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Thread: Defining Vinyasa

  1. #1

    Defining Vinyasa

    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

  2. #2

    Re: Defining Vinyasa

    Vinyasa is a style of yoga characterized by stringing postures together so that you move from one to another, seamlessly, using breath. Commonly referred to as “flow” yoga, it is sometimes confused with “power yoga“.


    The variable nature of Vinyasa Yoga helps to develop a more balanced body as well as prevent repetitive motion injuries that can happen if you are always doing the same thing every day.


    As a philosophy, Vinyasa recognizes the temporary nature of things. We enter into a posture, are there for a while and then leave.

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