At Yandara we love connecting with the ocean’s energy, which is why we always include Vinyasa yoga in our trainings. Resting your eyes on that blue, mesmerizing surface brings a sense of tranquility to the body, mind and heart. By invoking the power of the ocean your view will begin to expand, allowing you to experience a bigger picture. The waves teach us about change and the horizon shimmers with enlightened infinity, it is a source of endless wisdom held by the earth.
Vinyasa yoga invites you to connect with your inner fluidity. Consider that almost two thirds of the human body consists of water, and consider further that about two thirds of the earth’s surface is covered with ocean. Connecting with the element of water through your yoga practice will help the release of any blockages, physical or emotional, that may have settled into your system, leaving you with a greater view and a sense of energized calm and ease.
What is Vinyasa yoga?
All physical practices of yoga can be described as “Hatha yoga”, and they all share the same goal of unifying the body, mind, and spirit. Today, with the numerous yoga styles available, Hatha yoga commonly refers to a gentle and slow paced form of yoga with no flow between poses.
The main differences between Vinyasa yoga and Hatha yoga is the way Vinyasa yoga is performed in a continuous flow. The movements in Vinyasa yoga are always synchronized with the breath, and the transitions in and out of the poses are just as important as the poses themselves. To generalize, one can say that the inhale brings forth upward movements while the exhale correlate with downward movements. This may vary and can be switched around to support the individual in the best way possible.
Vinyasa yoga originally derives from the practice of Ashtanga yoga – a fast paced, intense style of hatha yoga that was brought to the west by Sri K. Patthabi Jois. It is from Ashtanga yoga that many of todays more dynamic and vigorous yoga styles were formed. Unlike Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa yoga does not follow a set series of poses, and the playful, flowing way to sequence a Vinyasa class has led to the term Vinyasa Flow yoga or just Flow yoga.
What are the benefits of Vinyasa yoga?
The continuous flow allows heat to build in the body, adding a cardiovascular effect which other slower paced yoga practices may not have. The health benefits of cardiovascular exercise are numerous, and among them are reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes type 2, obesity, and depression. To connect breath with movement is a mindfulness practice commonly used to relieve stress and anxiety. Mindfully moving through a Vinyasa sequence while focusing on in- and outflow of the breath has a calming effect on the nervous system.
What is a Vinyasa class like?
As there are no set rules to follow when creating a Vinyasa class, the teacher is allowed to have fun and be creative. The flow may be slower in some classes and faster in others, the class may include chanting, philosophy and/or meditation. The continuous movement synchronized with the breath is the key that links them together.
A typical Vinyasa class will start with sun salutations, and then continue through series of standing poses linked with “vinyasa’s”. When used as a noun, a “vinyasa” refers to a short sequence of poses used to transition into the next pose. The poses that make up a vinyasa are: Plank pose – Four limbed staff pose (chaturanga dandasana) – Upward facing dog (urdhva mukha svanasana) – Downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana). Thereafter the class often includes inversions and floor based back bends and forward bends. By the end of the class the pace will have slowed down, gently leading up to final relaxation (savasana).
So, with the boundless ocean shimmering in your heart, a smooth, calm lake residing in your belly, and clear mountain rivers flowing through your limbs, step onto your mat and begin to flow like water!