Krama

In Sri Krishnamacharya’s yoga parlance, the word krama is used extensively. It comes from the root kR, to do, the same root for the word karma which means work, deed or action. Krama usually is used to indicate a step by step method. So, vinyasa krama means a step by step artistic approach or methodology.

Then we have vridhi krama indicating the method of yoga practice during growing period of one’s life.

Sthiti  krama indicates the logical steps in yoga practice during the mid part of one’s life.

And then chikitsa krama is the yoga methodology to be adopted while treating a patient.

 So, since the requirements of people at different stages and conditions of life vary from individual to individual, the different kramas become valid.

 Chikitsa Krama uses the variety of techniques and procedures available in yoga, especially vinyasa movements, pranayama, bandhas/mudras, meditating techniques and it has the spiritual dimension. The therapist therefore has to have in her/his arsenal the complete rangeof asanas and vinyasas and other yogic procedures so that he/she can design a dynamic tailor made therapeutic regimen for the patient, in which also Sri Krishnamacharya excelled.

 Many people have been greatlyimpressed by the 1930s film clips of my guru doing exquisitely very difficult asanas . These and the pictures in the book “Yoga Makaranda”  have caught the imagination of many modern day yogabhyasis. However it should be remembered that these tough postures and routines are meant for a small percentage of able bodied skilled young adults and not for the majority of people.

But according to my Guru there is something Yoga can do to help every one, as Hatayogapradeepika says, whether one is young, grown up, old, sick or infirm yoga could be practiced. So as a Yoga teacher of excellence he taught yoga to everyone. And his helping/ healing hand had reached many who were having physical ailments, physiological deficiencies, psychological problems and spiritual yearnings. Since anyone may go through difficulties at different stages in life it will be worthwhile for a involved yogi to expand the horizon and be able to help oneself and others in a variety of ways with Yoga.

Srivatsa Ramaswami

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