tripsichore yoga

A sample clip from Tripsichore Yoga: Uniquely Advanced Vinyasa with Edward Clark.

From Sacred Cow Interview, Q&A: Edward Clark on Vinyasa, Theater, and Eka Grata

Sacred Cow: When did you and your company, Tripsichore Yoga Theatre, start to practice vinyasa yoga?

Edward Clark: It was around 1986. Tripsichore had been doing yoga as a part of our warm-up for a while, and it generated some interesting theatrical material. We started studying with these Sivananda renegades – Narayani and Giris Rabinovitch, who were doing interesting things with sun salutes and long extended breaths. We were starting to do forearm balances—which was an unusual practice for performers in those days—and we were frequently toppling over. Giris noted that every time one of us would fall down, we stopped doing yoga, and he questioned why that was. The idea was: If you fall over, why not just turn it into a wheel or something else, and keep the yoga going. He was right. So, we worked with this concept and choreographically it made for interesting things. Sometimes a mistake would happen and it would be more interesting than what we had been, in fact, aiming for. The choreography became a type of vinyasa practice — the idea was to sustain the concentration in a flow.

SC: What else makes vinyasa yoga an important Hatha yoga practice?

EC: In vinyasa yoga, you learn that everything is interesting. The transitions from place to place are just as important as whatever place you end up. So, what one might think is the boring part of vinyasa–say the movement of the hands through space to arrive at prayer position–is just as interesting as prayer position itself. Lifting our arms into the air is just as interesting as lifting our legs up into handstand. Everything is interesting.

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