Dynamic Vinyasa Classes at Yoga Dharma

Dynamic vinyasa classes are demanding and will open the student with expertly crafted sequencing of postures. The classes while challenging will still be controlled, making them accessible to most students who would like to make changes quickly.

The Dynamic classes are suitable if you are fit and free of injury. They will take the student to their limit, stretching the body and mind within a safe environment. The teachers of this type of class are experts in their field, and know how to take a student safely up to their edge, never beyond.

The Sanskrit word vinyasa can be broken down into two separate words. Vi, which means in a special way and nyasa which means to place. Therefore, vinyasa means to place in a special way. This sums up these classes perfectly, they are a special way of practising, and thus are a very powerful engine for change.

The classes will work around a single posture, taking the students through a sequence of postures, and slowly building up into the peak posture. This system is called a Vinyasa Krama. Krama means appropriate steps or in stages, so Vinyasa Krama can mean appropriate steps in a special way.

The system comes from the teacher Krishnamacharya, who is pretty much responsible for reviving Hatha yoga, and most of the systems of Hatha yoga practised in the world today. Krishnamacharya had two systems he used.  Vinyasa Chikitsa, which was a system he used for individual teaching. Chikitsa means healing or therapy, so Vinyasa Chikitsa may be a system of teaching to heal an individual dictated by their constitution. Vinyasa Shakti, is a system of counting by numbers so the group class would follow the given instructions with consistency.

We use both systems at Yoga Dharma, and in fact a skilled teacher can use both systems in any class. Teaching to a group with individual instructions is a skill we pass on to our trainee teachers on the Yoga Dharma teacher training course.

Our Dynamic Vinyasa classes encompass the qualities set out above. The classes are sometimes fast and controlled, and sometimes slower and controlled. They will always take the student to the limit of their practise, Hatha yoga when practised this way works on many levels. Hatha yoga when diluted by the latest fashionable system becomes no more than vigorous exercise. It will make the body lean and fit, but this is not Hatha Yoga.

A typical Dynamic Vinyasa class at Yoga Dharma will take a posture, or a quality, and build a class around it. This system, when it encompasses the qualities of Hatha Yoga will be powerful tool for change. Taking some of the qualities of Hatha yoga into account involves considering our actions and reactions. This means when we begin to reap the benefits of a Dynamic Vinyasa class, and the body begins to become firm and toned, we remain objective. If we get caught up in how the body looks we may lose our way.

Martin Thompson.

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