Time stood still in Mysore, sitting at my teacher's feet. We were a small group of students then, compared to nowadays. But we were already a big group compared to the students of the early days. It's so funny how we can get caught up in these things. So many Ashtangis do this...myself included. We try to locate ourselves in history, make reference, make connections.
So, I was saying that time stood still at my teachers feet.
Pattabhi Jois was in his late 80s and he was completely unperturbed by silence in the room. The fans whirred above us, only loosely attached to the ceiling. [I've wondered, in the countless rooms I have slept in, in India, if the fans ever fly themselves off the ceiling.]
And then, he would chant something. And usually I had to work really hard to hear him and figure out whether he was speaking in Sanskrit or English. He would chant all different kinds of things and sometimes it would be, simply:
"O yogi, do not do asana without vinyasa."
Vinyasa is important. Vinyasa is moving and breathing together. Vinyasa is giving your system a flush between asanas. Vinyasa makes us light and strong.
Vinyasa is more. It is the art of attunement. It is paying attention. It is listening as though your entire body and soul were one big ear. Vinyasa is learning when to rise, when to fall, when to be alive, when to rest. It is learning how to live in harmony with oneself, with others, with our environment.
Vinyasa is presence.
Vinyasa is time standing still.