VINYASA KRAMA YOGA, sequences and subroutines.

This is an ongoing project, my plan being to constantly update the videos presented here with newer, more accurate and hopefully more accomplished presentations of the Sequences and subroutines in Srivatsa Ramaswami's book, as well as adding notes to the individual postures and sequences.


This blog has only just gone LIVE and may be suffering teething problems as I attempt to upload the 120 odd videos of sequences and subroutines over the next couple of weeks. Please let me know if you notice any videos that have been attached to the wrong post or anything else that is clearly unintended.
Most of the videos posted right now are early attempts at the sequences and subroutines and wont correspond exactly to the instructions in Ramaswami's book. I'll try to point those cases out in the post and eventually get around to re-filming the clips.

Pranayama, Pratyahara, Meditation


I've just posted a bunch of Pranayama videos on Youtube for the sister blog , Vinyasa Krama Sequences and subroutines and thought I'd make the most of them and make this Pranayama week here too. They basically outline stages in developing a practice, I've broken them down so you can start wherever you feel most comfortable.

The videos aren't great, the sound quality is poor, sorry, but if you crank up the volume I think you can get an idea of what's going on. Also, my chanting is quite awful, sounds a lot better in my head which is where it tends to stay. Mostly I give instruction and a count for the first round and then just do it for the next couple. I'd hoped the recording would pick up the sound of my breathing but it doesn't really catch it. In the later videos I try recording a voice over but that's a nightmare to sync. They are what they and if anyone is curious or had wanted to start building a practice they might be something to be going on with. I'll go into a little more detail on each video over the next couple of days but if your tempted to dive in right away here's a suggestion.

Start off with some Kapalibhati HERE and then move on through the main Pranayama videos. Try Pranayama 1 and 2 and see how comfortable that is, you might want to keep the exhale at an eight count rather than ten, that's fine. If your comfortable there give Nadi Shodana a try, videos 5 & 6, they have the same ratio. At this point you might want to try learning the Pranayama mantra (see the chant page at the top of the blog, it printed out as well as some MP3's of Ramaswami teaching it ) and chanting along, it has the same ratio as the first ujaii video. After a couple of days, sessions or weeks start increasing the ratios with videos 3 & 4 and/or 6 & 7. When your ready you might like to try and increase the retention of the breath long enough to chant the full mantra 15-20 seconds depending how fast you go. I tend to start off fast and then settle down to a slower chant half way through my practice.

If your linking here from the Youtube videos and aren't an Ashtangi then I should probably say something about bandhas. You could give them a miss at first and just go through the videos missing that part out altogether although some would argue it's not pranayama without them. Start with what feels comfortable, a nod in their direction perhaps. So three bandhas here, very very simply put Mula bahanda (rectal lock, just lightly clench and lift the rectal muscles for now, it gets more subtle as you go on), Uddiyana is where you see me draw in my belly and lift. Mine is a little extreme here, it's how I tend to practice but also makes clear what's going on for the video. To start with you might like to imagine a thread that draws your belly button back towards your spine, it's a start. The third lock is Jhalandara, throat lock, just bring your chin down towards your chest, ideally the space between your clavicle

The first four videos are straight forward Ujaii breathing (constrict the throat to make yourself sound a little like Darth Vader) building up the ratios. The first one is 1;1;1, five seconds inhale, five holding the breath and five exhaling. The second one has the same ratio but includes the bandhas so 1;1;1;1. The next one doubles the exhale 1;1;2;1 and the fourth doubles the holding of the inhale so 1;2;2;1 thats 5 second inhale/ 10 seconds hold /10 seconds exhale/ 5 seconds for the bandhas.

The next group, five, six and seven are basically doing the same thing, building up the ratios, but employ Nadi Shodana, alternating the nostrils.

Pranayama 8 is one of my favourites. It's Ujaii Pranayama but with mantra. While inhaling you chant in your head the first part of the Pranayama mantra then chant the second part while holding the breath and chant the final part as you exhale. I've made it 1;1;1;1; but you can slow down the speed of your chanting to change the ratio.

Pranayama 9 is my standard, everyday, Pranayama practice. The ratio is 1;4;2;1 and I chant the full pranayama mantra while retaining the breath after the inhale.

The final video is Viloma Ujaii with mantra and at the same ratio 1;4;2;1. This alternates the nostrils as in nadi Shaodana but also includes ujaii breathing. It's tricky but quite something once you get the hang of it.

I should also mention the Kapalibhati I put up a couple of weeks ago as I always do that before starting my Pranayama, kind of the link between my asana practice and the Pranayama.