With regard to the six principal body positions (Fig. 3), there are only six Principal Vinyasas, which are critically different in terms of their effect on the psychic-energy structure (Fig. 5).
The difference between the «first side up» Vinyasas and those with the «first side down” is important, and must be taken into consideration in the general algorithm of training. But the technique used in their performance is absolutely similar. Therefore, in further description of the Principal Vinyasas technique, and the algorithms of connecting them with the other Vinyasas and Asanas, only five technically different Principle Vinyasas will be described: «head up», «head down», «abdomen up», «abdomen down», and «on the side», as shown on the pentagram of the Principal Vinyasas (Fig. 6).
In this pentagram the movements are presented in only two longitudinal planes, the forward bend and the back bend, as they are usually performed, in sequences consisting of several repeated longitudinal cycles. These Vinyasas form the group of Principal Longitudinal Vinyasas.
But each of the initial positions provides the possibility to move in three planes. That means not only longitudinal, but also transversal and twisting spine-forming moves. Therefore, the pentagram of the Principal Vinyasas (Fig. 6) provides only a «longitudinal section» of three-dimensional Vinyasas algorithm. These additional transversal and twisting side movements form two more groups of Principal Transversal Vinyasas and Principal Twisting Vinyasas.
For example, the «standing upright» Vinyasa, in addition to a longitudinal forward bend and back bend, is also performed with transversal bends strictly to the sides (Fig. 7a) and twists (Fig. 7b).
Anatomical restrictions limit a man from performing all of the theoretically possible side movements. For example, side movements from the standing position are restricted by «dead-end» bends (Fig. 7a). There are not more then ten performable movements strictly to the sides. Therefore, Yoga traditionally has used replacements to side bends, in the form of various diagonal moves: to the side and slightly forward, or to the side and slightly backward. In fact, such diagonal moves are something in-between transversal movements to the sides and twists.
So, for example, from Sarvangasana — «Postures for all parts of the body» — bends strictly to the sides are practically impossible. Therefore, these moves are replaced by diagonal bends with both legs in Parsva Halasana («Side Plough») or Parsva Setu Bandha Sarvangasana («Side back bend standing on the shoulders») (Fig. 8). The group of the Principal Transversal Vinyasas, has a few movements strictly to the sides, but mainly includes such diagonal moves.
The Principal Twisting Vinyasas have modifications corresponding to practically all of the Principal Vinyasas in the «head up», «head down», and «abdomen up» positions. But in «abdomen down» and «on the side» positions, twisting moves are difficult because, as a rule, the arms and the legs in these positions are used as foundation elements. Therefore, such positions limit the practitioner to only some of the Principal Twisting Vinyasas which are not very effective.
The Principal Longitudinal Vinyasas presented in Fig. 5 are the most typical Vinyasas and represent the different positions of the body in the dimensional space. But in fact, each of the six principle positions of the spine, with respect to the direction of the Earth’s gravitational field, may be fixed with different parts of the body used for foundation: parts of arms, legs, body, neck and head. And each position, with its corresponding foundation, may serve as an initial form for relevant Principal Longitudinal, Transversal or Twisting Vinyasa.
So, for example, there is a minimum of four principally different foundations and respective Principal Longitudinal Vinyasas of the «head down» type (Fig. 9):
- «On the shoulders»;
- «On the head and the hands»;
- «On the forearms»;
- «On the hands (palms)».
And four principally different foundations and respective Principal Longitudinal Vinyasas of the «head up» type (Fig. 10):
- «Standing on straight legs»;
- «Standing in longitudinal pass»;
- «Sitting with bent legs»;
- «Sitting with straight legs».
Some of the Vinyasas presented in Figures 9 and 10 may be easily performed without any training, whereas others require a couple of months of preliminary training, depending on the complexity level of the Vinyasas and the training form had.
Therefore, depending on the possibility of using particular Principle Vinyasas in training, the practice has been divided into several complexity levels.
On first sight it may seem that besides the key exercises depicted in Figures 9 and 10, it is possible to also use others. For example, in the «head down» position — «forward bend in standing position», «stand on one arm», «stand on the elbows (only)», «stand on the head (head stand) without hand support». Or also in the «head up» position — «squat on toes», «stand in transversal pass», «stand on one leg» or «curl into ball supported on the hands». And this is actually so. But Principal Vinyasas are the basic elements performed repeatedly in the training complexes. And the application of the Vinyasas with the above foundations as «the principal ones» is not justified by practical experience, and is not as practical for use as the Principal Vinyasas. When performed, they are used only as specialized independent exercises.
It should also be noted that the contrast in the complexity level between the foundations with «head down» (Fig. 9) is much greater than between the «head up» foundations (Fig. 10). This is due to the fact that the human’s habit of walking on two legs developed over multiple millennia, and shifted the energy balance of the body. This resulted in legs strong enough to «carry» the weight of the whole body, while the arms became weaker. The difference in the complexity level between Principal Vinyasas with «abdomen down» (Fig. 11a), «abdomen up» (Fig. 11b), and «on the side» (Fig. 11c) is so small that in practice all are first determined by the ability of the practitioner to use particular «head down» Vinyasas while resting on the shoulders, head or hands.
Fig. 11a Fig. 11b Fig. 11c
Special moves forming a group of Inter-Level Single-Directional Vinyasas are used to connect and transfer from one «principal position» to another with foundations built from levels of complexity containing the same position of the head and the spine. For example, the transition from the «headstand while resting on the hands (palms)» to the «handstand (palms) only» may be achieved through «press with the hands» (Fig. 12a). Whereas, from the position «resting in a squat on one leg» to the position «standing on one leg» – may be achieved by means of «press with one leg» (Fig. 12b).
Fig. 12(à, b)
Besides the different principle foundations presented in Fig. 9 and 10, there are also a variety of other foundations for «head down» and «head up» positions containing different symmetric or asymmetric positions of the main foundation elements. But the practice of the Principal Vinyasas with the use of such foundations is not justified in terms of efficiency and time. Therefore, such foundations are more often used for performing various Asanas.
For example, in the «head down» position one can use a minimum of 140 variations of different foundations (Fig. 13).
In the «head up» position there are a minimum of 234 variations of different foundations (Fig. 14). And in each of these postures a variety of forms (Asanas) with different positions of the torso and the limbs may be performed.
For example, each of the «head down» positions with different foundations which are given in Fig. 9 and 13 allow at least 123 variants of the forms (Asanas) with different positions of the legs (Fig, 15).
This is how the network of peripheral algorithm of Vinyasas pertaining to various complexity levels is expanded.
Upon the change and fixation of any foundation, or during various indefinite forms of the torso, the head and the limbs (Fig. 9, 10, 13, 14, and 15), the result is additional movements which form the group of the Specialized Non-Marginal Vinyasas.
It should be noted, however, that during the practice of the Principal Longitudinal and Transversal Vinyasas, and the Specialized Non-Marginal Vinyasas also, maximum depth of spinal bends or of the flexibility of limb joints are not usually achieved. And when the practitioner «dives» from these Vinyasas to different Asanas with various bends, twists, and pullings of the spine, and with asymmetrical positions of the arms and legs, the result is additional in-depth movements, which form another group of Specialized Marginal Vinyasas. For example, the transition from Ganda Bherundasana (non-marginal back bend) into Viparita Salabhasana (marginal back bend — «Reversed Grasshopper») results in additional fragments of the movement into the marginal back bend: lowering of the chest and the arms on the floor with marginal disposition of the feet on the floor ahead (Fig. 16a). Whereas the transition from Halasana (non-marginal forward bend) into Super Halasana (marginal forward bend) also results in additional fragments of the move: lowering of the arms and the knees on the floor far behind the head (Fig. 16b). So, all these additional movements comprise the Specialized Marginal Vinyasas. These form the peripheral network of dead-end branches of the complete single-level algorithm of Vinyasas.
Fig. 16(à, b)
Internal lines of the pentagram on Fig. 6 characterize ten possible interconnections between various positions and relevant Principal Longitudinal Vinyasas, which are realized through the use of special movement algorithms forming the group of Multidirectional Vinyasas (or Linking Vinyasas) (Fig. 17):
- From the «standing upright» position (1) — to the «abdomen down» position (2) and back.
- From the «standing upright» position (1) — to the «on the side» position (3) and back.
- From the «standing upright» position (1) — to the «abdomen up» position (4) and back.
- From the «standing upright» position (1) — to «head down» position (5) and back.
- From the «abdomen down» position (2) — to the «on the side» position (3) and back.
- From the «abdomen down» position (2) — to the «abdomen up» position (4) and back.
- From the «abdomen down» position (2) — to the «head down» position (5) and back.
- From the «on the side» position (3) — to the «abdomen up» position (4) and back.
- From the «on the side» position (3) — to the «head down» position (5) and back.
- From the «abdomen up» position (4) — to the «head down» position and back.
The difference between the Principal Longitudinal and Transversal Vinyasas and the Multi-Directional Vinyasas (Linking Vinyasas) is that the Principal Transversal and Longitudinal Vinyasas create stress on the spinal formations with simultaneous change of the spine’s angle with respect to a particular neutral position. Whereas in the Multi-Directional Vinyasas (Linking Vinyasas), the form of the spine changes insignificantly, the accent being made on the change of the position of the spine with respect to the direction of the power lines of the Earth’s gravitational field.
From Fig. 17 possible to see that some fragments of Multi-Directional Vinyasas (Linking Vinyasas) are absolutely identical. Therefore, the possibility of practicing all of the Multi-Directional Vinyasas results in the practice of those key fragments which are not duplicated. In Table 3 they are marked with a shaded area.
Each of the Yoga practice levels uses key algorithms consisting of all such (non-doubled) movements. For example, if the initial level employs sequences consisting of the simplest variants of the Principal Vinyasas (Fig. 18), the advanced level uses more sophisticated options of the Principal Vinyasas (Fig. 19), and the intensive level uses even more elaborate variants of the Principal Vinyasas (Fig. 20). In each subsequent level, such a sequence comprises only principally new elements and contains no familiar fragments from the previous level.
Multi-Directional Vinyasas linking the postures of one and the same complexity level form the group of One-Level Multi-Directional Vinyasas (or Single-Level Links). For example, the transition from the «standing upright on two legs» position to the «laying on the abdomen» position may, at the first level, be performed by sequential sitting-lowering on the knees, hands and to the «laying on the abdomen» position (Fig. 21a).
Multi-Directional Vinyasas linking the positions of various complexity levels form the group of Inter-Level Multi-Directional Vinyasas. For example, the transition from the «head down» position in the «handstand» (foundation from the third complexity level) to the «head up» position in the «longitudinal split» (foundation from the second complexity level) may be performed by lowering the legs to the floor, while simultaneously spreading them «on the move» and forming a longitudinal split (Fig. 21b).
Or the transition from the «head up» position sitting on the floor in Virasana (foundation from the first complexity level) into the «head down» position as in Pinca Mayurasana (foundation from the second complexity level) may be achieved by raising the body and the legs into vertical «stand on the forearms» (Fig. 21c).
Complete mastering of all of the Single-Level Multi-Directional Vinyasas (Linking Vinyasas) allows the practitioner to combine them into one continuous movement algorithm, which comprises all possible positions and forms a «Universal Single-Level Psychic-Energy Mandala» (or «Universal Single-Level Linking Vinyasa»). Whereas the mastering of all of the Inter-Level Multi-Directional Vinyasas (Inter-Level links) allows the practitioner to combine them into one continuous movement algorithm, comprising all possible positions pertaining to different complexity levels and forming the «Universal Multi-Level Psychic-Energy Mandala» (or the «Universal Multi-Level Linking Vinyasa).
Unfortunately, practical use of a «Universal single-level Linking Vinyasa» is usually not possible due to many practitioners’ insufficient training and lack of experience. Even after doing all of the Linking Vinyasas, the first level of the program is often too difficult, until after many months of regular training. Therefore, in order to develop the lack in physical abilities and prepare the muscles of the arms, legs and torso, another group has been developed: Preparatory Vinyasas. They are also used in the training for warming up, general strengthening of the principal muscle groups, the cleansing of peripheral channels and the delivering of energy to the psychic-energy centers (see below in the description of the Vinyasas practice technique).
Also, there are number of special movements, such as «somersaults», «leaps» or «cartwheels» form the group of Circular Vinyasas. Usually, in these Vinyasas, the body rolls on the floor and there is the possibility to stop it at different points of this movement and change over to some other Vinyasas or Asanas. Such Circular Vinyasas allow the practitioner to connect some of the marginal positions of peripheral «dead-end» branches of the Complete Vinyasas Algorithm in the shortest possible ways, thus saving a considerable amount of time spent changing between these marginal positions, and through this improving training technique.
Circular Vinyasas, linking the positions pertaining to the same complexity level, form the group of Circular Single-Level Vinyasas. For example, the back bend with the catch of the legs in Chakra Bandhasana shapes the body in the form of a ring (Fig. 22). If rolled on the floor, the body will gradually change from Chakra Bandhasana (1) to Kapotasana (2), from it to Pandagusta Dhanurasana (3), from it to Ganda Bherundasana (4) from which it will again return to Chakra Bandhasana (1) (or, bypassing it, to Kapotasana (2)). In addition, in these Asanas there is the possibility to lay on the sides, which results in links with the postures performed on the sides. Fig. 22 shows such a movement to the side from Pandagustha Dhanurasana (3) to Parsva Pandangustha Dhanurasana (5). Therefore, this Circular Vinyasa has, besides the qualities of a «ring», those of a «sphere», which can be rolled both ahead and to the sides, allowing the practitioner to use a short algorithm that combines all peripheral branches of the complete single-level Vinyasas algorithm.
Circular Vinyasas, which allow the practitioner to change between the postures belonging to different complexity levels, form the group of Circular Inter-Level Vinyasas. For example, with the use of a Circular Vinyasa («somersault») one can change from the «head down» position in the «handstand (palms)» (foundations of the third level of complexity) to the «head up» position» «sitting on the floor with straight legs» (foundations of the first level of complexity) (Fig. 23).
Or from the «stand on the hands (palms)», (foundations of the third level of complexity), using a fragment of the move resembling a «cartwheel», one can change to the «posture on straight legs» (foundations of the first level of complexity) (Fig. 24).
Apart from the above groups of Vinyasas with foundations in the advanced level of practice, there is the possibility to include in training another four groups of Twirling Vinyasas, which represent various motions in which the body loses contact with the ground. These may be relatively simple transpositions of legs and arms and jumps or revolutions of the body in the space resembling some kinds of acrobatic «somersaults» or their fragments.
Introducing Twirling Vinyasas in training becomes natural, as a transformation of the quantity of accumulated psychic-energy potential and experience in performing the Principal Vinyasas with foundations moves into a new quality of energy-saturated «twirling motions» that are performed in the air, without a foundation.
Twirling Vinyasas, beginning and ending in the same position, are Twirling Single-Level Single-Directional Vinyasas. For example, when performing the «back somersault» from the position «standing on the straight legs» (Fig. 25).
Twirling Vinyasas, beginning and ending in the same position, but with a change between the levels of foundations, are Twirling Inter-Level Single-Directional Vinyasas. For example, when doing a «back somersault» and starting by standing on the straight legs and ending it sitting on the knees (Fig. 26).
Twirling Vinyasas, resulting in a change of position without changing the level of the initial and final foundations, are Twirling Single-Level Multi-Directional Vinyasas. For example, upon the change from the «head up» type of position, «standing on straight legs», into an «abdomen up» position, «lying on the back», using a «frontal somersault» (Fig. 27a). Or vice versa, from the «abdomen up» type of position «lying on the back», and moving into a «head up» position, «standing on straight legs» — by vigorously pushing the legs up, and causing the momentum to raise the body in the air, and then into the standing position (Fig. 27b).
Swirling Vinyasas, which change both the position and the initial and final foundation level, are called Swirling Inter-level Multi-Directional Vinyasas. For example, upon the changing from the «head down» position, «standing on the hands (palms)», strongly push the arms to spring, make a revolution resulting in a «head up» position «standing on the hands» (Fig. 28a). Or upon the change from a «head up» position, «standing on the legs», jump forward, and with a simultaneous revolution of the body move into a «head down» position, «standing on the hands (palms)» (Fig. 28b).
Circular and Twirling Vinyasas add a torsion component to Yoga practice, and the harmony, energetic integrity and coordination expressed, advances the practitioner towards liberation.
Practical mastering of a completely branched algorithm of the Universal Multilevel Vinyasa (Fig. 29 ) is achieved through multiple repetition of separate fragments, a gradual increase of the psychic-energy potential, and a gradual transition from easier fragments to more complicated ones, as well as through a practical investigation of various body positions and different combinations of separate elements of such positions during spontaneous training.
The transition from one complexity level to another should be natural, and should only be the result of accumulating enough psychic-energy potential to serve as a guarantee for the practitioner’s safety, and the energy-based right for such a transition. Ignoring this rule, and forcing a sporting approach to practice, may result in injuries and unnecessary wear of the organism.
The multilevel Vinyasa algorithm presented in Fig. 29 is the accumulation of all the sample logical chains, and is sufficient to present the whole of this algorithm. However, the complete illustration of absolutely all of its links and peripheral networks within the scope of this book is, unfortunately, impossible.
The current numbering of the Specialized Marginal and Non-Marginal Vinyasas are only given for the purposes of illustrating the branches of a complete multi-level Vinyasa algorithm and implies no particular position of the elements of the body.
Training on the basis of the multi-level Vinyasa algorithm facilitates the actual increase of the «psychic-energy potential and the generation of the bioprocessor», while improving and expanding the consciousness.