Vinyasa Flow

Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)
This yoga style originated from the Astanga Vinyasa school, adopting the concept of asanas’ smooth dynamic connection in a sequence. The best example of such a sequence is Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation), which often occurs at the beginning of the lesson. However, Vinyasa Flow is far from the severity of Astanga, where certain asanas are performed in the same order during each session. Vinyasa Flow classes are different, depending on the yoga studio, class, and instructor. Students are also given much more creative freedom.

The Vinyasa Flow style is popular due to its dynamics, fluidity, diversity, and freedom.

Benefits of Vinyasa Flow

  • a dynamic style, complementing yoga cardio and aerobic load
  • a large selection of classes and teachers, and a variety of practices
  • warming up the body for the deeper and safer performance of asanas
  • quality work on breathing.

The style’s disadvantages include the lack of alignment and unstable concentration in asanas.

The word ‘vinyasa’ has several meanings, as is often the case in Sanskrit. Vinyasa is a flow from posture to posture, a sequence of postures, and the synchronisation of movement with breathing. As for breathing, of course, it is bound to play a major role in dynamic practice. The right combination of breathing, asanas, and vinyasas ensures this ‘flowability’.

Dynamic Meditation

Vinyasa/Flow ClassBe prepared for the fact that you will be too busy to think about something extraneous. Alignment in asanas, transitions between them (vinyasas), and their synchronisation with breathing – all of this will completely occupy your attention. You will be well-focused in practice and close to achieving awareness. The result is the calming of the mind, which is known to be one of the main yoga objectives. That is why the Vinyasa Flow style is sometimes called ‘dynamic meditation’.

Advice for practitioners

  • Before attending class, be sure to take a few static yoga lessons (for example, Hatha Yoga or Iyengar Yoga), where you will learn the foundations of asana alignment.
  • Listen to the teacher, do not look at others, observe yourself, and merge within yourself even better.
  • Focus on the present moment and what you are doing right now. While it may be difficult for you in the Chaturanga, now you are here. During this time, do not dream about the ‘Dog Facing Up’. You will bend up at the proper time.
  • This is not just exercises, but yoga! So pay special attention to the postures themselves. Align the postures correctly. Breathe. Be aware of your static state.
  • Use the Ujjayi breath; let it set the rhythm to your flow. Synchronise your breath with movement.
  • If possible, use muscle locks (Bandhas) – namely Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha.
  • If you fall behind in the flow, just take a break while in a comfortable position and wait for the other students.
  • A diversity of teachers and studios is good, but it requires a more careful selection. Remember, your practice will depend very much on the studio, the instructor and, of course, yourself.

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