Working for over a decade as a Shiatsu therapist my aim was always to bring a more therapeutic and holistic attitude to my Yoga teaching as well.
Now after years of dedication and consistency I become one of the few authorized teachers worldwide who teach the moon sequence, Atapa Krama -sunshine sequence and Simha Krama – Lion sequence .
Let me introduce you to this balanced holistic method and it’s sequences.
Vinyasa Krama is designed to enhance every level of your physical and psychological practice. We incorporate varied sequencing, from gentle (Moon Sequence) to dynamic (Sunshine Sequence). VKM involves step by step, practical stages for learning Pranayama – clearly explained and without dogma. Finally, we also teach meditation and stillness practices suitable for all ages.
Vinyasa Krama Sequencing is primarily taught via Self Practice to most students.
Vinyasa Krama is taught individually, with physical and psychological therapy in mind.
Any posture / sequence can be scaled down, scaled sideways, or simply removed to suit each student. Other postures can be added to support a particular condition.
In this way I will teach different sequences to each student. You might join an introduction course and come for self-practice afterwards, or you come directly for self – practice and you learn during the class your sequence step by step. The same way as some of you already know from the ashtanga system in Mysore classes.
Every week your energy ebbs and flows, it is unreasonable to expect your body to maintain a high level of ‘peak – performance ‘ six days per week. It is dangerous to both your physiological and psychological health to push that idea too far.
Allowing for both Active/Rajasic and Releasing/Tamasic elements – daily, weekly, ad monthly – is critical.
We do not seek to remove Rajas and Tamas, we want to include and integrate them so they are no longer a problem – a peaceful way to surrender to each moment.
There are three foundation sequences for Vinyasa Krama Mandiram.
Chandra Krama – Moon sequence
Ātapa Krama – Sunshine sequence
Simha Krama – Lion sequence
From these three sequences all the other sequences flow.
Chandra Krama – the Moon sequence
– is something all Āsana practitioners should embrace at least once per week – or something like it.
The Moon sequence, when practised in this light, will develop your awareness in ways that a standard Vinyasa practice, typically focussed on progression and learning advanced Āsana, will not.
The Moon sequence is critical in the method of VKM for understanding all practises, both physical and non- physical, that progress from it.
– is meant to be a support sequence and is not intended to be your main practice. It is to be practiced when you have less energy , and have need for more internal and meditative focus, versus an external and Rajasic focus, typically once or twice per week.
Allowing time for a softer practice actually gives your body time to heal, making improvements steadier, if not seemingly faster.
‘Practicing intensely six days per week ( a Rajasic sequence) is also often maintained out of a sense of control, that this will make you more spiritual or prove that you are more devotional and dedicated.
Spirituality is not dictated by this kind of time restraint! ‘
Spirituality is being, doing is for body . – Matthew Sweeney
Atapa Krama – the Sunshine sequence
This is a ‘flexible’ sequence based off Primary series off Ashtanga Yoga. This means it can easily be adapted for different constitutions and scaled sideways to suit different physiological needs.apa Krama – the Sunshine sequence
This is a dynamic sequence, with plenty of jumps ( thought less than Primary ), and combines a number of re-balanced elements for the hips, shoulder openers, greater emphasis on back-bending compared to Primary series,and many options for changing postures to suit individual constitutions. It also encourage use of props and wall for alignment, safety, and stability .
Simha Krama – the Lion sequence
– this practice has a few area of focus that are critical for everyone. For example, increased focus on standing postures, leg strength, and the side – body. It also focus on specific alignment in all standing postures that will then help you with alignment in all sitting postures. In particular; integrated alignment for the side-body, hips, and shoulders, all at once.And it is great as a preparation for deeper and safe backbends.
We do apply two rules while teaching VKM
Consistency and Creativity; two complementary though different approaches. Both are needed, so try not to favor one over the other.
Consistency – attempt to learn everything in the sequence with as much focus and precision as you can muster, but observe the golden rule: do not hurt yourself.
Creativity – this is to include variations in each sequence, scale the sequence down, remove difficult postures, and simply do whatever seems appropriate. This allows you room to change and adapt the sequence to your individual condition and constitution. This can be a permanent change or simply a temporary need due to limited time or tiredness.
Knowing when to scale a practice back is important, versus always trying to scale upward and progress. Listen to your body before you hurt something!
Following the idea of VKM every student should have the option of additional sequences to create greater harmony and balance for the body, mind, and energy system.
A system that limits you to just one sequence – typically due to rigidity, or the requirement for you to improve in a very specific way – is often hazardous for your health. It’s too risky, not to mention psychologically damaging. For example, many students are required to stay within the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga for 10-15 years, because they don’t have the physical capacity to go further. This highlights two main deficits: how the sequence is being taught, and the actual structure of the sequence. It does not actually indicate a deficit within the practitioner! Merely that the road less-travelled is the way to go.
VKM is for anybody , all minds, so you can connect with your oneself.
MATTHEW SWEENEY – author of Vinyasa Krama Yoga Mandiram method
I hope we can enjoy this creative journey to harmony together !