Definition - What does Krama mean?

Krama is a Sanskrit term meaning “succession." This can denote a step-by-step progression or a sequence of events.

In yoga, this word is most commonly used to refer to vinyasa krama. Vinyasa krama is an asana practice that flows with the breath and takes a sequential approach in order to achieve a specific goal or intention. Typically, this goal is a more advanced or complex asana. Often, this type of yoga is referred to simply as vinyasa, or flow yoga.

It is said that vinyasa krama practice is beneficial because it helps students to align themselves with the flowing and evolving nature of the universe, rather than being caught in the mindset of seeing each asana as a separate event that's disconnected from the rest of the practice.

Yogapedia explains Krama

When broken down, the two words in the Sanskrit term, vinyasa karma, define the nature of the practice. Vinyasa comes from two root words: vi, meaning “order,” and nyasa, meaning “placement." Altogether, vinyasa refers to the practice of synchronizing breath with movement. Each movement in the vinyasa krama sequence is linked to an inhalation or an exhalation. Krama denotes the stages or steps within the sequence and incorporates the principle of progression over time.

Vinyasa krama practices are often structured around a peak pose. This is a more advanced pose, and the sequence that leads up to it is preparing the body for it. Every asana will build on the one before it, getting the body ready for the peak pose.

It is said that vinyasa krama is a more natural way of practicing yoga because each asana is allowed to unfold into the next -- much the same way that events in the world will develop and gradually unfold. Therefore, practicing vinyasa krama yoga can help the student to feel more connected with the flow of the universe.

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