I told everyone how I would attempt to explain how vinyasa krama operates on ujjayi breath. Yet, literal explanations fail at a certain point. If you are at all familiar with my blog, you’re probably starting to become comfortable with the idea of yoga as a collage of different paradoxes. Well, I hope Patanjali would be proud of me, because nothing much has actually changed except for the fact that the previous post seems to shy away from controversy. And, that’s exactly the reason why I’ve decided to write a prequel post, calling it part 1, instead of part 2. My rationale for the name change is paradoxically simple. I essentially believe that yoga actually is a philosophical system first and foremost, and exercise system secondly.
Perhaps the simple definition of yoga, you know, “yoga essentially meaning union,” is actually a self-serving statement after all. Why? Well, for starters how could our humble yoga community possibly keep the peace when so many people believe yoga is exactly what they want it to be? I’m not above criticism either. Let’s face it, I want the artistic liberty to talk about yoga just as much as Gaiam wants the liberty to market a spa tool which separates ones metatarsals, affectionately calling it “YogaToes” (I swear I did not see it in Sky Mall). So as you may have guessed, I’m going to use my artistic license to propose a seemingly ridiculous idea too, a philosophical argument, of sorts. I’m going to attempt to argue that ujjayi breath is just as much a tool of vinyasa krama as my own computer is a tool for me to assert my oftentimes ridiculous opinions about yoga, and see how that goes.
Appealing to my inner logician, I skeptically feel that the only way I can argue anything within the blogosphere without becoming a victim of my own circular logic is to directly address the white elephant in the room. That is, the implicate context of which my network operating system creates, of course. Literally, the theoretic underpinnings of a functional operating system must be generalizable onto the basic commands of the simplest possible programming machine, one which computational philosopher’s affectionate call the Turing Machine. It’s essentially a word processor built on a magnetic tape hardware platform in which the user designs a program based on four elementary commands. These commands include forward, backspace, erase, and write (user defined e.g. 0/1’s, Latin characters, etc.). For example, my blog is “Turing complete” based on my explorations with respect to changing my blog title. I just commanded my blog’s cursor to erase “pt.1” by, 1. Applying the erase mode, 2. backspacing 3. applying the forward mode, and 4. writing “pt.2.” Let’s see if ujjayi breath is analogous.
As stated in my previous post, the properties which ujjayi affords me, are: “CO2 expiration, metabolic dynamism, pacifism of compulsive thoughts, and heat generation.” Let the set of these grounding properties be defined by the Sanskrit word, tapas. Ujjayi breath allows me to voluntarily execute the tapas function according to my own dynamically customizable specifications. Let’s say that I’m stiff in the morning. I can leverage more mental force towards generating heat, allowing my muscles to loosen up faster. Or, perhaps I’m feeling distractible. Similarly, I can leverage a greater proportion of effort towards pacifying compulsive thoughts. If ujjayi breath is the functional component of a Turning machine, then vinyasa krama would akin to the magnetic tape it operates upon. The take home message is that if one breaths mindfully, the subtle effects of one’s practice can be dynamically customizable.