Vinyasa is a form of yoga that focuses more on the link between breath and movement. Vinyasa yoga benefits people in ways that traditional yoga may not, and at least adds a different angle to yoga for those who are already practicing.
The word Vinyasa is pronounced vin-YA-sa, and means ‘breath synchronized movement. So if you attend a class you can expect to focus on how you are inhaling and exhaling as you transition from one pose to the next.
Many Vinyasa classes are performed in heated studios. They can reach temperatures of around 80 – 85 degrees. This adds some extra intensity to the workout, helps with stretching, and when done correctly improves one’s breathing techniques.
The Origin of Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa can be traced back to a Yogi by the name of Siri Tirumala Krishnamacharya. He was a renowned practitioner, and taught a boy by the name of Parrabhi Jois his methods of breathing.
Jois then went on to start his own practice. Developing and teaching his own variation of yoga, to become Vinyasa yoga.
Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa yoga is is a good strength training exercise. Practitioners build up lean muscle mass through the different exercises. This is achieved without heavy loads, so it’s achievable by anyone.
Some of the poses, such as the arm balances and standing backbends use a lot of body resistance and body weight. This puts stress on muscles and you can fatigue them with a long session, this will build up strength over time.
You will also find that a lot of muscle groups receive a good distribution of attention. Creating a balanced and toned physique. This is often a primary reason for people to take up the practice.
Developing flexibility is one of the key benefits to most types of yoga. Having stiff muscles and joints is incredibly uncomfortable and can really reduce a person’s quality of life.
Vinyasa has been developed to help stretch and strengthen muscles, which leads to better flexibility. This increases a person’s range of motion and mobility, and increases flexibility over time.
The breathing exercises also allow more oxygen to flow to muscles and help loosen them up. Taking stress off joints, tendons, and ligaments. With careful practice you can also not only avoid injury, but build up more resistance to future injury.
Stress is a big part of modern day life for a lot of us. The good news is that Vinyasa yoga helps relieve the effects of emotional, physical and mental stress. As well as having a spiritual connection.
There is a mindful purpose to the exchanges between positions, the breathing, and the continual flow of the whole process. Practitioners clear their heads of all negative thoughts and enter the moment.
Instead focusing on the breathing and living in the moment. This has a calming effect on the physical and mental well being of a person.
Like mentioned earlier there is a lot of emphasis on breathing in Vinyasa yoga. Sessions are typically between 60 to 90 minutes, so that’s a long time to focus on improving breathing techniques.
Vinyasa yoga has some really impactful physiological and medical benefits. It’s been proven to reduce the chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and strokes. It also has detox inducing properties and can help flush some toxins from the body.
This means the body functions perform better. The metabolic system is improved, as well as the immune system. Leading to an all round more healthy and improved level of well being.
All of these benefits lead to an increase in overall health. By stimulating your body’s lymph activity and increasing blood-flow you will see an improvement in posture, poise and even skin tone. A more natural resolve to visiting an esthetician, and always a welcome by-product to doing an exercise that’s fun and mentally relaxing.
Is Vinyasa Yoga Good For Beginners?
In a word, yes. Vinyasa is a great place for someone to start with yoga. There are different levels of course, but starting at the beginning is just fine. With a good teacher you will develop at your own pace, and reach a much higher level in good time.
What Should You Wear?
You will be working up a sweat, especially if you’re in a hot room. So wear something you’re comfortable sweating it out in. Also, some typically yoga attire is good as you will be going through a lot of different positions.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.