All You Need to Know About Vinyasa Yoga
The ultimate goal of any type of yoga – whether it is the traditional Hatha; the empowering Ashtanga; the meditative Yin; or the creative Vinyasa – is to find inner peace. Some styles, however, suit us better than the others, and certain practices are quicker to bring us closer to the essence of yoga.
In the past few decades, the Vinyasa Flow style has become a prominent career choice, especially in the West. Many modern yogis and yoginis choose this practice for different reasons and benefits. Vinyasa is an extremely convenient and apt yoga style for modern yoga enthusiasts and gurus alike:
Vinyasa is an excellent bridge to meditation
Vinyasa entails tuning breath with movements, and this is what keeps us really present and aware of the “here and now”. Our mind becomes focused, and totally involved in the practice. There is nowhere else to go, no need for the mind to wander. We listen to our bodies and their needs. We learn to observe the natural rhythm of our breath, and adjust our movements to the length of each inhale and exhale of the breath. At Trimurti Yoga, we consider the Vinyasa Flow to be a moving meditation. The concentration aspect helps to withdraw our thoughts from the outside world and clear our minds. This consistent focus gives our modern multi-tasking and always-busy brain a time to relax. The flow can be a great step towards mindfulness and meditation, and can prevent, or even reverse the harmful daily effects of our intensive urban lifestyle. We learn to quiet the chatter of our mind and we recognise the sense of inner peace. This is the essence of yoga.
Vinyasa allows the body to express itself
Vinyasa originates from a combination of Sanskrit words: Nyasa, which means “to place”, and Vi, which means “in a special way”. Sequencing is the key to a proper practice of Vinyasa Yoga. Asanas form the progressive flow that has a planned and logical impact, some intended result for our body and mind. The sequence and transitions should feel as natural as possible – the frame of postures gives us the opportunity to express ourselves. We move gracefully, smoothly, and always with awareness. Some students are also drawn to Vinyasa because it is like a mindful way to dance. There is, for sure, a sense of discipline in this practice, but there is also a great experience of freedom. Vinyasa is definitely a good style for artists, or people who are creative and love dynamics of the body, and even for those who look to explore and re-connect with their own bodies. Vinyasa can be mixed with other disciplines: dance, martial arts or pilates, so it always feels fresh, sometimes in a surprising and truly inspiring way.
Vinyasa improves both strength and flexibility
A good yoga practice is always balanced. Strength and flexibility are the Yin and Yang of yoga, and should always go hand in hand. Vinyasa Yoga is a great example of a well-balanced style: we can not only improve flexibility, but also muscular strength, which is the essential aspect of a safe and advanced yoga practice. The good news is that we can play with the pace and rhythm of our Vinyasa sequence every time – some poses can be held for longer, while some flows can go really fast. It all depends on our individual needs and goals. We can decide how intense or gentle our practice is, how fast or how slow, how physical and how meditative… it has a lot of possibilities! Vinyasa allows you to mix empowerment with relaxation; target both aspects; and maintain a healthy balance between them both. Morning practices can be more energising, while evening sessions can be more relaxing and even restorative. Vinyasa is the perfect choice!
If you want to study Vinyasa Yoga, join us for a 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training Course in Goa, India!