Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Source: Buzzle

Yoga as a form of physical activity originated in India. There are many different forms of yoga, which are practiced all around the world today. Some of the forms of yoga include asthanga yoga, hatha yoga, etc. Vinyasa flow yoga belongs to the ancient practice of yoga called ashtanga yoga. It is also known as ashtanga vinyasa yoga. It is a dynamic blend, which is followed in the lineage of Krishnamacharya. This form of yoga was popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois, who studied under the tutelage of Krishnamacharya. It was popularized by other yoga exponents like BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, TKV Desikachar, etc. The term ashtanga is a Sanskrit term, which means ‘eight-limbed’. The beauty of vinyasa flow yoga is that it can be practiced by people of all age groups and all abilities.

What is Vinyasa Flow Yoga

The term ‘vinyasa’ means to arrange or place in a particular special way. However, more often than not, the term is translated as flow. The interpretation of the term vinyasa as flow means a carefully arranged sequence of asanas or yoga poses. In this form, the movement from one posture to another is according to breath. Since the postures follow the breath movement, the yoga poses resemble dance. The alignment of the poses along with breath is what makes this form of yoga dynamic.

The amount of air taken to inhale or exhale once is interdependent on the amount of time taken to move from one posture into another. Once the final pose is attained, the pose is held for a certain number of breaths. Due to this there is a lot of attention, which is placed on breath as much as attention is placed on the postures. This in turn helps in achieving perfect body alignment in a pose along with controlled breath movements.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga Poses

In vinyasa yoga, there is a specific series of movements, which are followed between each pose in a series. Normally sun salutation series, termed as Surya Namaskara in Sanskrit is followed. It is important to note that sun salutations are also a part of other forms of yoga as well. The sun salutation flow followed in vinyasa is different than the traditional sun salutations. Each of the teachers of vinyasa flow yoga may make some changes to the sun salutation, but there are some yoga poses, which are normally a part of the series. The basic yoga poses, which are a part of the series include plank pose, low plank pose, upward facing dog and downward facing dog.

The sun salutation starts with hands to the chest, followed by the tree pose. Then the person bends down and tries to reach the hands to the floor. This is followed by a deep lunge with the right leg in front and then by a downward facing dog and plank pose. The low plank pose comes after the plank pose and then the upward facing dog. The last poses of the salutation are downward facing dog, deep lunge with left leg in front, hands to the floor, tree pose and hands to the chest. In other words, till the half of the series, there are certain poses, which are followed and the other half the same poses are practiced. Due to which the first and last pose are the same. Normally many different yoga exercises are included in the sun salutation series. A lot of standing postures, twists, inversions, backbends, forward bends, etc. poses are used for the same. This also helps in making the form of yoga more dynamic.

The vinyasa flow yoga calories burned are much more than the other forms of yoga, as it is more dynamic in nature, not only in the poses, but also with breath. Almost any one can practice vinyasa flow yoga, but it is important to practice initially under a trained yoga teacher. Remember the practice of yoga is not about how much you have achieved in a particular time span. It is important that you move at your own pace when you are practicing vinyasa flow yoga and not turn it into a rat race.

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