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Guide To Yoga: Vinyasa Flow

Guide To Yoga: Vinyasa Flow

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Yoga styles and the way in which a teacher adopts the practice can vary greatly, with entirely different techniques and methods being incorporated. However loosely they adhere to tradition, they are all inspired by the ancient yogic principles outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Every yoga practice, even the same style with the same teacher is a unique experience that teaches you something different about your body and your mind each time.

This is the beauty of yoga. It is a journey, in and out of the self. A process by which you learn the power of acceptance and begin to fully embrace your body as an experience. Fundamentally, it teaches you about love; the real kind, the kind that heals and is present throughout the universe.

There is no "best" yoga style. Yoga philosophy is a shift away from such restrictive and pointless binaries, a state referred to as duality. However, different styles embody completely different approaches and so learning about them is useful, so as to know what to expect from a class.

Vinyasa flow yoga

In Sanskrit, the term "Vinyasa" means "to move in a special way". In a yogic sense, it refers to a specific sequence of movements, attached to the steady flow of breath.

It it a dynamic form of yoga, concerned with slow, yet constant movement. Vinyasa Flow is an offshoot of Ashtanga yoga, which adheres to strict sequences and repetition. Instead of doing asanas (yoga poses) in the order outlined by the various Ashtanga series; Vinyasa yoga is much freer, with a practitioner selecting asanas from anywhere in the series with which to construct a sequence.

An example of some yoga asanas (selected at random)

The main objective of any Vinyasa Flow yoga practice is to attach the breath to the movement. The continual flow from asana to asana can be rigorous and challenging, with the aim being to generate internal heat which detoxifies the body. It is normal, even expected, that you will sweat during one of these classes.

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