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The short story is that Prasara was cre­ated to develop Flow – a qual­ity of move­ment in which you can tran­si­tion smoothly form one thing to another. Flow is also a men­tal state some­times referred to by ath­letes as “being in the zone. ” Actu­ally, Flow is a lot of things, and that can make it dif­fi­cult to describe — and even harder to learn. But it isn’t impos­si­ble, and we’ve been teach­ing it for years to our pri­vate clients, in live sem­i­nars and work­shops, and though this course, the Prasara Primer. The unique ele­ment of Prasara prac­tice as opposed to most other styles of yoga is sim­ply that tra­di­tional yoga is fix­ated on sit­ting in poses while Prasara shifts the empha­sis to the tran­si­tions between poses. You’ll still use the same pos­tures and posi­tions, but we’ll also work on your abil­ity to “flow” from one to the next so you can develop real agility, grace, power, and yes, Flow in every­thing you do. After you’ve used Prasara for two months, you’ll won­der at how much bet­ter you feel in your body and your over­all phys­i­cal prowess and agility.

Guaranteed. We’re not going to tell you that Prasara is bet­ter than any other kind of yoga. That would be silly. There’s no such thing as a “best” way to move your body. There are wrong ways — inju­ri­ous ways, like those awful stretches your high school gym coach used to make you do — but the beauty of yoga is that most of the poses are very dif­fi­cult to do in a way that could cause you to hurt yourself. Yoga is gen­tle (not to be con­fused with pas­sive), and Prasara espe­cially empha­sizes mov­ing smoothly from one posi­tion to another, so you don’t have any jar­ring or wrench­ing effects that could pull a muscle. But, though we won’t claim it’s the “best,” we will tell you that Prasara is the most fun style of yoga around.

While many styles of yoga insist on fol­low­ing a set sequence of how­ever many poses for how­ever many min­utes, the ulti­mate goal of prac­tic­ing Prasara is to teach you to flow with­out think­ing of what comes next. Yes, in the begin­ning, you’ll be prac­tic­ing rou­tines (this course includes six of them — more about those later), but through prac­tic­ing the rou­tines, you’ll actu­ally be giv­ing your body the vocab­u­lary of move­ment you need in order to impro­vise your own movements. That last bit is the real magic of Prasara and what makes it such a nat­ural fit for athletes. Prasara is pos­si­bly the most ath­letic style of yoga out there because of its dynamic move­ments and focus on Flow. If you’re an ath­lete in any sport, you already know what Flow is. Your focus tight­ens, and the out­side world fades away. You breathe deeper.

Time slows down. You get tun­nel vision, and the path between you and your goal opens up. You don’t have to think about what to do — you just act, spon­ta­neously, in the moment. Even if you’re not an ath­lete, you’ve prob­a­bly expe­ri­enced flow while dri­ving on the high­way, play­ing a musi­cal instru­ment, or doing some­thing else that requires a relaxed concentration. Flow feels good, and when you’re in it, you don’t want it to end. Even if you’re not the “sporty” type, you know that one of the least use­ful things an ath­lete can do is to stand per­fectly still dur­ing a match. In fact, that might just be the fastest way to lose in most sports.

No, ath­letes have to move. So it’s impor­tant that a yoga style designed to develop ath­letic move­ment not spend too much time sit­ting still. That’s why Prasara is built on “the move­ment between the move­ments. ” Feel­ing bal­anced and cen­tered is easy when you sit per­fectly still, but you can’t do that all the time. Your life demands that you get out and inter­act with chal­lenges in the world. For most peo­ple, Flow is a frag­ile state that crum­ples when it comes in con­tact with the slight­est change, but you can develop a stronger Flow by teach­ing your body how to tran­si­tion through change. To get bet­ter as adapt­ing to the unex­pected (like an opponent’s right hook — or another car sud­denly chang­ing lanes), you must prac­tice chang­ing — tran­si­tion­ing — from one move­ment (the one you planned) to a dif­fer­ent one (that adapts to the chang­ing environment).

When ath­letes get sur­prised, they get hurt. The ball trav­els in an unex­pected direc­tion. Another player attacks from an unex­pected angle. They step on a slip­pery patch. They get faked out. Things hap­pen that we can’t pre­dict or control. Prasara yoga is like injury insur­ance for ath­letes because it trains you to always be ready to adapt to changes.

If you can’t move the way you had planned, you sim­ply tran­si­tion to a dif­fer­ent posi­tion. Flow to the next move­ment and keep going. Side­step the other player. Jump to make the catch. Learn­ing to adapt can help you stay in the moment — in Flow — so you don’t get caught off-guard. And it’s the same thing off the court too.