Vinyasa Yoga is a form of yoga that links the breath, movement, and poses together. The Sanskrit word, “Vinyasa,” has a variety of meanings; but the most common reference is to the connection between breath and movement. Vinyasa is sometimes referred to as Flow Yoga, reflecting the emphasis on the movement, or ebb and flow, between poses.
Vinyasa Yoga is often seen as a more athletic practice. The pace is usually quick, requiring the practitioner to focus inward, while synchronizing breath and movement. A common problem that can develop is that the new student may not be familiar with the sequence and try to keep up with experienced students. Additionally, experienced students have had problems focusing on the poses, and may start moving quickly in and out of poses, with sloppy form. Unfortunately, sloppy form, not focusing, and not being mentally present for practice, could lead to injury.
Those, who are familiar with the traditional practice of holding of yoga poses (also known as Hatha Yoga), find Vinyasa to be an invigorating yoga practice as breath, movement, and posture form a continuous, flowing, dance-like, moving meditation. The Sun Salutations series is the most commonly known Vinyasa movement. Moving through the Sun Salutation series requires the practitioner to synchronize the breath, while moving through, and holding poses.
What is Slow Flow?
Slow Flow Vinyasa Yoga allows beginners to create their own synchronized dance, while learning poses and how to move, breathe, and stretch between poses. Slow flow brings the element of time into the practice. The practitioner has time to evaluate how and when a pose should to be modified, due to physical limitations or limitations in experience. The practitioner also has the time to mentally engage with the body, as it moves through a series. The mind and body connection is one of the main goals when practicing all forms of Yoga. Slow flowing Vinyasa is a wonderful practice in discovering one’s personal limitations and learning how to move past those limitations.
Slow Flow Yoga is not restricted to beginners or those with physical limitations. All levels of Yoga practitioners can find their personal challenges, as they slowly and mindfully move through a series. The pace may be slower, but challenges will be present with difficulties to work through. Even the most advanced Yoga practitioner has much to learn within the reflective pace of slow Vinyasa. Poses can be refined and strengthened, without feeling rushed into the next move, next breath, or next pose. Slow flow allows a person to become familiar with his or her body, create a reflective pause, and create the time to go inward. Slow Vinyasa Yoga is a therapeutic dance of moving meditation.
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