Vinyasa Yoga – What You Need to KnowObserving a practice of the Vinyasa Yoga from the side could be quite interesting and even entertaining. The main thing one would notice is how the poses move in a flow from one to another, seemingly rather easy and smooth. This style has adopted the name “power yoga” due to the major variety of the postures.
You would find two different types of classes for Vinyasa Yoga; in the first one, you would almost never repeat the same posture throughout the entire course. The second type is the exact opposite and adopts a string of 26 postures. All of which are usually being practiced in the same sequence each time.
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Different yogis would give you mixed definitions of this particular style due to the flexibility in interpretations Vinyasa yoga allows. The most common Sutras adopted in it, however, are the following: Comfort (Sukha), Steadiness (Sthira) and Smooth and long breathing (Prayana Sithilia). The name originates from the words “Vi” which is translates to “in a special way” and “Nyasa” which means “to place”.
The style focuses on movements from one posture to another in a smooth manner which is an expression of the beliefs that nature of things is only temporary. Therefore the person stands in a particular pose and then transitions to another while leaving the previous one. It’s a metaphor to change and evolve a person not only physically, but also spiritually. Another interpretation is that the movements from one posture to another bring us closer to what is most important and sacred to us.
Characteristics and Practices of the Vinyasa Yoga
Using breathing methods, the practitioner connects each posture to the next, which is why it’s usually called “Flow Yoga”. It’s the exact opposite of yoga classes that focus on holding the same posture for many minutes. The transitions between the postures are postures themselves. All of this movement is quite graceful and beautiful to observe even to the uninformed mind. It’s a truly powerful skill, and obviously hard to obtain.
Breath is the start of all movement in Vinyasa Yoga, which is why it is referred to as “breath-synchronized”. Breathing techniques lead to relaxation and relief both of physical fatigue and mental stress.
The beauty of this style is the ability to approach it in different manners depending on the person’s character. While you could practice it relaxed in a mild, calm manner, you could also evoke high-energy levels through rapid movements and transitions through poses.
It is one of the more complex types of classes as it requires good physical condition and strength. In this style, a person would generally advance slower, due to the need to understand each individual posture deeply in order to improve and smooth the transitions.
The link between breathing and movement opens a new world of expressions, which is absent in other yoga styles. It enables the experience of feeling free and alive while being connected to the world on a different level.