This week we are going to talk Vinyasa or AKA Flow Yoga and its many benefits.
Vinyasa – Moving with breath, linking each movement with breath
Vinyasa Yoga is also called ‘Flow’ because of the smooth way that the poses run together, it is one of the most popular contemporary styles of Yoga. Vinyasa/Flow is a broad classification that encompasses many different types of Yoga, including Ashtanga and Power Yoga. All the movements in a Flow are synchronised to the breath, and the breath acts as an anchor as you move from pose to pose.
Throughout the Flow, your Breath in and out is in a constant circular motion. Generally, you inhale when you are moving into a pose, moving against gravity, creating upward movements or arching the spine. The exhale naturally follows as you are moving out of a posture, moving with gravity, creating downward movements or rounding the spine. Of course, being able to synchronise your movement and breath can take time to perfect, however, the repetition of poses and movement with breath creates a familiarity which with practice can create mastery as well as increasing strength, body heat and deepening your focus.
In Yoga parlance, Vinyasa stands in opposition to Hatha due to the constant movement. Where Hatha Yoga tends to focus on one pose at a time with a rest in between, Flow classes string poses together to make a sequence.
Vinyasa or Flow Yoga has many benefits for both the body and the mind:
- Vinyasa/Flow is an effective Yoga technique for strengthening the core and muscles of the upper body. Flow also helps to maintain strong bones and it is claimed it can help to boost the immune system.
- The concentration required to master the synchronised breathing also helps to silence the chatter of the mind and requires you to be fully present in the moment.
- After a session of Vinyasa Yoga, you should feel both energised and calm!