What is Vinyasa Flow Yoga?
Vinyasa is a style of yoga poses are improved soft sequence of movement. I was learned generally Iyengar and Hatha yoga, as soon as I found Vinyasa, it stayed an entire new world to me. As much as I love the diligent nature of an Iyengar class, there was somewhat very nurturing about moving with my breath and letting my body flow in new directions. The classes are often fast-paced and flowing, with a focus on connecting the movements with the rhythm of the breath. Vinyasa means to move with the breath, which is essentially the core of a Vinyasa class. Often called flow yoga, Vinyasa Flow is a style of yoga with focus on transitions and movements, with less time spent in stationary poses. Ever since I started teaching, Vinyasa Flow has been at the core of my own classes, and I love seeing people connect with their breath and find that inward focus.
Although Vinyasa is often considered a fast and physically challenging practice, it can also be soft and gentle. Moving with the breath can also mean slowing down your transitions with deep inhales and slow exhalations.
As contrasting to further styles of yoga like Iyengar or Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow classes do not have a set order or a convinced amount or type of poses to get through. No two classes are ever the same, and often the sequences are creative and playful.
Benefits of Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Range of motion: The variety of movements in a Vinyasa class means you will often be working through the whole body throughout a class, and expand your range of motion by moving in ways you normally would not. This will help you avoid injuries in the future that could happen if you are always moving in the same way.
Cardiovascular health: A Vinyasa class is great cardiovascular exercise, because it is often fast-paced. Moving with your breath increases your heart rate and generates heat.
Building strength: A consistent Vinyasa practice can help you build muscle throughout the whole body. In Vinyasa, you often work all parts of your body, which means you will build a balanced and functional strength.
Stress relief: A Vinyasa class can be a moving meditation. The constant motion and rhythmical movement will help quiet the mind and allow you to focus inward. In this way, Vinyasa helps you connect the body and mind, calms the nervous system and can help relieve stress and anxiety.
Connecting with the breath: Our breath holds a lot of power over our wellbeing. If we are shocked or tense, we hold our breath and automatically signal to the brain that we are uncomfortable, which in turn results in the brain producing adrenaline and cortisol (the “stress hormone”) to help us push through. Practising to connect with the breath and breathing through pain and discomfort can be a very powerful tool in overcoming both physical and mental problems.
Why we Love Vinyasa Flow
I love Vinyasa because it allows me to move intuitively and explore movements and transitions in a way that more stringent styles won’t. I asked a few other teachers what they love about Vinyasa, and this is what they said:
4 Best Props for Vinyasa Flow Yoga
D-Ring Yoga Belt
Perfect to place at the front of your mat for binds, shoulder openers and standing balances such as Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose). You will also appreciate having a strap for hamstring stretches and forward folds towards the end of the class.
Another key prop to place at the front of your mat, a yoga brick can support a huge range of yoga poses. Our favourite is to use in Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) to raise the floor and give the body more space to breathe fully. A brick is also perfect when working towards arm balances and advanced poses.
Grippy Yoga Mat Towel
An essential for a dynamic yoga class to avoid hands and feet slipping. We love how this towel gets gripper the more you sweat to help you feel secure and confident in weight-bearing poses. Perfect to bring to a studio class and fold up in a bag to act as a hygienic layer over a studio mat.
A must-have for a restful savasana to allow the body and mind to settle fully after an energetic practice.
Join Shiva Tattva Yoga School’s 200 Hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in India for your next level Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in India.