Yoga is phenomenally popular these days. There are so many styles to choose from that it can become quite overwhelming to the newcomer. I love most styles of yoga but I do keep coming back to vinyasa flow. Even when my practise is slow, I can't help but link my movement to each breath. I love the liberation this style of yoga brings, the lack of rules, the spontaneity and grace. It is perhaps for this reason that despite all the new styles that keep cropping up in the yoga mad western world, vinyasa flow maintains its popularity. Essentially vinyasa means movement synchronised with the breath. So if you havent tried it yet below are some compelling reason why you might like to give vinyasa flow yoga a go.
By flowing breath by breath the mind stays focused
Vinyasa Flow refers to the way this style keeps us moving from asana to asana, linking each pose to an inhale and an exhale.
By timing the flow of movements to the breath the practise becomes smooth and continuous. This can help us to stay present during the class. Its particularly helpful to those of us whose minds tend to wander and stray and it prepares us so the mind can stay focused during longer held poses which often feature towards the end of the class.
Vinyasa flow offers spontaneity.
Vinyasa Flow has a lot in common with Ashtanga yoga, which also links continuous sequence through the breath. But while Ashtanga uses a prescribed sequence of poses taught in the same way in every class, Vinyasa is a lot more flexible and varied. The practitioner has the freedom to listen to their own body and mix up the order of their poses. In a Vinyasa class the teacher will often throw in something new and unexpected. It's this “no rules” approach to yoga that appeals to many and means that the practise stay fresh and intuitive. While for repetition is the practise, for others it's the variety that prevents
us from falling into the slump that can set in when the same routine is repeated over and over again.
There's a perfect vinyasa flow yoga class for everyone.
Since there are no set-in-stone rules about how to structure a Vinyasa class, teachers can weave whatever they choose into the class. They can include different styles of yoga, some play music others prefer the silence that is often unique to yoga.
If one teachers style doesn't resonate then try another. With Vinyasa yoga, studenst can shop around to find the perfect class for them.
Vinyasa flow improves strength, flexibiity and balance.
As Vinyasa is a hybrid derived from a variety of yoga schools, from Iyengar standing poses, Anusara inversions to Kundulini breathing. It combines strength, flexibility and balance with all the holistic benefits of yoga. Depending on the level of the class, this style can really challenge students to discover their physical limits.
Vinyasa flow gets the heart pumping.
The continuous sequence of Vinyasa Flow yoga is great for getting the heart going, even when the pace is relatively slow the practice will increase the heart rate. The breaks come in resting poses like Downward Dog and Childs Pose which serve both as a respite and a time to assimilate the preceding sequence before moving on to the next challenge.
This style of yoga is also great as it enables the body to build its own heat naturally rather than rely on a preheated room.
Vinyasa flow is a great for newbies
Since Vinyasa is so varied, it’s easy to find classes that are tailored to beginners while still providing a healthy challenge. Its also a great way to learn the basics of pranayama, or yogic breathing, which can be often confusing to newcomers to yoga. A Vinyasa Flow teacher tells you when to inhale and exhale during each pose as its flows into the next. With practise the breath becomes instinctive. This style is a great way to learn the skills you need to build a strong foundation for a more advanced yoga practice.
Vinyasa flow is fun
With the flowing movements this style feels like a graceful dance! Some teachers using music others simply asking you to listen to your own internal rhythm. It is liberating and fun as nothing is off limits as long as you feel safe in the movement, listen to and respect your body you can simply go with the flow. There is no right or wrong, no dogma no rules. So why not give Vinyasa Flow a go? ALL OF ELISA'S 2015 LONDON YOGA CLASSES AND OVERSEAS YOGA HOLIDAYS CAN BE FOUND www.elisawilliamsyoga.com
Elisa Williams is a London based yoga teacher and mum with over 25 years of practice in both. She teaches private and public yoga classes, yoga holidays and retreats. Her interests include family, people , sunshine, sailing and holidays. http://www.elisawilliamsyoga.com