When K. Pattabhi Jois introduced his yoga to the West he gave us a new concept, that of vinyasa, or “placing in order.” Many people suggest that the Sanskrit word vinyasa means “flow”; it does not. The word comes from the root nyiisa, which means “putting down or in, placing, fixing, inserting, applying, impressing.” The vi as a prefix means” division, distinction, distribution, arrangement, order.” Ashtanga Vinyasa gave us the concept that the various asana had a meaningful relationship to each other, and the first, second, and third series of asana developed by Jois reflect this. Not only are the postures arranged in a specific order, but the transitions between each posture are accomplished by integrating breathing techniques with the transitions. This could be thought of as the “second evolution” of yoga in the West, the idea that the postures of Hatha yoga have a meaningful relationship and that the transitions between them are in some way important.
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