“Vi” = in a special way
“nyasa” = to place
“krama” = step by step
Change is challenging.
When confronted with change, it’s easy to get swept up in anxiety, discomfort, depression, or panic. We distract ourselves, or seethe as we create a million contingency plans. We cling to our “creature comforts” – those small habits we’ve created that anchor us in an easy ride of familiarity, that soothe us when we get ragged around the edges.
So how can we cope?
While she was going through a particular challenging time, my Mum said to me, “It’s not one day at at time, honey. It’s one hour at a time, one minute.” We can cope with change by getting out of our head – which is wired to try to analyze and “fix” our problem – and move into the spaciousness of the present moment. In the present moment, we are generally “okay.” However, we are so used to living in the past and the future (in analyzing past actions, in projecting future results), that we have forgotten how to arrive in our own skin.
Our yoga practice can help.
In the “vinyasa krama” practice, which literally means “to place step-by-step in a special way,” we cultivate our capacity to return to each unfolding moment. When we bring our attention to how we place our feet, our hands, or move in and out of our asani – we are continually brought back to each arising moment.
The first yoga sutra is “Now the exposition of yoga is being made.” The very first word in the sutras is “atha” or NOW. This is a clarion call to return to the Now, the only moment that truly exists, the only moment in which we can actually accommodate change.
As you practice your vinyasa krama, open to step by step progression of your asana. Use this practice as a reminder that our deepest creature comfort is our fundamental and eternal connection to ourselves.
Pema Chodron writes, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves again and again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible in use be found.” As we ride the currents of change, the dauntless center within us becomes polished and revealed.