The Viniyoga of Āsana Part 7 of 15 – Different Types of Postural Activity in Āsana Practice

7. Different Types of Postural Activity in Āsana Practice

Generally in terms of Āsana practice we can consider two types of physical activity:

– Dynamic or Movement and Stay or Static.

1. Dynamic is the movement aspect of an Āsana or posture.

– Though some Āsana are more suited to Movement or Dynamic Work

For Example:

2. Stay is the Static aspect of an Āsana or posture.

– Though some Āsana are more suited to Stay or Static Work

For Example:

Relating these two principles, dynamic movement in Āsana is the initial way of assessing what is what in the body, in the breath and in the mind.

“Dynamic postures bring out
inherent weaknesses and trends in the breath.

They can also tell you what ratios should be avoided.”
– From personal lessons with TKV Desikachar

Furthermore you can’t just press a button and get into and out of an Āsana, you have to move. So there is a starting point in learning the practice of Āsana.

In this respect the application of the principles of dynamic and static work when planning for Āsana practice allow for a more efficient use of the body and respect for variables such as time of day, time of year, time of life, preceding or following activities, length of practice, role of practice, practice needs, etc.

Amongst the technical learnings of the different possibilities for Āsana are topics such as, the developmental application of Āsana within the refinement of the practice from more movement towards more stasis. This would involve an exploration of the possibilities for Āsana:

  • When used with long range movement
  • When used with mid range movement
  • When used with short range movement
  • When used with micro movement

This would also involve a theoretical study of why we move or stay in Āsana. Along with exploring the advantages and disadvantages of movement and stay in Āsana. This is supported by examining which Āsana are best used dynamically, which Āsana are best used statically and which Āsana allow can serve both a static and dynamic application.

All of which sits within a relationship to the deeper purpose of Āsana within our journey through the body to the mind and beyond through such as:

  • Krishnamacharya’s teaching around the use of movement and stasis within systemic roles for Āsana, whether for circulation or purification.
  • The consideration of movement or stasis in relation to the Guṇa.

Consequently in looking at the principles of static and dynamic we must consider :-

The next post will consider the question of Voluntary and Involuntary effort and consequent effects for students in their Āsana practice.

– Extracts from my lessons with TKV Desikachar in 1980, extended in 2020

The Viniyoga of Āsana Part 1 of 15 – Āsana according to Haṭha and Rāja
The Viniyoga of Āsana Part 2 of 15 – There are Many Approaches to Āsana Practice
The Viniyoga of Āsana Part 3 of 15 – The Principles used in Constructing an Āsana
The Viniyoga of Āsana Part 4 of 15 – Considerations around the Direction of Āsana Practice
The Viniyoga of Āsana Part 5 of 15 – Common Points within the Variables in Āsana Practice
The Viniyoga of Āsana Part 6 of 15 – Planning an Appropriate Āsana Practice

Paul’s Short & Longer Yoga Practice Theory Articles – Collected & Collated

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