“Breathe how you want to live – the flow of every Prana Vinyasa © practice brings regeneration, strength, fluidity and inner meditation to the flow of life” – Shiva Rea
I first encountered Prana Vinyasa © (previously also known as prana flow) at a small festival in the UK countryside about 5 years ago. We were in one of the huge rooms of an empty country estate looking out over the lush green countryside. Our teacher, Delamey Devi, was leading a workshop called “flying into vasisthasna”. She read from the vijnana bhairava tantra, we flowed in waves preparing the body slowly and steadily until we did indeed fly into vasisthasna, or side plank, with ease and grace.
In this practice, my body became a ritual vessel for this sacred movement meditation practice. Yoga was honoured as an ancient tradition with roots and lineage. This practice was everything I had ever wanted from a Yoga practice and more. It filled the spaces where holes had been, and felt like coming home.
From that moment on I was hooked. I had already been practising and studying yoga and philosophy for many years, but not like this. I went on to do more workshops and then a 300hr teacher training with Shiva.
So what makes Prana Vinyasa © different?
Why was I so in love?
For me, Prana Vinyasa © felt like the most complete, connected, natural, but also profoundly deep and beautiful way to have a movement, meditation and spiritual practice. There is something within it for every season of life. It connects us to the healing force of nature, the sacred texts, mantra, ritual space, the planet and each other. The microcosm and macrocosm, the sun and moon, the ebb and flow.
“Vinyasa in its original meaning from the early Tantras is understood as the ‘sequence of consciousness’, or how life unfolds from spanda – the creative pulse of life.” – Shiva Rea
The Roots of Prana Vinyasa
Prana Vinyasa© has been developed by American born teacher Shiva Rea from over 25 years of teaching and a lifetime of study and practice. Her absolutely magical and, for me, life-changing book ‘Tending the Heart Fire’, beautifully tells her story, progression and development of the Prana Vinyasa © System.
From being given the name Shiva at birth, and her teenage interest into her name, time spend in Africa connecting to a different rhythm and flow of life connected to the earth, to many dedicated years as an Ashtanga Yoga practitioner, study of world dance and movement, Tantra, and Kalaripayattu (Indian martial arts) – from these experiences and more Shiva has developed Prana Vinyasa©, an elemental practice system for living in connection with the flow of life.
As a student you first learn and fully embody the classical surya namaskars from which all modern Vinyasa style yoga as emerged from. Namaskar is “to bow, to realize the essence of”.
In all trainings I have been on with Shiva, she is always very clear about honouring lineage and acknowledging where these practices have come from. The classical surya namaskars then evolve and transform out into elemental namaskars to honour and connect to the different elements within us, chakra namaskars and the very unique Prana Vinyasa© circular sequencing. Shiva has developed a full spectrum of over 40 different namaksars each with its own energy, purpose and effect. This gives practitioners a full range of pathways, movements, and bhavas (feeling states) to fully express the multi faceted experience of life.
Prana Vinyasa © connects you to the elements within your own body and to the flow of nature. It transforms a class into sadhana, or ritual meditation. We are natural beings who should be living as part of the natural world, and the practice of Prana Vinyasa © honours and nurtures this truth.
During our 5-week Prana Vinyasa elemental immersion, we will be diving into an experience of the elements within our own being: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.
Each week, starting with the Earth, we will learn a different mudra vinyasa (symbolic moving gesture) to connect to the bhava (feeling state) of that week’s element, we will then flow through the corresponding elemental namaskar and complete the practice with mantra, self-reflection and/or meditation.
- Shiva Rea, www.shivarea.com
- Shiva Rea, Tending the Heart Fire. Sounds True, Inc. 2014.
Ready to join us on the mat?
Try us now to access free yoga classes. Anytime, anywhere.