I just moved to Boston and, therefore, am on the hunt to find “my studio”, which is hard when there are five studios within a sneeze from my new apartment. The staggering amount is not over-exaggerated. Siri sighs whenever I ask her to find me a yoga studio and demands to be paid more for the extra work. I tell her to take it up with Apple and to cool it on the sass.
The class I took today was Vinyasa yoga and was beautifully executed by the teacher. While I was practicing, I realized why so many new students are drawn to Vinyasa classes (and why I once was). Heavy perspire-ers aside, Vinyasa is sexy. You feel like your dancing as you’re fluidly exchanging one posture for the next. There is repetition for new students to learn the postures. Asanas are not held long enough to be “bad” at them. And most importantly, I think, is the synchronization of movement and breath.
” Exhale chatarunga, inhale up-dog, exhale down-dog” says every Vinyasa class ever.
The breath becomes a living thing in a yoga practice as the teacher leads asana after asana by these cues. You sweat and breathe and try-on asanas quickly, shedding one right after another. You move on your mat like a fish moves in water, everything is fluid and easy.
Eventually, I think, people who want a different yoga experience break-up with Vinyasa.
My yoga teacher compares Prankriya yoga to upsetting the water in the fish bowl and finding fish poop. The more attractive term for this analogy is “churning”.
It’s hitting “pause” on an asana and diving in. Deep. Churning is how I know I get angry when I do ardachandrasana. It’s how I know pashimotanasana relieves my stress. When emotions come up, when thoughts release from their deep hiding place, when you can’t stand to be in a posture any longer, that’s when the pose starts. Pranakriya is not sexy yoga. We are the algae eaters of the yoga tank. But at the end of a class, I feel more substantial, more realistic, and more in tune to my body.