Vinyasa Yoga: What is it All About?

Vinyasa is a yoga term that covers a very broad range and style of yoga classes. The definition of the word itself is “breath-synchronized movement.” In each class, the yoga teacher will have you switch between poses during an inhalation or an exhalation. The artistic way Viniyasa yoga is performed creates balance and counter balance in the body.  When too much focus is placed on pose, form and balance, breathing patterns are often left ignored. Vinyasa help you to tune into your natural breathing sequence to create a harmonious flow.

vinyasa yoga: what is it all about?

Injury and Vinyasa Yoga

There has been debate recently regarding the issue of injury while practicing yoga. Most yoga professionals will tell you that with any exercise, including yoga, there is always a risk of injury. If Vinyasa yoga is performed correctly and the class is administered by a knowledgeable teacher then the risk of injury is minimal. When the proper breathing technique is followed, you will also not be injured. There is some pain involved in learning yoga; however, pain and injury are not one in the same.

Pain and How It Relates to Vinyasa Yoga?

There is a great benefit to properly performing Ujjayi breathing as well as combining it with Bandha and Dristi to gain the most out of your Vinyasa sessions. Your body feels pain for a reason; it tells you when you have reached your limit. The limit could be related to how long you are holding a pose, the way you are breathing or even a message about how you are NOT doing something right. While listening the pain messages your body sends you during your yoga classes, you can take that information and improve your form and your energy flow.

A Typical Vinyasa Yoga Class

The order of poses in vinyasa is always pre-defined. See for example the following vinyasa yoga video. The class will have four parts. The class will start with an opening sequence of poses; ten sun salutations followed by an assortment of postures done in standing position. Next, a choice of one of the six primary series: also called Yoga Chikitsa, the intermediate series also Nadi Shodhana or Advanced A, B, C, or D  the Sthira Bhaga series level. If you are new to yoga, then your teacher will have you start with the primary series. The class will then move on to a set of back bends and end with inverted poses, this is called the finishing sequence. At the end of the class, there will be a resting pose also referred to as a savasana,  The point of the class is not to learn the highest difficulty of poses, but to learn how to keep your breathing steady and maintain your focus.

The Value of Vinyasa Yoga

There are some who will say that yoga is one part practice 99% explanation.  Performing asanas allow us to push our bodies beyond their natural limitations while giving them a new shape. The methodology of yoga is to open the mind and allow you to be changed and refined. When your mind is able to accept these changes, your posture will naturally follow. Proper posture is something that doesn’t come naturally and must me practiced. Vinyasa yoga is a great tool in teaching the proper way to hold your body during class and in your regular movements. The practice of vinyasa yoga is a great step in learning the economy of motion.  Improving your agility and balance help to improve your metabolism as well as conserve wasted energy. By saving energy, you can maintain your vitality through out the day.