VINYASA FLOW YOGA
Vinyasa Flow yoga is one of the west’s most popular yoga styles. Almost all studios offer a Vinyasa class, with more teachers training in and developing hybrids of Vinyasa. Vinyasa means ‘breath synchronised movement’, so movements are in sync with inhalations/ exhalations to a series of poses that flow together. A Vinyasa Flow is a sequence of three poses, Plank, Chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff pose) and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog), which are most often completed with Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). This mini-sequence is repeated multiple times during a class.
What separates Vinyasa from other yoga types is its speed! After a few warm up poses the tempo really picks up. You can expect to repeat poses dozens of times during a 90-minute class. Each pose is held for a few moments, making Vinyasa a great cardio workout. You can even add to the intensity by taking a heated class. The challenge of pace and pose, with rapid results for weight-loss and toning continue to make Vinyasa a firm favourite.
SO, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VINYASA?
The intensity of Vinyasa will generate heat that helps expel toxins from the muscles and organs. The increase in body temperature raises your heart rate and blood flow, carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. With the increased body temperature you will gradually find an improvement in flexibility, as tendons and ligaments stretch further. Despite the rapid pace of Vinyasa, the synchronised breathing can make the practice mentally peaceful – as your busy brain is put to rest, focusing on breath and movement – not the daily grind.
IS VINYASA SUITABLE FOR YOU?
If you enjoy a rigorous workout and can hack the pace then Vinyasa is definitely for you! Even a beginner’s class requires a high level of general fitness, so don’t take it lightly. If you’re new to yoga, we’d recommend starting with a beginner’s Hatha class to familiarise yourself with the common poses before trying Vinyasa. If you’re confident and comfortable with your practice start off with a beginner’s Vinyasa class. You will also come across other Vinyasa styles often known as Dynamic or Power yoga- these all share similar principles of Vinyasa.