View Full Version : Defining Vinyasa

12 July 2013, 01:05 AM
Namaste Forum Members,
This is my first post so I hope I am placing this appropriately:

Obviously there are different usages of the term vinyasa (e.g. as a style of yoga that "flows", or asanas with variations, or the linking of breath with motion, or the combination of bujangasana and adho mukha svanasana). I have, however, encountered two very different translations.

While the definition given by Srivatsa Ramaswami states that vi means variation and nyasa means within prescribed parameters, the translation I am accustomed to states that vini which contains vi means 'special or appropriate' combined with asa which turns into vinyasa by sandhi (rules of word combination). Asa in my sanskrit dictionary seems to combine with other words to mean anything from 'to practice' or cast down' to 'spread out'. When I look up nyasa all I find is "the vows taken by a sannyasin".

Which of these translations is more accurate? Is Vinyasa 'to place in a special or appropriate way' or is it 'variation with prescribed parameters'.
And let me add that I'm not so much looking for your personal definitions as an accurate translation.

Thanks You So Much!
Oṁ Namaḥ Śivāya

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय