I also hope to link from there to posts here on some of the more challenging postures I've already posted on in the context of Ashtanga.

The new blog then, is intended as an aid/resource to help in developing a Vinyasa Krama practice, to make it easier, more accessible, as such I welcome suggestions and recommendations for improving it.

Links to the individual subroutines can also be found at the bottom of this blog


  1. Grimmly

    Love the new blog, a joy, thank you.
    Teacher must be very proud of student.


  2. Dear Grimmly

    I went over there yesterday. You're so dedicated to put that together. It must be a lot of work. Hey you redecorated. I like the new look.


  3. The new blog is super! Love the new look of the old blog too.

    A big fan

  4. Hi AC : ) glad you like it. I wouldn't know about proud, there are so many errors and departures from the book, but it it's a start. Seemed easier to put what I had up and review over time than start from scratch.

    Hey Arturo, thanks for visiting it. I think I've got so much out of VK and yet could so easily have given up on the book a year ago. We're spoilt in Ashtanga, so many books and DVD's to help shed light on the practice, especially for home students plus there are so many teachers. Not the case with Vinyasa Krama, not so many teachers and while I love the book as it is, some secondary sources would have been a great help. I don't know how much use the new blog will be but I think i could have done with something a little like it back then. I wish somebody more elegant than me would make some nice laminated sequence/subroutine charts.

    Thanks Big fan, hopefully this time next year it'll be better. Nice for me to be able to review all the videos and see where I'm going wrong and what I need to work on. Just filmed the 'On one leg' sequence and I'm all over the place, these balancing poses are my weakest area, really coming around to them though.

  5. Long time lurker wants to congratulate you with your fantastic blog. You're an inspiration!

  6. Thank you LTL for delurking for that, appreciate it. Lot's of people delurking recently, kinda nice.



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from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta