What is Vinyasa Krama?

Updated: Jan 27

SOME STEP BY STEP PROGRESSION IN VINYASA FLOW SEQUENCING...


Vinyasa Krama means a step by step progression into something, or to a certain

goal. A goal in this case being a complex or advanced asana (posture).

To give a little more explanation of the words we have:

Vinyasa – which is the principle of synchronising movement with the breath and

Krama – which literally means steps or stages


You can also say that with Vinyasa Krama you build onto something, or grow into

something. So what I do when I apply Vinyasa Krama in my sequences, is work my

way from simple to more complex poses. I prepare the body within certain poses to

move into the more advanced or complex “peak pose”.


Where did you I come across it? Well, I came from the Iyengar yoga method, I

trained and certified in it. I didn’t even know that there was a style of yoga called

Vinyasa Flow but I came across a few teachers using this principle of vinyasa in their

classes. I found myself moving in a certain way in the asana practice and I was

immediately drawn to it. I guess it’s in my body, because I also come from a dance

background. So my body is always naturally looking for movement.

I found myself doing Vinyasa Flow more and more in my own practice and started to

teach it as well. Along the way I started to go deeper into it. I studied it more with

Vinyasa Flow teachers like Shiva Rea and I started to understand the whole principle

of Vinyasa Krama, the step-by-step progression.


What is it to me? Vinyasa Krama makes sense in my body, my mind, my energy

and the way feel it spiritually, so basically that’s the way I teach.


How do you I apply Vinyasa Krama in my classes? The way I teach Vinyasa Flow

classes is by using creative sequences with a lot of transitions. The sequence is

based on a theme, it could be back bends for example, but within that I also bring in

all the other ingredients for an all-round class. If you do a forward bend class with me

you will still do a twist, a back bend and so on but the main theme will be forward

bends.


So if I’m doing a backbend theme class, let’s say we are going to build up to a peak

pose of upward bow or wheel pose then the body of course needs preparation for

this complex pose, so moving from simple to complex we’ll start with poses like

cobra, upward facing dog, then to more complex like Camel pose or Bridge pose and

then to Wheel that would be my peak posture, my final destination. I think about

these poses in that order and build my sequence around them.


I really find Vinyasa Krama important to apply in my classes. I always get people

coming up after class and saying "the way you build up is such a natural logical

unfolding, I feel ready for it when I come across that peak pose". So, I teach Vinyasa

Flow but within it’s all about Vinyasa Krama. It is the method I use for creating my

Vinyasa Flow classes.

Whether you are able to do the full pose will depend on many things. For sure some

people will not be able to do Double Pigeon, that's fine we can just modify it. You

have still prepared your body for something. You will still feel the progression.

If you are a teacher yourself and are curious and want to learn all about sequencing

and how to apply Vinyasa Krama for your classes, you might be interested in signing

up for the Online Sequencing Training via Zoom.