What’s the Difference Between Vinyasa Yoga and Other Styles?
It is important to know that vinyasa is a type of yoga that tends to be more physically-aware as opposed to other forms like hatha or yin that stay in poses for longer. In these other types of yoga styles, they solely have a calming effect to the mind, body, and spirit without cardiovascular inducement.
Instead it uses the body’s connection of energy lines through each breath inhaled and exhaled in a meditative state of mind. Vinyasa, for those who want to try it, gradually strengthens your body (mind, and spirit!) by advancing your practice from traditional forms of yoga without too much fixation on the spiritual aspect.
If you’re new to yoga or have been practicing on your own because you just love it, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different styles.
But we’ve got your back! Below is a breakdown of vinyasa yoga, which is one of the most popular kind of yoga. If you are looking for a specific practice to get into but don’t know where to begin, start with this article right here.
So, What Is Vinyasa Yoga?
Vinyasa uses the combination of movement and breathing to flow into specific asanas that look like a push-up, backbend, or a neutral pose. In other words, vinyasa is composed of sun salutations flow composed of chaturanga to upward – facing dog to downward – facing dog among others postures. The way breath is utilized is imperative in this form of yoga as it directs the body to sync with routine. Breathing in this way is called ujjayi which is focused on diaphragmatic breath of filling belly with air and expelling it slowly through the nose.
Vinyasa is most often thought of as continuous movement that relates to the breath. The belief however, is a Sanskrit for “to place in special way” or “to flow.” It was developed in the early 20th century originally taken from Ashtanga yoga by Sri Krishnamacharya who taught it to Pattabhi Jois in Mysore India. He believed that asanas are just important as posture movements he wanted to bring a total body-mind experience into the practice instead of getting into a posture and then focusing on breathing.
Each posture is held for about 5 complete breaths and 1 breath is taken between the posture transition. This is a way to improve oxygen to assist your body absorb the essential nutrients it needs and to detoxify naturally. Vinyasa benefits strengthen the body especially in the core and upper body, improves posture, increases flexibility, challenges cardiovascular for calorie burn, and boosts metabolism because of the unique way it changes the body physically.
Who Is Vinyasa Yoga Good for?
Vinyasa yoga is good for all levels! It is offered at different intensities that are often numbered 1,2, or 3. It can also be listed as a beginner, intermediate, to advanced based on the level that you are at. Choosing one of the levels also includes methods that are focused more on the cardio aspect instead of just on pure strength with incorporated advanced to basic poses.
Since there is continuous movement involved it is important to pay attention to how you are flowing and less on the speed, as proper alignment is important to take in all the benefits and to avoid injury. Yet, its style may not be for everybody as it can vary depending on the teacher. For example, power yoga classes tend to incorporate elements of vinyasa and focus on strength training, cardio and core to make your body work hard enough to sweat and make you energized. If you’re going to your first vinyasa class, be sure to let the teacher know ahead of time. They are there to be of service to you!