The true origins of Vinyasa remain a mystery, says Douglas Battista.
Douglas Battista is a man who should, by an outsider’s view, be stressed out. As Vice President for Human Resources for Jenny Craig, this HR executive has more than enough professional responsibilities to keep him busy but he still takes time away to find his center. This center, says Douglas Battista, is found with yoga–specifically, Vinyasa Flow.
According to Battista, Vinyasa Flow yoga has a long and interesting history if one can separate fact from legend. Vinyasa Flow is widely believed to have gotten started in the early part of the 20th century and was supposedly noted in a text known as the Yoga Korunta. The story gets interesting when one discovers that the Yoga Korunta never existed, says Douglas Battista.
Regardless of how or when Vinyasa made its way onto the American fitness scene, Douglas Battista says that this practice is valuable for easing away daily stress. Douglas Battista notes that breathing is a key component in Vinyasa and that regulated breathing and a naturally elevated core body temperature combine to create a sense of inner calm that spans the entire body.
Douglas Battista explains that there are eight aspects in spiritualist yoga that complement Vinyasa. Samadhi is finding union with one’s object of meditations. Dhyana, Douglas Battista says, is a state of deep meditation. To get to this trancelike state one must put focus on their Dharana, or concentration. Separating the mind from the physical senses is called Pratyahara. Breath control, or Pranahara, and Asana, or posture, are also key to an effective yoga session. Finally, Douglass Battista notes that Yama, which is one’s own moral code, and Niyama – self-study – round out Sage Patanjali’s limbs in his Yoga Sutras. The four external cleansing practices are correctable and must be mastered in order to elevate to the internal, for defects here cannot be remedied, according to Douglas Battista.
Regardless of which form of yoga one follows, most Western practitioners utilize the teachings of Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, a master of Ashtanga Yoga and this generation’s most iconic figure in yoga. Jois passed away at the age of 93 in 2009 after spending nearly 20 years teaching his methods in the United States.
Douglas Battista is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys intense personal training via the CrossFit program and through yoga. He says that staying healthy on both the inside and out is paramount to living a full and satisfying life.