“Vinyasa” as a Sanskrit word has many meaning. Some scholars interpret is as “arranging things in special way”, and in yogic practice it is interpreted as “one breath tied to one movement”. Hence Vinyasa yoga means coordination of movement with breath such that shifting from one pose to another pose is undertaken in a fluid motion. The breathing style is quite central to this yogic form and emphasis is made on the transition of asanas. Vinyasa yoga is a combination of a number of different yoga poses constituting of Ashtanga yoga (meaning eight limbs yoga), Power yoga (or gym yoga), Baptiste yoga (started by Walt Baptiste and his son Baron), Prana flow (meaning life flow) and Jivamukti yoga (meaning individual living soul). Vinyasa yoga is the set of these yogic poses in a particular sequence which focus on breathing (inhaling and exhaling). The movement and shifting from one pose to another is very smooth just like the movements of a graceful dancer and is rhythmic in nature.
Advantages of Vinyasa Yoga
The benefits from Vinyasa yoga are both physical and mental. It is practiced to energise the body while the synchronized breathing relaxes the mind. Toxins are expelled from the body through sweat coming out due to movement during the various poses. Actually Vinyasa yoga is very good option for the beginners. It can be practiced at all the various complexity levels. There are great many reasons to try to learn Vinyasa yoga whether you have just started yoga or you may be looking for trying something new. Vinyasa yoga is one of the most popular wing of yoga among the yoga students of various levels.
Awareness of the Present
“Vinyasa Flow” is also referred to this type of yoga on account of the way Vinyasa yoga keeps you moving from one asana to another linking the inhaling and exhaling with each posture. The trainers check and correct the movements to make it continuous and smooth which also helps the students to remain in the present and keep the mind from wandering off during the practice session.
Similarity with Ashtanga Yoga
Vinyasa yoga is very much similar to Ashtanga yoga as both the yogic forms link breathing with a continuous sequence. The basic difference between the two styles is that in case of Ashtanga yoga a prescribed sequence of postures are practiced in every session whereas in case of Vinyasa yoga the trainers are free to enforce any sequence they like. In fact, the teachers of Vinyasa yoga are known to mix up some new and unexpected postures into this yogic “kriya” anywhere in the sequence. Hence, the trainers have the full authority to decide the order of poses.There being no set of rules about conducting Vinyasa yoga classes, the teachers can decide whatever they like to choose into the class which may include different styles of yoga or a sound track of relaxing nature. The best part for a student is that if a particular yogic style does not suit you then you can shop around and find the perfect class suitable for you.
Extending the Physical Limits
The Vinyasa yoga or Vinyasa flow may appear to be easy and relaxing but it is really able to push you beyond your physical limitsthis style of yoga incorporates essence from all schools of yoga such that even if you might have mastered the Iyengar standing postures, you might find yourself in a new surrounding when the instructor introduces Anusara inversion. With Vinyasa yoga you can extend the limits of your balance, flexibility and strength.
The continuous sequence of this system is great for getting the heart going although the pace is comparatively slow. Normally you don’t get any break during the session, but you get some break in resting poses like Downward Dog which leads to the next more challenging poses. This is a good style of yoga for working up sweat.
Vinyasa yoga being much diverse it is easy to find classes specifically suited to beginners which shall provide healthy challenge. This style is also helpful in learning the basics of pranayama, the yogic breathing. Here the instructor tells you when to inhale or exhale during each pose.
This style of yoga helps in learning the skill required to build a strong foundation for advanced yoga practice.
Usually with great music playing, the flowing movements of this style of yoga, makes you feel like a dance class rather than yoga classes as almost every one appear super graceful while practicing the Vinyasa yoga. It is actually a great feeling to see yourself flow in the perfect graceful warrior poses in the mirror.
I would like to quote the thoughts of Shrivasta Ramaswami, author of the complete book of Vinyasa yoga and a direct disciple of the legendary yoga teacher Krishnamacharya “just like music without pitch and rhythm will not give happiness, yogasana practice without Vinyasa will not give health.”