Kashmirian Yoga

Kashmirian yoga is practiced through the exploration of postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayamas) where each session is always new. This bodily approach tends towards the discovery of the emptiness of the body.

Kashmirian Yoga places listening and non-intention at the heart of its practice. By a subtle and imaginative exploration, practitioners are guided through an ever new discovery of yoga postures, asanas, breath, pranayamas and body sensing. Tactility stimulated at the expense of performance, reveals patterns of reactivity and body tension that are spontaneously questioned. We discover a new space, without pretension or compensation. The practice tends towards the discovery of the bodily vacuity. When the habitual image of the self fades away, it gives way to the "empty body" free of memory.

Whether more physical or explored in micro-movement, the posture is always secondary to the listening of what is happening in me, what emerges, without drawing conclusions. The extreme sensitivity of the contact with the ground as well as the work of the body and the breath in the space, or the extension of the limbs beyond the physicality which slides in the directions, allows the discovery of the muscular tensions hidden, the psychological antagonists and physical resistances through a simple listening of what is there, without comments or judgments. Meditation, tackled without technique, as lack of will and action, is also an important part of the practice.

This practice requires no level and no modern yoga accessories. Increased sensitivity is available to everyone and is at the heart of this approach. From the body to the psyche, this perspective integrates itself into everyday life. Without expectation or purpose, only the intensity of the moment as it is presented exists.

This yoga is part of the non-dual Tantric tradition of Kashmir. It can be revealed as the concrete transposition of Indian iconographies and teachings present in the tantras. It stems from the elements of internal practice transmitted from master to student.

 

"We imagine that we must transform ourselves by one means or another, to go from a state of an imperfect human being to a perfect one, hence become a "Sage". If only we could see the absurdity of this idea.

The one who thinks in this way exists but in false-pretence, as an apparition, a character in a dream. How could a ghost awaken from a dream seeking to perfect himself?"

Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

"It is only when one is open to fundamental emotions that thought can carry emotion, light and beauty.

A sensible man is someone who lives in harmony with his emotions: he knows his fears, his anxieties, his jealousies, his guilts, and he is in complete agreement with them. When someone opens to his emotions, they leave their pathological extensions, they become poetic.

Instead of being afraid of his fear, we will write about fear, we will paint on fear, we will make music on fear. As we say in the East, understanding is being understanding; nothing is understood, nobody understands. Being understanding is not related to thought, it is a fundamental emotion.

All that is very deep in life is born of an emotion.

Eric Baret 

 

In Kashmirian yoga, slow movements seem to be a specificity of this approach. Yet it is possible to practice at any pace, as long as the basis of the work is understood and integrated. Going fast, for most people, is a way to avoid the feeling of pain and discomfort. The goal is never the asanas. It's about becoming aware of the mechanisms of my body and my mind. The only way to listen, to observe, is to return to a very slow exploration of the movement. If you have really reached a moment of non-reference, time no longer exists, and the sensation of slowness or heaviness is replaced by an experience of emptiness. The inner journey is no longer dead, and although the body is immobile, it is going to find again its flexible and free dynamic. The superfluous movement appears to me as useless, a state of compensation. The richness of life unfolds in my meditation.



 

Kashmirian TRADITION

What we call Kashmirian Yoga is based on the Non-Dualistic Tantric Shaiva Tradition as it appears in Tantras, mostly written between the 7th and the 12th centuries AD. It is acknowledged that sages of this tradition were also having a physical practice in order to experience the conceptualization of tradition in their own bodies. Abhinavagupta - the 12th century master of Kashmirian tradition -  describes the difference between the mind and body knowledge : if intellectual knowledge was important (study of the scriptures and understanding of the tradition) the body knowledge was required and central through the path as the incorporation of philosophical concepts. Although it is not known how practitioner were approaching yoga through time, today's practice is a transposition of this tradition, as it can be experienced in the body and actualized in today's world and culture. For Jean Klein, the tradition was like a living progression that leads to Truth of the being. The concepts are transposed in order to be understood, efficient and actualized by westerners and/or modern practitioners.