Posted on 11th Aug 2014
Iyengar discusses that all yoga are one eventhough they are termed differently like vinyasa yoga or ashtanga yoga (1). This is according to Patanjali. Vinyasa means “separating and putting down or placing in a sequential order.” Vinyasa is made up of two words namely – Vi (disjuncting) and Nyasa (putting down). So if you would take that in the context of yoga it means its step-by-step sequential movements. Asanas (poses) when done the Vinyasa way is connected to one another, meaning each asana is linked to the other. Visamanyasa is the term used when referring to a group of asanas.
There are three types of vinyasa and visamanyasa (1):
1. Viloma vinyasa – this is the ordering of asanas wherein the asanas goes against the current, it is ascending or the unnatural order. The asanas linked are opposite each other, for example forward extension is then followed by backward extension.
2. Anuloma vinyasa – this is the opposite of viloma vinyasa wherein the asanas goes along the current, it’s descending (complicated to simple asanas) and natural in order
3. Pratiloma vinyasa – proceeding from simple to complicated asanas
What is commonly practised in yoga schools is simple to complicated asanas (pratiloma vinyasa) and then closing from complicated to simple asanas (anuloma vinyasa).
(1) Iyengar, B.K.S. (2009). Astadala Yogamala Volume-2: Collected Works. India: Allied Publishers Private Ltd.