A brief on Navakaraṇa Methodology
Definition of Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa
Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa literally means “Composition of the nine units of movement” from the Sanskrit terms “nava” (nine), “karaṇa” (movement) and “vinyāsa” (composition). From a spiritual prospective Navakaraṇa stands for the “continuous transformation” of the individual and in all of his/her aspects. “Nava” (new or continuous changing), “karaṇa” (process of transformation).
Dario Calvaruso developed Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa™ Methodology after over 20 years of study, research, practice and teaching. This method re-systematises the ancient practice and teaching of karaṇas and vinyāsa.
Every sequence includes the nine essential categories (nava-karaṇa) of exercise:
neutral (sama), posterior stretch (pṛṣṭha-dairghya), anterior stretch (agra-dairghya), side-stretch (pārśva-dairghya), twisted-stretch (parivṛtta-dairghya), inverted (viparīta), balancing on the limbs (aṅga-ādhāra), strengthening (tejaskara) and recovering (punarnavīkāra).
The first syllabus named Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa Mālā consists of 30 sequences (krama) arranged into 12 series. The sequences (krama) include compositions of movements and postures given in progression, thereby allowing practitioners to personalise the practice according to their own levels. Every sequence works integrally and holistically on the physical, praṇic and mental level. Indeed every sequence has a specific anatomical focus and character.
Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa classes are generally taught following a particular routine for the practice. This routine named Navakaraṇa Kraṃa Maṇḍala consists of 12 Morning Intensive Classes which cover the full syllabus of 12 series in two weeks programme. Thus, participants practise a different series every day for the whole two-week routine. Series are taught in a led-class format with options for every level from beginner to advanced. The varying of sequences helps to target different muscles, develops a wider range of skills, speeds up progress, optimises the results and minimises the risk of injuries. The morning practice generally closes with prāṇayāma and dhyāna.
Dedicated practitioners and teachers interested in the practice and/or teaching can learn the full syllabus under a meticulously structured Teacher Training Programme named Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa Hṛdayam.
Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa Hṛdayam (lit. The Essentials of Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa) focuses on how to practice and teach the complete collection of 12 series. The syllabus is divided in 4 distinct modules. Each module of 108 hours consists in a in-depth study, practice and teaching skills training of three series. The syllabus of 12 series is therefore covered in 4 Teacher Training Modules (432 hours). For more detail please visit our page: Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa Hṛdayam (The Essentials of Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa).
The Artistic Perspective of Navakaraṇa
Navakaraṇa is an bi-dimensional art-form. It is a systematised methodology for vinyāsa practice and also an art of self-transformation. Navakaraṇa systematises the methodology and practice of vinyāsa. Sequences are developed using particular compositions just like a choreographer would have choreographed a dance, a musician a song or a poet a poem. Movements (karaṇa) are arranged into compositions (vinyāsa) with defined frameworks and choreographic rules which are based on kinesthetics principles. The result is harmony and beauty. From a spiritual prospective Navakaraṇa aims to inculcates into the practitioner the seed of self-enquiry and self-discovery. This would lead into a continuous process of self-transformation in all the aspects of the individual.
The origins of Navakaraṇa vinyāsa
Dario Calvaruso developed Navakaraṇa Vinyāsa as a method for self-practice. The methodology is applied for teaching dedicated students in both one-on-one setting and group classes. Dario created Navaraṇa by bringing together teaching from different but inter-related fields (practical sciences):
The spiritual aspects from his spiritual master Svāmi Jñānānada Bharati (Himalayan yogi, India), the physical aspect from his Haṭhayoga master Pandit Om Prakāśa (Varanasi, India), the technique of movement and choreography from his Bharataṇāṭyam master Nāṭyācarya Vṛnda Rāmanan (Trichy, India). Navakaraṇa reached the shape of a method only after two decades of studies and researches which Dario accomplished under the guidance of Prof. Śrī Rangasvāmi Sourirājan of the Śrīrangam Veda pāṭha-śāla who guided me in the study of yoga śāstra-s, and his Prof. Śrī Rangasvāmi Tirunārāyaṇan who has been patiently guiding him in the study of Sanskrit language and ancient scriptures”.
The antiquity of Karaṇa Vinyāsa
According to the Tantra, the knowledge of Karaṇa was originally revealed from Adi-Naṭ (Śiva) to his consort Pārvatī (Śakti). The name Adinaṭ is very significant in this context as it means the “primordial dancer” but also the “primordial yogi” (ādiyogi). This strongly emphasises the correlation of haṭha-yoga and karaṇa. Śakti passed this knowledge to the saptarṣi or seven sages. Vedic Saṃhita-s actually never enumerate the list of the saptarṣi by name. Only later in the Brāhmaņa-s and Upaniṣad-s we can find the list of their name. The name mentioned in the scriptures are slightly different from each-other. The first list of saptarṣi is mentioned in the Jaiminīya Brāhmaņa which was probably written during the 6th century BCE includes: vaśiṣṭha, bharadvāja, jamadagni, gautama, atri, viśvā-mitra and agastya. These seven sages were instructed with different aspects of haṭha-yoga and they were sent in seven different directions in order to reach everyone. It was only through them that this knowledge and many other śāstra-s was brought to the present days. The knowledge of the Tantra is kept secret and it has been passed only verbally from master to pupil (paraṃparām). It is still absolutely inaccessible to anyway outside the linage.
Haṭha Yoga indeed is only a small part of the Tantras. It is important to understand that in any case even the practice of “Haṭha” in its genuine form is not meant for the masses. Haṭha Yoga in fact means “forceful method”. It is based on penance (tapa) and on very strenuous mental and physical exercises, which are assertive, vigorous and powerful. Such practice could be very dangerous and could be also misused if passed to an ordinary person.
The Great Nine Masters we invoke in the Navakaraṇa Prayer after Adi-Naṭ (Śīva) are:
Vaśiṣṭha, Bharadvāja, Jamadagni, Gautama, Atri, Viśvā-mitra, Agastya, Matsyendra-naṭ and Gorakṣa-naṭ.
A brief on the the Principle of Navakaraṇā Vinyāsa
Click on the links below to view the topic:
- ana (breath)
- mātrā = count
- ujjāyī prāṇāyāma = victorious prāṇāyāma / co-regulation of breath (ana) and vital energy (prāṇā)
- prāṇa-ādhāra-prayoga = engagement of prāṇic centres
- anga-calanam = body’s movements (pādavinyāsa or positions of the feet and toes and hastavinyāsa or position of arms, hands and fingers)
- dṛṣṭi = focused gaze
- āsana = posture
- aśithila sthiti = mental presence
- laya = unit of time, mental absorption
- samūdāya-vahanam (harmonious flow)
Auxiliary components of the Karaṇa:
mātṛkā (the combination of two karaṇa-s / one complete cycle of breath)
vinyāsa (the combination of two or more mātṛkā-s and the five fundamental types of vinyāsa)
krama (sequence or the order in which vinyāsa-s are arranged)
śūnya-karaṇa (void unit of movement)
maṇḍala (cycle of upakrama-s)
vibhāga (the classification of vinyāsa based on the number of mātrā-s)
sāraṇī (series or the classification of sequences)
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