If you're looking for a faster-paced approach to the standard hatha yoga class, you are likely an ideal candidate for vinyasa yoga. Otherwise referred to as yoga flow, vinyasa takes such standard exercises as the warrior and the sun salutation and infuses them with an ever-present sense of movement. Participants are encouraged to 'flow' from one pose to the next, challenging their bodies and minds while still deriving that inner sense of peace that has made yoga so popular through the years.
What to Expect in a Vinyasa Yoga Class
The term 'vinyasa' can be used to describe a wide array of yoga classes, including everything from today's trendy hot yoga to hardcore, physically demanding power yoga. But what these classes share is a focus on connecting one motion to another through the continued practice of deep breathing. In most vinyasa classes, this aim is accomplished while following a basic routine built around such standards as the sun salutation and the warrior sequence.
Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
As one of the more challenging varieties of yoga, vinyasa offers incredibly physical and mental benefits. The demanding class is perfect for anyone looking to overcome a fitness plateau. All aspects of physicality are dealt with through the course of a single class, including strength, power, flexibility and balance.
Although more physical than other types of yoga, vinyasa flow is equally adept at promoting a sense of inner calm, allowing participants to clear incessant chatter from their heads and instead, focus on what really matters. Such a mental feat is made possible through vinyasa's emphasis on deep breathing -- a practice that, in addition to its many mental benefits, is proven to immediately reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure. In today's stressful world, any opportunity to create a sense of peaceful satisfaction is one that should be welcomed with open arms.
Vinyasa flow is not an ideal fit for every student, although it can be enjoyed by a wide range of participants. Because of the more physical nature of this approach, a moderate level of physical fitness is advised prior to taking on this challenging class. Ideally, the participant will have built up some level of skill in a hatha or bikram yoga, although this experience is not always necessary. The upfront effort is more than worthwhile -- you'll be stunned by the results garnered by a regular vinyasa routine!