Tuesday, 24 December 2013

New Vinyasa Krama Practice Manual with calear Matthew Sweeney style layout LOOK INSIDE


Steve Brandon of Harmony Yoga has collaborated with Charles Cox to produce a new Vinyasa Krama Practice Manual, basically it's a layout of the sequences taken from Ramaswami book, The Complete book of Vinyasa yoga, its very very handy.


If you have Ramaswami's book you'll know it can be a bit tricky (but worthwhile) to follow, with the pictures spread amongst the text. I think all of us who have used it regularly have come up with own pictorial representation of the sequence, Steve Brandon says he started doing the same with stick figures. Why oh Why didn't the publishers include something like this at the back of Ramaswami's book, but then perhaps the short cut would have been too easy, we've had to actually learn the sequence description by description and Vinyasa Krama is all about the breath, the linking of the breath with each movement, that is lost somewhat here.

I mentioned in the title that this is Matthew Sweeney style, if your coming from Ashtanga you'll probably know Matthew's book, he lays the Ashtanga sequences out nice and clearly asana by asana but he also has sheets at the back indicating the vinyasa, each and every breath, excellent resource.

Oscar showed me his copy of Steve's book on the workshop ( it only came out this year), and I bought mine as soon as I came back.  I was very excited when I saw it, exactly what Vinyasa Krama needs, it will make the practice more accessible to those who aren't prepared to put the effort to work through Ramaswami's book at least in the beginning.

Except it won't. the book is priced at 18 GBP ( Ramaswami's own Book is around 10 GBP) which will put off anyone curious about Vinyasa Krama, your going to be a teacher already or a committed student to part with that kind of money.

But printing costs are expensive, it's nice quality paper and ring bound, I looked into doing a paper version of my own book but because it's over 300 pages it was going to run to over 30 GBP (Thank you to Anna for printing out a copy for me anyway). Hopefully in the future Steve will make a cheaper kindle/ipad version available for a couple of quid, to spread the good word.

I think what I'd really like is to see a version of this for under ten pounds and on Amazon so it would be more readily available, findable, we want to encourage people to try this approach to practice. That said this is a beautiful presentation and I am excited about it.

It's also important to point out that these sequences, as presented here, are merely pedagogical, a learning tool. Ramaswami's intention, and presumably Lrishnamacharya's, is not that we should practice these sequences as they are presented here each day but that, informed by these sequences, we construct an appropriate practice each day. Ramaswami recommends that occasionally we practice these sequences to maintain our awareness of the different asana relate to each other, how one develops into another, preparations as well as extensions of individual asana. 

The danger of a book like this , as with my own, is that we become fixated on the sequence at the expense of our practice. Ramaswami gives clear indicating that Krishnamacharya expected us to practice paschimottanasana, maha mudra, sarvangasana with it's preparation and sirsasana each day, each for around ten minutes. That's forty minutes already. Skilful practice is choosing appropriate asana and subroutines to complement those daily asana, these supplementary asana would most likely change daily so that over a week to ten days we would have practiced, exercised a good range of asana relating to the body as a whole. If we end up falling into the habit of practicing full sequences then we will find ourselves in the same situation as Ashtanga vinyasa where the focus on the asana often leaves little time for pranayama and meditation.

So what do you get for your 18 quid.

Apologies for the pictures, lighting isn't good in here this morning and there's been a lot of interest on fb since I posted the top picture, wanted to get something out right away.

The book is around 50 pages, 30 pages of that is made up of the sequences laid out nice and clearly using line drawings, that's basically the book and why you'll probably buy it.

There are a few pages of essentials regarding Vinyasa Krama practice, which is basically a nicely laid out summery of what we find at the beginning of Ramaswami's book. There are a few nice quotes from Krishnamacharya and at the back one of Ramaswami's newsletters ( Sept 2009) in which he goes over the principles of Vinyasa Krama practice as he was taught it by Krishnamacharya for thirty years.

Here's the contents page



I can do better than that, HERE's the Contents


and a note from Ramaswami







Nice layout of the sun salutation with mantras over two pages


Ramaswami's Sept 2009 newsletter.



You can buy the book direct from Steve Brandon's Harmony yoga website.
http://www.harmonyyoga.co.uk/product-category/books/

Thank you to Steve and Chris for making it available, it will be very useful.

I should add a note here though, we don't have to practice Vinyasa krama as one of these full sequence, it's not set, they aren't fixed Ashtanga sequences. Learn the sequence, get to see the relationship between the postures within a family, see the tools you know have in your Vinyasa krama tool box Asymmetric but then construct your own practice which will most likely be made up of shorter Subroutines from the different sequences. That's basically what the Ashtanga sequence is anyway. We have a sun salutation followed by a very short tadasana sequence followed by a triangle subroutine, then an on one leg subroutine, another triangle subroutine. Next up are seated and asymmetric subroutines before we move on to Supine, inversion and then finally a lotus subroutine.

*

If anyone has made up there own versions of practice sheets that they want to freely share with the Vinyasa Krama community, to encourage more people to explore Ramaswami's approach to practice,  get in touch whether through the blog or fb, and I'll post them here, be nice to have a resource of different versions available.


Notes

Ramaswami's September 2009 Newsletter outlining Vinyasa Krama practice found at the back of the book can be found on my Vinyasa Krama blog

http://vinyasayogaathome.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-practice-vinyasa-krama-yoga.html

and of course on Ramaswami's newsletters page

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!topic/vinyasa-krama-announce/szyblI8Aji8

My own Vinyasa Krama book, basically photo practice sheets followed by hints/tips cautions for every posture, can be found as a free download at the link below

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7JXC_g3qGlWMDQ5ZTNlYzYtMTdiNy00N2I0LWE2OWYtMjc4YzExODBjMjA5/edit

There's also a kindle/ipad version for a couple of quid.

See also my Ramaswami Resource page
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/p/srivatsa-ramaswami-vinyasa-krama.html

But more importantly try and get hold of Ramaswami's own books, this from my resource page above.

BOOKS

The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga: The Authoritative Presentation-Based on 30 Years of Direct Study Under the Legendary Yoga Teacher Krishnamacha [Paperback] Srivatsa Ramaswami  (Author)

Sri T. Krishnamacharya (1888–1989) was the most influential figure in the last 100 years in the field of yoga. Many of today's best-known yoga teachers—including his brother-in-law B. K. S. Iyengar, his son T. K. V. Desikachar, and Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga yoga—studied with him and modeled their own yoga styles after his practice and teaching. Yet, despite his renowned status, Krishnamacharya's wisdom has never before been made completely available, just as he taught it. Now, in The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga, Srivatsa Ramaswami—Krishnamacharya's longest-standing student outside his own family—presents his master's teachings of yogasanas in unprecedented detail. Drawing upon his 33 years of direct study, beginning in 1955 and continuing nearly until his teacher's death, Ramaswami presents more than nine hundred poses and variations in logically structured sequences, precisely describing Krishnamacharya's complete Vinyasakrama system. Along with every movement of each yoga posture, he covers the proper breathing techniques for each pose—something no other book also derived from Krishnamacharya's teaching does. Nearly 1,000 full-color photographs are featured in this authoritative landmark presentation of the study practiced by the "grandfather of modern yoga."

  Yoga for the Three Stages of Life: Developing Your Practice As an Art Form, a Physical Therapy, and a Guiding Philosophy [Paperback]
Srivatsa Ramaswami (Author)

Essential reading for those looking to customize their practice to life's changing needs.
• Includes sections on vedic chanting, throat breathing, and exercises for women.
• Presents a unique portrait of  T. Krishnamacharya and his teachings.


For 33 years Ramaswami studied with the legendary T. Krishnamacharya, teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and T.K.V. Desikachar and perhaps the most influential figure in the field of yoga in the last 100 years. Since that time he has developed Krishnamacharya's teaching into what may be the most highly evolved program available for making yoga a way of life, rather than simply a routine. In seventeen chapters Ramaswami lays out the whole philosophy of yoga, including principles for right living, postures, breathing practices, meditation practices, and mental disciplines.

Key to Ramaswami's teaching is the focus on adapting yoga to individual needs and to different stages of life. During the early part of life, learning yoga as a physical art form is most beneficial for the self-confidence and discipline it instills. In middle age, yoga should focus on physical therapy and maintaining optimum health as far into life as possible. In the last stages of life, the practitioner will be ready to focus on the ultimate goal of yoga--true understanding of the philosophy behind it and the realization of truth.


Yoga Beneath the Surface: An American Student and His Indian Teacher Discuss Yoga Philosophy and Practice [Paperback]
Srivatsa Ramaswami (Author), David Hurwitz (Author)
In The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga Srivatsa Ramaswami presented the full breadth of yogasana teachings as taught by Sri. T. Krishnamacharya (1888–1989) — the father of modern yoga. Now, for the first time, Ramaswami imparts his vast yoga experience and knowledge of Krishnamachara's distinct vinyasa krama system in an accessible question-and-answer format with experienced California yogi David Hurwitz. In a beautifully clear and conversational style, Ramaswami and Hurwitz delve deeply into various general and specific topics relating to yoga philosophy and practice, shedding light on even the most confusing concepts. The nearly 240 questions are drawn directly from Hurwitz's private study with Ramaswami, and include: Does yoga lead to happiness? How do we achieve the famous ahimsa (non-violence)? How does the yogi "see" his soul? What is the role of breath in Asana? Where does willpower come in? and Was Krishnamacharya happy? Yoga Beneath the Surface is the next best thing to studying directly with one of yoga's true gurus — and a must-read for every serious yoga student.

The Basic Tenets of Patanjala Yoga by Srivastsa Ramaswami (Cambridge Yoga publications).
Ramaswami has been a student of Prof. Krishnamacharya for over two decades in the theory and practice of Yoga. Apart from Yogasanas and Pranayama, he has studied yoga texts such as Patanjala Yogasutras, Samkhya Karika, Hathayoga- pradipika. UpanishadsasChandogya,Taithiriya, Svetasvatara,Isavasya,the Gita etc., adhyayana(chanting) of the whole of Taithiriya Aranyaka of Yajur Veda and Upanishads, Mantraprasanam etc., all from the Acharya. He has also had yoga lessonsfrom Sri T. K. V. Desikachar, and has written a seriesof articles on Yoga, and also contributed to a few journals. S. Ramaswami holds a masters degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Oklahoma State University, and has had teaching experiencein Indian universities. He has been teaching yoga practice and also the texts for over fiveyears.


A Brief Introduction to Yoga Philosophy: Based on the Lectures of Srivatsa Ramaswami [Paperback]
David Hurwitz (Author), Srivatsa Ramaswami (Contributor)

This is a brief guide to the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali. It is brief by way of being practical. After stating the goal of Yoga, it is basically an exposition of the eight limbs of Yoga Patañjali gives in Chapter two and the beginning of Chapter three of his Yoga Sutras.




Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: Based on the Teaching of Srivatsa Ramaswami by Pam Hoxsey
Book and CD by Pam Hoxsey
Local author and yogi, Pam Hoxsey, learned to chant the Yoga Sutras from Srivatsa Ramaswami, who learned them from his teacher. T. Krishnamacharya. They met one-on-one for two hours each morning in two-week intervals, repeated over three years. They chanted the sutras, and then Ramaswami would discuss their meanings. This book--and the CD--is the result of their meetings together.
This version of the Yoga Sutras is comprehensive. Each sutra is written as a phrase, followed by a word-by-word translation, and then a summary of its meaning. In addition, a “tacit question” is often proposed to suggest what topic is being explained. Sometimes there are additional short “notes” to further aid in understanding.
At the end of the book is Ramaswami’s handwritten Sanskrit, followed by the chant phrases written in English with red and blue markings to indicate where the pitch goes up and down. And then there’s the CD by Pam, who has a beautiful voice, chanting the sutras. So you can both read the Yoga Sutras and learn to chant them as they were originally chanted and passed on through the centuries before Patanjali wrote them down.
You can order the book directly from Pam by calling 847.328.4246.

VINYASA YOGA HOME PRACTICE BOOK [Kindle Edition]Anthony Hall (Author)

UPDATE- Print edition available in the next few days

A Home Practice Book and stand-alone companion to Srivatsa Ramaswami's Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga (Ramaswami was a student of Krishnamacharya for over 30 years ).

This edition, over 350 page, includes Guidelines, Practice Notes and practice Sheets for 10 categories of postures; On your feet, Triangle, On one leg, Asymmetric, Seated, Bow, Meditative, Supine, Inverted and lotus as well as Practice notes and sheets for 83 subroutines within those categories.

Includes practice sheets on Pranayama, Pratyahara and meditation with video links to tutorials.

Also Includes video links for all the subroutines and an accompanying video and practice sheet page online.

It is of course NO substitute for Ramaswami's own books, 'The Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga' and 'Yoga for the Three Stages of Life' both of which I've gained renewed respect for in the process of preparing these notes. The Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga lays out the breath for every single movement in and out of every posture, in every subroutine, quite remarkable. The Three Stages of Life goes into such depth that I consider it the best book on yoga I've come across thus far.

This book is dedicated to my teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami

2 comments:

  1. i should get the Steve Brandon book, then, having been using Ranmaswami's book. I'm in a quandary about what to do about teaching R. the primary series, as that's what he'll have to do in Mysore, and I have only been teaching him VK.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Arturo, see the post I put up yesterday, it gives Ramaswami's outline for a modifiable daily practice, if you look at it it's very ashtanga like in structure. He probably has much of the Ashtanga primary series but does't know it. Your going for two weeks yes, primary series up to navasana then on to finishing should do it.

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A Reminder

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
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