What Is Vinyasa Yoga? Find out more in this article.

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Vinyasa is a style of yoga which is characterised by stringing postures together so that you are able to move from one to another, seamlessly, utilising your breath.  Commonly referred to as “flow” yoga, Vinyasa yoga is sometimes confused with “power yoga“.

Vinyasa classes offer a variety of postures. In addition, no two classes are ever alike.  The opposite kind of yoga would be “fixed forms” such as Bikram Yoga, which features the same 26 postures in every class. Ashtanga Yoga features the same sequence every time.

The variable nature of Vinyasa Yoga assists in developing a more balanced body as well as preventing repetitive motion injuries which can happen if you are always doing the same thing every day.

What Is The History of Vinyasa Yoga?

Vinyasa Yoga – or Vinyasa Flow – is not a system and does not follow a crystal clear lineage, order or leading guru. There is no formal founder of Vinyasa Yoga and it is a modern style of yoga which is born out of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga tradition.

The Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition, in turn, is founded on the teachings of Sri Krishnamacharya.  Krishnamacharya taught that the movements which take place between each asana should be considered just as important as the asanas themselves.

His idea behind this was to strengthen concentration and body consciousness during the entire practice. As opposed to focusing on “getting into the posture” and then breathing, in Vinyasa Yoga, the goal is to keep the deep breathing and body consciousness stable throughout all movements during the practice.

Designed To Open The Body

Designed to open the body progressively, each sequence in a Vinyasa Yoga class builds on the previous and evolves into deeper, more advanced postures as the yoga practice unfolds. Re-setting “vinyasas” are a standard series of poses which return the yogi back to their home base pose: Downward Facing Dog. The entire practice concludes with a deep sense of mindfulness, self-connection as well as ease.

Typical elements of a Vinyasa yoga class encompass a range of:

  • Standing,
  • Seated and supine poses,
  • Twists,
  • Balancing postures,
  • Forward folds,
  • Inversions,
  • Back bends, as well as
  • Targeted core strengthening.

Some Vinyasa Yoga classes may offer guided meditation, chanting, or breathwork. All classes end in a state of sheer relaxation in Corpse Pose or “Savasana.” This yoga may be practised at any level, tempo or temperature which is based on individual preferences. Yogis can expect to experience improved flexibility, strength, stability as well as overall calmness and clarity.

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