The Vinyasa serves the asana, it should surely lead us towards the asana rather than away. Too often we focus on getting into the posture rather than inhabiting the asana, why seek steadiness and comfort if in five rushed breaths we hurry back to our beloved Vinyasa. Surely this wasn't Krishnamacharya's intention when he presented the Vinyasa approach nor any of his students either. Krishnamacharya wrote of longer stays, he indicated long slow breathing (as did his student Pattabhi Jois in interviews), kumbhaka in most asana he presented, more often than not he appeared to approach asana not unlike mudra.
Mudra unites the mind and the body, in the previous post I presented Maha Mudra that we might inhabit before folding forward into the familiar Janu Sirsasana, where we also might remain longer; forward folding postures welcome the longer exhalation that characterises mudra.
|Maha Mudra before folding into Janu Sirsasana|
Just as with Janu Sirsasana we might pause before folding forward in other asymmetric asana and approach them as mudra, Tirieng Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattanasana and Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana for instance, maichiyasana also (see tomorrow).
|Mudra approach to Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana|
|Mudra approach to Tirieng Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattanasana|
Pause the Vinyasa count before folding, slow the exhalation for the mudra to twice the length of the inhalation 8 -10 seconds for the former, 4 - 5 for the later, tuck in the chin for jalandara bandha, engage uddiyana bandha at the end of the exhalation which in turn activates mula bandha.
Alternatively take your kumbhaka after the inhalation, 5, 10, 20 seconds perhaps with mantra (pranayama mantra) stay for five minutes or 6, 12 even 24 breaths then fold forward into the more familiar asana and take the shorter kumbhaka after the exhalation. Repeat directly on the other side or take your Vinyasa and enter the second side following a welcome Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.
We might choose approximately 10 asana to practice this way or in our regular practice we might choose one asana only to inhabit longer, a different posture explored each day or perhaps each week.
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