What is Vinyasa Yoga?

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Vinyasa flow is a modern style of yoga that originated in the West and is adapted to the dynamics and lifestyle of modern practitioners. This is a dynamic form of yoga made up of a series of poses that are performed continuously one after the other, like a dance. Classical yoga asanas are guided by the breath, flowing into each other, connecting the body, breath, and mind. For the same reason, Vinyasa Yoga is also called ‘Flow Yoga.’

A unique feature of Vinyasa Yoga is that there is no defined or fixed order of poses, so it is diverse, offers something new every time, and you can personalize it however you want.

What are the three components of Vinyasa Yoga?

The three components of Vinyasa Yoga are Pranayama (control of the breathing), Asana (physical posture of the body), and Drishti (focused intention). These are the basic concepts in Vinyasa Yoga, and they are performed together during the whole practice.

The combination of these three components focuses on cleansing the body on three levels – the body, the mind, and the nervous system, which is very important for yoga practice.

Power Vinyasa Yoga Poses

Related Article: What is Power Yoga?

When you connect theclassical yoga asanas with the breath, you will get Vinyasa. Basically, you need to synchronize breathing and movement, so here are some examples of yoga poses and sequences you can include in your practice.

Cat/cow pose – Marjaryasana-Bitilasana Pose

Related Article: Cat/Cow Pose

Start “on all fours”. Make sure your legs and arms are vertical. The head is parallel to the floor and the gaze is fixed on the floor.

With the inhale, let your stomach fall down, lift your head up and buttocks and chest up to the ceiling.

Then, with the exhale, raise your back (like a cat when it is pulled) and lower your head.

Make transitions from one position to another – calmly, lightly, and consciously. Keep the breath synchronized with the movements and repeat 10 to 20 times (or as much as you like: this position cannot be “exaggerated”).

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) and Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation) 

are the most famous Vinyasa sequences, so let’s take a look at the poses that make them up and the proper breathing that connects them all.

sun salution

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

Pranamasana (The Prayer Pose) – exhale;

Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose) – inhale;

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) – exhale;

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Lunge Pose) – inhale;

Chaturanga Dandasana (The Plank Pose) – hold your breath;

Ashtanga Namaskara (Eight Limbed Pose) – exhale;

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – inhale;

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) – exhale;

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Lunge Pose) – inhale;

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) – exhale;

Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose) – inhale;

Pranamasana (The Prayer Pose) – exhale.

You can start the day with a couple of cycles of Surya Namaskar, which will wake up your body, focus your mind and keep you energized during the day.

Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose) – inhale;

Parsva Urdhva Hastasana – (Standing Crescent Pose) – exhale;

Deviasana (Goddess Pose) – inhale;

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) – exhale;

Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) – inhale;

Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge) – exhale;

Skandasana (Side lunge) – inhale;

Then you continue with the same poses on the other side, in reverse order.

Skandasana (Side lunge) – inhale;

Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge) – exhale;

Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) – inhale;

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) – exhale;

Deviasana (Goddess Pose) – inhale;

Parsva Urdhva Hastasana – (Standing Crescent Pose) – exhale;

Tadasana (Mountain Pose) – inhale.

You can end the day with a couple of cycles of Chandra Namaskar, which will calm you and prepare you for a good sleep.

Is Vinyasa Yoga OK for beginners?

Vinyasa flow yoga can be practiced by both beginners and advanced practitioners. It is desirable to have at least a little previous knowledge of yoga, such as Hatha Yoga, but it is not a problem if you do not have it. Vinyasa Yoga is excellent for beginners because it develops four qualities: flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance, both physically and mentally.

By stretching the muscles, we release the tension that has accumulated in them, and we develop mental flexibility and the ability to adapt to different situations in everyday life.

The focus on prolonged and deep breathing during Vinyasa Yoga leads us to more holistic practice, to awareness of our own body and ourselves. We play with the inner fire, which we use to our advantage with soft movements and relaxed breathing to transform both the body and the mind. 

Also, Vinyasa Yoga is excellent for those who like more dynamic exercise, who like to sweat a little, and may have a prejudice that yoga is easy and boring because Vinyasa Yoga is so diverse, that is anything but boring.

Is Vinyasa Yoga good for weight Loss?

yoga for weight loss

Exercises and poses in Vinyasa Yoga are designed to strengthen the body and develop the willpower of the practitioner.

Due to the dynamism of Vinyasa Yoga exercises, it is known that the practitioner can effectively burn calories, improve muscle mass, reduce fat and increase basic metabolism. So yes, Vinyasa Yoga can be a very powerful exercise for losing weight and building muscles and flexibility.

With regular practice of Vinyasa Yoga, you will notice the first results within a few weeks.

Who is Vinyasa Yoga for?

Like any other style of yoga, Vinyasa can be modified for different needs of different people. Modern Vinyasa classes are more athletic and active than other styles.

Vinyasa is ideal for anyone who wants to work on strength, flexibility, and a healthy body. Vinyasa is ideal for people who are used to physical activity, especially if they think that yoga will be boring! Also, since it is a dynamic style of yoga in which the awakening of body fire is emphasized, this practice is suitable for those who prefer more active exercise.

Benefits to expect

In Vinyasa Yoga, the emphasis is on the connection between movement and breathing, and through this unbreakable connection, Vinyasa Yoga develops our attention and concentration, returns us to the present moment, and through proper breathing encourages us to live life to the fullest.

Vinyasa Yoga is non-aggressive, and it teaches us that by respecting andaccepting our limits, we expand and overcome those limits with ease and almost without effort. In this way, yoga introduces us to ourselves and helps us realize our full potential. There is no competition in yoga, neither with yourself nor with others.

Of course, there is no shortage of challenges, as we are constantly exploring our capabilities in a safe context, expanding the boundaries of our abilities, and playing with balance.

Vinyasa Yoga intends to achieve lightness, flexibility, strength, and endurance. And finally, through balance exercises, we return the mind and body to their natural balance, and we bring balance into our lives.

Final Thoughts

Vinyasa Yoga is a creative, fluid, soft, and energetic style of exercise. The emphasis is on the connection between movement and breathing.

You can expect to sweat a lot, but you can see tangible results very quickly, and you can follow exactly how you get better in a sequence that you could not do at the beginning. With regular practice, the poses and sequences will start becoming easier, so you will start thinking of various variations and additional challenges and at the same time, you will feel more and more relaxed every time you practice. You will slowly learn to get rid of stress by training your body and mind.

If you want to unleash the creative potentials of your body, your energy, and stay in the tradition of yoga, this style is ideal for you.

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