Also called Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga or dynamic yoga, Vinyasa yoga can be explained as an energetic yoga, which makes use of a certain sequence of postures and breathing techniques without any stopping in between. The word ‘Vinyasa’ means ‘flow,’ but sometimes the word may be confusing even for advanced yoga practitioners. Generally, in Vinyasa yoga, the transformation done from one pose to another is natural and smooth without significant breaks in between.
Derived from hatha yoga, in this form of yoga, a lot of emphases are laid on breathing and the switching in and out of the asana. In most of the asana, when doing the upward movements you inhale and when the downward movements are done you need to exhale breath.
Just like other forms of yoga, Vinyasa yoga offers a range of physical as well as mental benefits. Physically, when you sweat during the yoga session you expel toxins, which helps to re-energizes your body. While on the mental level the coordinated breathing would relax your mind, enabling you to release any obstruction of energy flow in your body.
The main goal of this form yoga is internal cleansing as the poses performed here heats, thins the blood, and causes it to flow without restraint in the body. This results in increased flexibility, endurance, lighter, healthier as well as stronger body and mind, which is something that traditional forms of yoga lack.
The beauty of Vinyasa yoga is that it is suitable for most levels though it would wise for novice students to take a few classes to learn the basics of yoga. vinyasa is best for those who do not like set routines and want to test their physical limits.
This kind of yoga offers a lot of diversity as the Vinyasa session generally starts with Surya namaskar or sun salutation, which is then followed by a range of standing poses such as triangle, warrior then comes side bends. Until and unless you are confident of performing these poses one should not move to balance poses, backbends, hip openers, abdominal poses. Later you can move on to seated bends and twists, sleeping pose, and end with corpse pose or savasana.
Though it takes time it is important that you find a comfortable sequence that does not break the flow of poses to achieve advanced practice. This also provides cardiovascular benefits that are not in the case of other forms. Nonetheless, one thing to be remembered here is that the pace of doing this yoga can vary and your instructor might want to change the sequences according to his or her own philosophy. Thus, if a particular instructor’s class does not suit you, you can try another one with, which you are more comfortable.
Always try to practice Vinyasa for no longer than 90 minutes. As in most of the positions of Vinyasa yoga, there is need to support body weight against gravity therefore, more muscle groups are targeted than other forms of exercise. The muscle builds up in different body parts results in an increased number of calories you burn when you’re not working out or even resting as muscle burns more energy or calories than fat. It has been found that in an hour’s session of vinyasa flow you can easily burn anywhere between 300 to 600 calories.
In the end, this form of yoga can be fun as well as a challenging way for a work out than gymming and other similar exercises. But, if you are just starting with yoga, it is advisable to go slow and stop if you feel any form of pain.