This a dynamic flow inspired from Hatha Yoga. It is more flexible than Ashtanga Yoga since sequences are creative and adapted to each body.
Quite sportive, this practice is more intended to people with good physical conditions and brings strength and flexibility but also calm and concentration. It is of real help to bring a bit of serenity and harmony in our lives.
Vinyasa comes from the Sanskrit: « vi » which means « in a specific way » and « nyasa » which means « to place ». It can be defined as a « breath-synchronized movement,” through a series of poses that will move you through the power of your breath. This is why we often talk about Vinyasa flow or just flow.
The sun salutation sequence is the most typical example of vinyasa flow. Each movement in the series is linked to inhalation and exhalation. But of course different flows are possible according to the topics of the class: hips opening, equilibrium, backbend, etc. Even if it is a dynamic practice, at the end of the sequence, a time for relaxation is included to enable your body to recover faster.
Vinyasa’s strength is in its diversity, flexibility and adaptability. However a good sequence is always structured in a way that makes sense: focus and awareness of the body at the beginning, warm-up, standing poses, seating poses with forward-bends, back-bends and torsions, inversions and relaxing poses at the end.
Vinyasa flow has also become popular in the Western world because of the physically challenging nature of the practice, I would also add that the posture are more adapted to our bodies than those from Ashtanga. I really like it because:
- We can work out and still keep in mind our alignments.
- We need creativity in our sequences to enjoy the magic of movements.
- It can be considered as a rhythmic sport.
Vinyasa has a lot of benefits. It releases toxins from our body and helps us to get energy due to the physical effort you do, but it also relaxes our mind and helps the whole energy flow to occur throughout our body by focusing on our breathing movements.
It is important to remember that vinyasa is not just any sequence of movement: through the awareness of the different parts of our body during asanas it should be linked to all the things that are connected to our life, and our inner pathway, it includes self-care, relationships, personal and professional evolution. Vinyasa is a way to inner transformation.
Although I really love Ashstanga Yoga, I have a 200 hours teacher training in Vinyasa Yoga since I think this is the yoga which is probably most adapted to our western bodies and ways of life…
Once the practice is became regular, this yoga style can also be seen as a meditation in movement.
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