What Is Vinyasa Yoga?

Yoga is one of the most varied spiritual/bodily practices in the world. With a rich history that has its roots all the way back to ancient India, it is a practice that has undergone many different forms over the years.

Because of this, it can be difficult for a new person to get into.

What Is Vinyasa Yoga?

Let’s say you live in a cosmopolitan area and want to get into Yoga. One look around the streets or online will give you a huge list of different options.

There are hot yoga classes, Hatha yoga, and Kundalini just to name a few. Sometimes it can be very difficult to know which is the best choice for you.

One type you’ll come across quite often is Vinyasa Yoga – but you’re probably wondering what exactly this is.

If you find yourself wondering – don’t panic! You’ve come to the right place. In this article we’re going to be taking you through everything there is to know about Vinyasa Yoga.

We’ll go through its history, some of its common practices, and give you an idea of what a modern class might look like. We’ve also included a short FAQ which will answer any questions you may have left over at the end. 

What Is Vinyasa Yoga? 

Almost all schools of yoga combine a few key characteristics. Yoga is a practice that is all about meditation and static poses. By controlling your mind, body, and breathing, you are able to achieve inner peace.

Yoga is typically great for a person’s physical and mental health, and most forms use this as the main goal. Hatha Yoga is one of the most common styles, and it achieves this through basic poses and breathing techniques. 

But there is another common style of yoga and that is Vinyasa. This is a style of yoga that uses strings of postures with a focus on breathing techniques. It is sometimes called ‘flow’ yoga, which describes its fluid nature.

In many ways, the movements of Vinyasa Yoga perfectly reflect its central philosophy – the idea of fluidity in reality, how nothing in life is permanent. 

A Brief History Of Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga has a rich history that goes all the way back to the ancient Vedic age. Whilst we don’t understand its precise origins, we can assume that it is one of the oldest forms of yoga that we still have knowledge of.

Today, Vinyasa Yoga has spread across the world and is one of the most common practices of yoga that you’ll find.

The origins of its name come from the Sanskrit word ‘vi’ which translates to ‘variation’ and ‘Nyasa’ which roughly translates to ‘between prescribed parameters.’

From this, we can understand that Vinyasa is a form that has deep variation within the confined postures of yoga. 

Benefits Of Vinyasa Yoga

One of the main pros of Vinyasa Yoga is the dynamic nature of its movement system. It’s very different from something like Bikram Yoga, where the positions are fixed and you learn them in sequence within a class.

Vinyasa Yoga is all about dynamic movements, so you’ll often be switching poses and this can change from class to class. It’s a much more fluid version of Yoga that will allow you to exercise your body in more unique ways.

This means a larger range of motion for your joints and limbs.

The second main benefit is its focus on breathing. Whilst all forms of yoga use breathing for physical and mental benefits – Vinyasa is all about breathing during transitions, therefore connecting your mind and body.  

A Vinyasa Yoga Class

A Vinyasa Yoga Class

In this section, we want to give you a quick overview of what you might experience at a Vinyasa Yoga class. 

Links and Flow: The way you will move through poses in Vinyasa Yoga is by using breathing techniques. You will adopt a posture as displayed to you by your teacher, and then you will be guided to breathe and transition to another.

This means that you’ll generally be holding poses a lot less than in other styles of yoga. Transitioning between different poses can be difficult and a lot of what you’ll be learning is how to make this transition smooth and graceful. 

Ujjayi Breath: This is probably the most common breathing technique you’ll find at a Vinyasa Yoga class. It can be performed by breathing in and out at a certain rhyme – this allows you to relax and more easily transition into different poses.

Stretching: As you’ll often be adopting poses that can be difficult to hold, you’ll naturally be gaining flexibility as you go through a Vinyasa Yoga class. Some of the poses can be difficult for new practitioners and it can take weeks before you’re able to perform them. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Vinyasa is a style of yoga that is all to do with transitioning between different poses, using breathing techniques to relax your body, and manipulating it in different ways.

It’s generally considered a good form of yoga to start with, but it does differ a little from Hatha Yoga (a style that revolves around holding static poses for longer periods of time). 

We hope that this article has told you everything you wanted to know about Vinyasa Yoga, If you’re trying to figure out what the best type of yoga for you to practice would be, we would advise you to simply show up to a class and see if it works for you.

We wish you the best of luck in your yoga journey and hope that it’s a great benefit to your life! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Hardest Kind Of Yoga?

Most people would consider forms of hot yoga – for example, Bikram Yoga – as the most difficult type. This involves drilled poses across a 90-minute session that takes place in an extremely hot and humid environment.

This is a far cry from the relaxing yoga you may picture in your mind and is certainly not for beginners unless you’re looking for a big workout. 

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Angela Frederik
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