Its been a while since we've done a post so I thought I'd share one where by hopefully it answers some of the questions I get asked in my classes and by people new to yoga but don't know where to start.
Yoga can be intimidating and with unfamiliar names like “Ashtanga,” “Bikram,” "Kundalini" and “Vinyasa,”. Vinyasa literally means “to place in a specific/special way,” but that may not make much sense. What it really translates to is "link movement to breath" and if you can remember that, you’ll know everything you need to about this fantastic energetic style of yoga.
Whether you are a complete beginner or a regular practitioner, here are just a few reasons why Vinyasa Yoga is so great and fun.
1. Easier to stay focused.
You’ve probably heard this description “Vinyasa Flow” when referring to this type of yoga. Vinyasa Flow refers to the way you keep moving from asana to asana, linking each pose to an inhale and an exhale. Basically one movement, one breath. Your breath is your flow and as you follow that it helps you stay focus and in the moment as you mover through the sequences.
If you find your mind wandering off in the down-time between poses or sequences (like mine does), Vinyasa yoga is for you!!!! As you flow you are always reminded to come back to the breath making little time and space for your mind to wander.
2. Lots and lots of variety.
Vinyasa has a lot in common with Ashtanga yoga where it has its roots, which also links continuous movement through the breath. But while Ashtanga uses a prescribed sequence of poses that’s taught the same way in every single class, Vinyasa is a LOT more flexible and links the movement into sequences.
The instructor comes up with the sequences and they often change week to week which means you can never really fall into that slump like you can when repeating the same sequence. It also means your are constantly challenged and can really grow in your practice.
3. You can find your perfect yoga class and instructor.
Since there are no set-in-stone rules about how to conduct a Vinyasa class, teachers can incorporate whatever they choose into the class—including different styles of yoga, an energetic playlist, or a relaxing nature soundtrack.
Best of all, if one class doesn’t click with you or instructor, the next one might be just your cup of tea. With Vinyasa yoga, you can shop around to find the perfect class and instructor for you.
4. It pushes you to your limits.
Though “Vinyasa Flow” might sound easy and relaxing, this style can seriously push your physical limits.
It incorporates elements from all schools of yoga, so even if you’ve mastered those Iyengar standing poses, you’ll find yourself in all new territory when the instructors throws in a Anusara inversion. You’ll push the limits of your strength, flexibility, and balance with Vinyasa yoga.
5. It gives you great workout.
Cardio is an important part of any fitness routine. The continuous sequence of Vinyasa yoga is great for getting your heart going and building heat in the body, even when the pace is relatively slow. The only ‘break’ you’ll get is in resting poses like Downward Dog (if you can call that a resting pose), which will lead right into another, more challenging pose.
Great for working up a sweat and building strength quickly.
6. It’s perfect for beginners.
Since Vinyasa is so diverse, it’s easy to find classes tailored specifically to beginners that will still provide a healthy challenge.
This style is also a great way to learn the basics of pranayama, or yogic breathing, since the instructor will tell you when to inhale and exhale during each pose.
This style is a great way to learn the skills you need to build a strong foundation for a more advanced yoga practice and give to the tools anatomically to make sure you are safe and can continuing to grow your yoga practice.
7. Vinyasa is fun!
With the flowing movements and great music usually playing in class, this style feels like a dance!
Just about everyone looks super graceful practicing Vinyasa yoga, and there’s no better feeling than flowing and moving to fn music. Come find me on the mat. It will be fun, you can have a giggle and hopefully leave feeling better then when you started.