Primal Vinyasa is a practice that invites us to remember our truest nature. It reminds us that we are made to move, that are bodies are meant to move in so many ways that we, as a culture, have forgotten.
So often, when people experience injury or the effects of aging, they resign themselves to no longer being able to do what they once did. I hear all the time “well, that’s just getting old.” Which is seriously depressing when you have so much more life to live! Primal Vinyasa teaches us that aging or recovering from injury does not have to mean that we live the rest of our lives in discomfort or pain. It teaches us that we can heal ourselves from the inside, by bringing the same yogic awareness to all of our daily movements. Yes, Primal Vinyasa is an active practice and will require effort from the participant, but all of the moves are therapeutic in nature, our bodies know these movements on the deepest level.
Primal Vinyasa is a practice for everyone. The way that Annie has created “progressions” and “regressions” of all of the movements means that there is a place for every person and every body that comes to class. This also empowers the student to make intentional choices about how they are practicing, and if it is in alignment with what they truly need that day. It also removes the idea that there is a one-size-fits-all “right” or “wrong” way to do things. Different bodies need different things on different days. “Regressions” does not mean that the movements are easier, per se, but that they are more accessible. They still require effort and focus from the student and will teach the student something new about their body. These movements are therapeutic, but it is also functional movement. From students working to rehab injuries, to “advanced” students looking for a strong movement practice, everyone can walk into this practice and know there is something for them to work with.
Primal Vinyasa is an evolutionary practice. Not just in the sense that this is an evolution of yoga itself, but that a student’s personal Primal Vinyasa practice evolves every time they step on the mat. The intention behind Primal Vinyasa is to encourage students to move in new ways, to break free from repetitive, habitual movements and to explore all of the incredible ways in which we can move. It is truly never the same practice twice. Any repetitive movement practice can become injurious, so we need to get our bodies’ moving in new and diverse ways to counteract the sagittal habitual culture we live in.
The emphasis on spirit in Primal Vinyasa is what is most drawing to me. I think that one thing that can make people uncomfortable in the yoga world is spirituality. But in Primal Vinyasa, we are not chanting to deities, we are not preaching another religion’s dogmas. The spirit in Primal Vinyasa is our connecting to this Earth and all of the life that makes it’s home here. There is nothing dogmatic about the elements, they are all around us and within us and we all have our unique relationships to them. Our modern world is losing touch with Mother Earth and with the natural world, and I don’t think it is a coincidence that we are experiencing a historical epidemic of anxiety, depression, and illness now. We are losing touch with our roots, with what makes us a part of this collective web of life. Primal Vinyasa invites you to have a real relationship with nature, with the Earth, because in truth we are not separate from it. We practice in a circle because we are all one, no one is higher or better than another. We walk this path side by side with all living things.