By Bhavan Patel
Vinyasa yoga is an active and flowing style of yoga. Vinyasa refers to movements that are synchronized with breath. This type of yoga uses a breathing technique called ujjayi pranayama. This breathing technique is performed by keeping the mouth closed and slightly constricting the throat. The effect is less air passing through which increases its force and speed.
This breathing technique generates a lot of heat within the body. It also keeps the mind focused on the asanas making it a good way to train the mind. Vinyasa yoga is a way to purify internal organs and muscles. There are many benefits of vinyasa, which include the stretching and toning of muscles and joints, strengthens bones, improves breathing and heart rate, increases energy, increases concentration, cleanses the body of toxins, relieves anxiety and depression and helps maintain weight by increasing metabolic rate.
Perhaps the first form of this type of yoga is Ashtanga vinyasa. Although there are still some connections to generic vinyasa, there are differences as well. Generic vinyasa classes change their sequences (flows) often. Different teachers will teach different sequences. Ashtanga yoga teachers give instructions for a sequence by a specific pre-designed “series.” Although Ashtanga has at least six different challenging series, with different levels of difficulty, instructors show consistency by teaching the predetermined series that’s designed for that specific class.
On the other side of the coin, the vinyasa system contains an infinite number of sequences. It is important to master each sequence before moving on to the next. Each sequence increases in difficulty and gets more challenging. It can be difficult to move past the first three sequences especially if you do not have a strengthened upper body. Some people feel inclined to not move past the first few sequences. Those at this level will still be able to reap the benefits of increased coordination, physical fitness and concentration. The subsequent sequences have a lot to do with strengthening the mind. When flowing through different postures, proper breathing and motion is extremely important. Practice always ends with a resting pose.
Vinyasa yoga is attractive to many because it is creative, stimulating, enjoyable, and provides many physical and mental challenges. It is ideal for those who want to incorporate a cardiovascular work out with the flexibility and inner strength that is brought about through yogic movement. The movements with this style of yoga are dance-like, which appeals to many who practice it.
Those who practice are encouraged to embrace transformation as the main purpose of yoga. Vinyasa helps a person to tap into what it is they would like to change about themselves and serves as a way to help them accomplish changes in life.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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