Bri wondered about the mental drift from one pose to the next. If asana were excluded, would her students’ minds not remain in flow, never abiding? Would this not also coincide with the ultimate goal of yoga, which she defined earlier in the conversation?
I suggested to her that like any of the founding yogi she could create her own unique poses upon that infinite line between two points. Once she understood the principles of structure, movement, and breathing, she could even dispense with orthodox poses. Shaking her head back and forth she said, “That’s only very advanced yoga. I’m nowhere near that.” I asked why if she had such a thorough understanding of structure, breathing, and movement.
Bri looked at me, still flabbergasted, and stuttered, “So you think I should just quit asanat’ I asked her if she ever came up with remedial increments on asana that were very challenging to a particular individuaL She replied, “I often have to create steps, or krapa as they’re named in Sanskrit.” So she had created variations on asana, which were not orthodoxy.
I also asked Bri if she ever had to modify the steps in between poses in vinyasa so that she or her students could keep the breath in sync with the structure in motion. She replied, “Sure. I must create helpful krapa there as welL”
I proposed the idea that if she considered the yogic goal was to decongest life force, then she could target specific issues within her and her students by composing variations of asana if she needed.
Most conventional Westernized yoga practices concentrate on asana. The next evolution beyond building structure (asana) and linking breath (vinyasa) is improvisational flow to explore, locate, and release deeper or more stubborn blockages. This method of yoga, coming after education in asana and vinyasa, is called prasara, which specializes in grace. If asana were the alphabet and vinyasa the grammar, then prasara would be the conversation.
Conventional Westernized yoga does indeed utilize techniques in breathing, posture, and movement to address the individual’s daily challenges and exploration. However, a deliberately graduated process oflearning the integration of these techniques is not understood or taught: structure through asana, breathing through vinyasa, and flow through prasara.