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What Is Vinyasa Flow In Yoga

How To Find A Vinyasa Class Near You

What is Vinyasa?

A simple web search can help you find Vinyasa yoga near you. If a few studios pop up, take time to read through their class descriptions and reviews and scroll through their Instagram page. This will increase the chances that you pick a studio with the vibes that best match your personality and fitness needs.

That said, Noble says, “even at the same studio two instructors can be incredibly different.” If your first class and instructor are a miss, give it another shot with a different instructor they could be a hit.

Plenty of popular Vinyasa yoga studios and apps offer online classes for free or at a reduced monthly subscription price, including:

If the last thing you want is to commit to yet another membership, head to YouTube. Popular Vinyasa yoga YouTube channels include Yoga With Tim, Samyak Yoga, Yoga With Adriene, Jessamyn Stanley and Sadie Nardini.

Another option is to follow your favorite Vinyasa yoga instructors on Instagram. Recently, many yoga and fitness instructors are offering classes through their personal Instagram pages. A few fan-favorite instructors are Briana Casey, Sarah Bess Hutchinson and Flow Jo.

Suggested Skill Levels For Vinyasa Yoga

Much like hatha yoga, vinyasa is an ideal choice for anyone who is just starting out with yoga. But while hatha and vinyasa both incorporate multiple introductory postures to the class, vinyasa is a much quicker, more active style by comparison. Hatha classes tend to be slower and focus on the fundamental poses in a deliberate, meditative manner.

Vinyasa introduces similar fundamental poses through continuous movement. There is slightly more repetition involved to focus on learning the simple poses without a lot of variation.

This is not to suggest that every vinyasa class is fast-paced. Every class is different, every instructor emphasizing certain facets of the style in contrasting ways and varied speeds. One instructor might choose to teach a faster, more active style while another might place more importance on alignment over pace. If you are just getting started and want to try a vinyasa course, ask your studio which instructors or classes appeal most to your sensibility.

It Can Strengthen Your Muscles

What distinguishes Vinyasa yoga from other types of yoga, like Bikram, for example, is the emphasis on the transitions between positions. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t also be holding positions for a longer period of time you will!

In fact, most poses in Vinyasa yoga will be held at least once for 30 to 120 seconds. And when you’re holding your body in a very specific position for a few seconds, your muscles have to work hard to maintain the shape.

“The longer you hold a position, the greater the muscle breakdown is,” says Grayson Wickham, DPT, a certified sports and conditioning specialist and founder of the Movement Vault. And the greater the muscle breakdown, the more muscle growth you’ll have after rest and recovery, Wickham says.

In this way, Vinyasa yoga can promote muscle strength and growth. However, if growing visibly larger muscles is your primary goal, then incorporating some strength training into your routine is going to be more effective, Wickham says.

How to Support Your Weight-Loss Goals With Yoga

Exercise is even more effective when paired with a healthy diet. to track your calories consumed and burned for a complete picture of your overall health.

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Is Vinyasa Yoga Beginner Friendly

While flowing usually requires at least some basic knowledge of the yoga poses, vinyasa yoga can still be great for beginners. There are plenty of beginners vinyasa yoga classes and workshops available in studios and online.

Many yoga instructors will help a newcomer to yoga by explaining the poses, the transitions, and alignment as thoroughly as possible.

Its All About Variety

Vinyasa Flow Yoga for beginners

Vinyasa has a lot in common with Ashtanga yoga, which also links continuous sequence through the breath. But while Ashtanga uses a proscribed sequence of poses thats taught the same way in every class, Vinyasa is a lot more flexible.

Instructors are totally free to mix up the order of the poses, or throw in something new and unexpected. This no rules approach to yoga means youll never fall into the slump that can set in when you repeat the same routine over and over.

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How To Choose Between Hatha And Vinyasa Yoga

Overall, both hatha and vinyasa yoga styles will help you ease stress and anxiety while raising fitness, flexibility, and mindfulness.

The biggest difference is the pace. Hatha yoga offers a slower practice, with several breaths between poses. Vinyasa provides cardio and strength training as it links each breath to movement.รข

Hatha yoga can be practiced through a wide age range and as prenatal yoga. Vinyasa yoga is good for intermediate and advanced yogis.

What Should I Expect At My First Vinyasa Flow Class

Expect to move and expect to sweat! This class is fantastic for synchronizing your breath and movements almost like a dance. For youre first time, youll probably be pleasantly overwhelmed by the amount of postures and movement. You may need to observe your teacher and fellow yogis for guidance on the postures, but this practise will leave you feeling energised and excited for the next class! Its also a great idea to come to multiple classes taught by different teachers each one is different and unique!

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What Is Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Vinyasa is a style of yoga where poses are strung together to form one fluid sequence of movement. I was schooled in mostly Iyengar and Hatha yoga, so when I found Vinyasa, it was a whole new world to me. As much as I love the diligent nature of an Iyengar class, there was something very nurturing about moving with my breath and letting my body flow in new directions. The classes are often fast-paced and rhythmical, with a focus on connecting the movements with the rhythm of the breath. Vinyasa means to move with the breath, which is essentially the core of a Vinyasa class. Often called flow yoga, Vinyasa Flow is a style of yoga with focus on transitions and movements, with less time spent in stationary poses. Ever since I started teaching, Vinyasa Flow has been at the core of my own classes, and I love seeing people connect with their breath and find that inward focus.

Although Vinyasa is often considered a fast and physically challenging practice, it can also be soft and gentle. Moving with the breath can also mean slowing down your transitions with deep inhales and slow exhalations.

As opposed to other styles of yoga like Iyengar or Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow classes do not have a set sequence or a certain amount or type of poses to get through. No two classes are ever the same, and often the sequences are creative and playful.

Props Are Your Best Friends

Vinyasa Yoga for Beginners (30 mins) – What Is Vinyasa Yoga Flow?

As in all forms of yoga, props are always your friends. Use them, befriend them, and even fall in love with them. They will keep you safe, offer challenges in your practice, and help you in ways you couldnt have expected. There is no shame whatsoever in using props so take advantage of their versatility in every practice.

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Vinyasa Yoga Makes You Sleep Better

When your mind is agitated and your body is tense, it is normal to have trouble sleeping.

Vinyasa Yoga acts on sleep in two ways:

  • It releases tension in your body and helps it reset by moving it through its complete range of motion during a vinyasa flow yoga sequence.

  • It also creates space in your mind. You might even want to use square breathing or a breathing technique to help you fall asleep faster.

When you are moving and breathing in a way that feels good, it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

It Can Improve Your Mobility

“Nearly 90 percent of the people who come into my office with an injury could have prevented that injury with some mobility work,” Wickham says. And guess what? Vinyasa yoga counts as mobility work.

“Vinyasa yoga encourages folks to move their joints through their full range of motion, and to develop strength in those positions, which is the perfect recipe for increased mobility,” he says.

By increasing your mobility, you can move more freely and reduce your injury risk, Wickham says. Better mobility can also lead to increased body awareness and fewer aches and pains.

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What Exactly Is Vinyasa Yoga

There are many types of yoga practices. Theres Bikram, Hot Yoga, Hatha, the increasingly popular Buti, Kundalini, and Ashtanga, to name a few. Youve probably heard of Vinyasa yoga but might be unsure of what this practice entails.

The word vinyasa, itself, derives from the Sanskrit term nyasa, which means to place, and the prefix vi, which meansin a special way. Thus, Vinyasa refers to the conscious and flowing movement that links one pose to the next in synchronicity with the breath. This essentially makes vinyasa not a distinctive yoga practice but a technique that can be applied to Ashtanga, Iyengar, and other forms of yoga. Its quite possible that dedicated yoga instructors, like Gale Tobin, already incorporate Vinyasa into their practice.

Vinyasa is also a term used to describe a specific sequence of three poses that are commonly used throughout a Vinyasa class:

  • Chaturanga

Relax And Unwind With Uta: Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga Pose Sequence

In a world where were expected to be constantly on and available, it can be hard to carve out time to simply relax and switch off. Are you focusing more on your to-do list than on your well-being? Its time to start taking care of your mind and body! Join us on Monday 5th July for a free yoga class, courtesy of CareerFoundry and led by expert instructor Uta Eismann.

Yoga is a known stress-reliever, but its also been proven to improve focus, attention, and memorythe ideal way to recharge, reset, and return to your work with fresh energy. In this one-hour online session, Uta will lead you through a soft vinyasa flow class thats ideal for beginners. You will:

  • Learn sun salutations
  • Flow through creative vinyasa yoga sequences
  • Master the art of combining breath and movement in perfect harmony
  • Open up your chest, upper back, and neckideal if you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk

The class will end with a guided relaxation , leaving you feeling refreshed, de-stressed, and ready to take on the world. All you need is a yoga mat and some comfortable clothesno previous yoga experience required!

Regular video tutorials from the community

Uta Eismann

Yoga teacher and contemporary dancer

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Benefits Of Vinyasa Yoga That Will Take Your Practice To The Next Level

Some links in this post contain affiliate links including Amazon Associate links. I may I earn commissions from qualifying purchases if you use the links at no extra cost to you.

Fully updated for 2021:

I’ve been a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2017 and I have to say that yoga has really changed my life! I’ve enjoyed watching my students grow and progress in their practice as they start to feel the benefits of yoga.

The main style I teach is vinyasa yoga, it is a bit different from the others and has specific benefits.

Want to know how good is vinyasa yoga for you? Keep reading. Whether you are a total beginner or have been practicing yoga for ages, you’ll love this round-up of the benefits of vinyasa yoga.

For each vinyasa yoga benefit, I will give you a few examples of practices to try so that you can feel it by yourself and take your practice to the next level!


Characteristics Of Vinyasa Flow Yoga

  • Vinyasa Yoga connects one posture to the next using the breath. This can be thought of as linking or flowing into postures which is sometimes why its called Flow Yoga. The opposite of this would be an alignment based class where students engage with a posture, explore it for a period of time and then break the posture by coming out.
  • Transitions are what connect one posture to another in Vinyasa. They are the in-between part. What is not always appreciated is that transitions are considered postures themselves. To move in a more graceful, connected way, allot just as much time developing skill in the transitions as you do in the asana.
  • Vinyasa is synonymous with movement. Moving in and out of postures is the obvious movement but even in stillness Vinyasa is represented by the beat of your heart and inhale/exhale of your breath.
  • Move with breath. Breath initiates the movement of Vinyasa which is why youll hear it referred to as a breath-synchronized practice.
  • Ujjayi Breath is the breathing technique used. It is done by inhaling and exhaling in a rhythmic manner through the nose. The overall sensation is one of relaxation.
  • Vinyasa practice generates heat and can add a cardiovascular component not always present in other forms of postural practice. The picture below is from a students heart rate monitor worn during a regular Vinyasa class I taught.

A hallmark of Vinyasa Flow classes is the variation in sequence from class to class. No two classes are alike.

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The Foundation Of Vinyasa Sequencing

As the owner of My Vinyasa Practice, Ive spent a great deal of time defining the foundation of vinyasa sequencing. Foundationally speaking, Surya Namaskara a and Surya Namaskara b are the set sequences that we use to connect seated, standing, and reclined postures together in a vinyasa sequence. Many times, teachers will rely heavily on sun salutations which can make the sequence feel stale or mechanical. MVPs vinyasa sequencing system addresses this by building energetic platforms of dynamic movement.

Vinyasa Yoga Counts As Cardio

Vinyasa Flow Yoga for Weight Loss

Is vinyasa yoga cardio? It can be if you are taking dynamic classes or doing sun salutations. Sun Salutations are made to create heat in your body, just as cardio does. The added bonus is that they take your body through most main movements and work most major muscles. Better than spending hours on the elliptical if you ask me!

Is vinyasa yoga enough exercise for you? It depends and it can be as intense or as chill as you make it! I always say that the best type of exercise is the one you can do regularly, so focus on establishing a habit first and they add other forms of exercise to it. The importance of vinyasa yoga in your activity routine should also vary depending on how you feel: it is ok to take a rest day!

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Initiating A Course Of Action

Applying vinyasa in your yoga practice and daily life has many parallels not just to building a house but also sailing a boat. Like sailing, moving through life demands a synchronization with natural forces that requires skill and intuition, the ability to set a course yet change with the wind and currents. If you want to sail, you have to know how to assess the conditions of the weatherblustery, calm, choppywhich constantly fluctuate, as do our physical, emotional, and spiritual states.

The teachings of yoga include a view called parinamavada, the idea that constant change is an inherent part of life. Therefore, to proceed skillfully with any action, we must first assess where we are starting from today we cannot assume we are quite the same person we were yesterday. We are all prone to ignoring the changing conditions of our body-mind we often distort the reality of who we are based on who we think that we should be. This can show up on the yoga mat in any number of inappropriate choices: engaging in a heating, rigorous practice when were agitated or fatigued doing a restorative practice when were stagnant going to an advanced yoga class when a beginning class better suits our experience and skills. In order to avoid such unbeneficial actions, we need to start out with an accurate assessment of our current state.

Need Energy Try This Vinyasa Flow Yoga Sequence To Wake Up And Get Pumped

Standing Backbend

Benefits: Energizing, lengthening and decompressing.

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands at the low back and press the hips forward gently. Lift the heart and extend one or both arms towards the sky. Engage the legs, draw the low belly in and create a lift from the pelvic floor . Hold for a few breaths and return to a neutral standing position.

Low Lunge Twist

Benefits: Opens the hips and stretches the low back.

How to do it: Find a low lunge position with the back knee on the ground. Place your left hand on the left knee and press the leg away from the torso. Roll onto the outer edge of the foot while dropping the right hip towards the floor. Engage the low belly and breathe deeply through the nose.

Standing Twist

Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and low back. Wrings out the spine, improves balance and concentration. Strengthens the muscles of the feet and legs.

How to do it: Stand in mountain pose. Shift the weight into the right foot and hug the left knee towards the chest. Find a focal point and try to find the balance on one foot. Grab the knee with the opposite hand and begin to twist the torso while gradually reaching the left arm back. If you want to extend the leg straight you can do that as long as it feels good on your hamstring. Try to balance for a total of five to eight long breaths.

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