Vinyasa is a Killer Workout. Literally.

Vinyasa is life: a cycle of sequential and meaningful events. It has become my life within life. I love it, dearly. As a practitioner and teacher, I cannot think of any better thing for my constant state of insanity. I have tried most types of yoga out there from Iyengar to Restorative, and while my body definitely needs those classes, nothing seems to calm my mind like a vinyasa class. Strange but true. Give me a challenging, balanced flow with poses not held too long to keep my thoughts clear, a rockin playlist, and a caring teacher, and I am in yoga bliss.


photo credit: lululemon athletica


But this very style of yoga is the same one that is killing me. Or should l say I am killing it, my body that is.

This was the first class I walked into. This is the style I teach. This is my comfort zone.

Ahhh. Ow.

Crap, my back is acting up, AGAIN. I am in the process of rehabbing my practice. My body tried to make me go to rehab over the last several years, but I said no no no.


The Aloof

photo credit: Bhumika.B


ON MODIFICATIONS. The very word sounds abnormal. It’s alright I’m finding out, in fact its necessary to heal. Stepping back to move forward. Life does that sometimes. Slaps you in the face and shakes you to say, “Hey, listen, you are hurting me/you/your sanity, stop!”

Having been challenged since childhood to right now has made me into one tough cookie. Unfortunately, tough cookies don’t know when to stop. I think pain is normal. It’s abnormal to not be at a certain level of discomfort. I’ve been addicted to the burn. Well I’m about burnt to a crisp. But if I really want to develop as a yogi, I have to find flexibility in that trouble maker upstairs; the brain. Changing my thoughts has proven to be a slow process for this stubbornassana.



photo credit: Brett Jordan


So I compromise, staying in feeling only as long as that feeling doesn’t hurt. Bend me, don’t break me. I’m developing a vinyasa within my Vinyasa. Vinyasa 2.0. Updated, recharging and working the bugs out. In return, I am more efficient as I work feeling by feeling instead of pose by pose. I am in the process of healing the body. I am even exploring a restorative home practice. In retrospect, I know it took a whole lotta flowing to quiet the mind to get even here. Baby steps. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Maybe I am becoming a yogi after all.

Tell me, have you experienced something like this?

Posted by:

- who has written 24 posts on Yoga Modern.

DJ Sukha (AKA: Amber Kavehkar) is the resident Yoga Modern DJ and a regular contributor on the blog and often contributes her downloadable mashups on our Facebook page Amber fell in love with the mashup of mind, body, and vinyasa flow at her very first yoga class. Already deeply immersed in the music world, she decided to pick up spinning in order to offer something new in the music and yoga scenes. Amber's favorite quote is, "When words fail, music speaks." In Sanskrit, SUKHA is often translated as “happiness," "ease" or "pleasure." In Buddhist literature, the Pali term is used to describe laic pursuits, meditative absorptions and intra-psychic phenomena. DJ Sukha creates eclectic mixes of indie, progressive, electronica, trance, world & dubstep music in order to mesh sound and movement. She collaborates with yoga teachers, event organizers, and studio owners to offer live spinning at yoga classes and events. DJ Sukha is available for regular classes, events, and fundraisers or private parties. Click here for more information on gigs, booking, and merchandise.

5 Responses

  • DJ Sukha says:

    hey VQ :) yes the burn of challenging myself and my muscles to stretch and feel, the acceptance of uncomfort to open. As a former athlete I was all about pushing my body to the limit. Getting out of my fight for everything mentality has definitely been an inner struggle. I am definitely working finding a gentler flow fundamentally feeling there first. I have a wonderful teacher who teaches mindfulness and playing on your edge. I think there can be both just like elongating and rooting in the asanas.

    • Vision_Quest2 says:

      I appreciate your response to my comment. A solution … but one that could be discomfiting to some, is to just try different styles. I don't mean restorative yoga or gentle yoga. It has been oversold, in particular and shamelessly—to the over-50 set like me. But there are active and challenging styles that will eventually change your mindset! I am not young, so it's easy for me to say … who knew that I would take to "old-school hatha" and Kundalini?

      When I'd been somewhat above your age, I'd found that my stable (NOT-bendy) hips and sense of rhythm, had made me preternaturally talented (and loving so much I almost couldn't get enough of) step aerobics (I'd even had the fantasy back then, at age 40, that I would teach step aerobics to seniors some day … !) Now, I've got two diseased feet, plantar fasciitis on both (one of them unstable and painful); and a heel spur (stabilized) on the other. Yet I still dance. You would never see me in a NIA class—try 5 Rhythms …

  • Vision_Quest2 says:

    With me, my lack of natural athleticism and relatively laid-back temperament drove me to develop my own vinyasa yoga fusion practice (at home); it's actually soft vinyasa-pilates fusion. I sustained only two mild physical injuries from my yoga practice. As far as "burn", what's that?

    Only in my pilates segments will I tolerate "the burn". In a class, I know to move away from drill sergeant teachers, which would include being ambushed into adjustments and forced to hold postures when the instructor had a deaf ear to protestations from me, audible from 15 feet away.

    Some students (not saying it's you) get off on such treatment. So the "tradition" in vinyasa continues.

    You either develop a middle path practice or you seek the edge in your practice. So, I had philosophical differences with edge-seeking instructors who did not practice mindfulness above all.

    Ahimsa has many dimensions. One of its dimensions is not to willingly sustain harm to oneself …

  • DJ Sukha says:

    Ha, believe it or not restorative is very difficult for my brain. I am excitedly exploring Iyengar and others. I look to do practice a long time. Its inspiring to hear from someone of your experience wise words of advice. Trust me, its on my list to try them all :)

  • bodykarmabella says:

    THIS IS FANTASTIC!!!!! It resonated heavily with me, thank you for the imperative reminder. Practicing for a lifetime is of far greater importance to me than practicing intensely for a few years. Namaste!