The word “vinyasa” can be translated as “arranging something in a special way,” like yoga poses for example. In Vinyasa yoga classes, students coordinate movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next. Ashtanga, Baptiste Yoga, Jivamukti, Power Yoga, and Prana Flow could all be considered Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is also the term used to describe a specific sequence of poses (Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog) commonly used throughout a Vinyasa yoga class.
Things to Know as a Vinyasa Beginner
Trying yoga for the first time can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. Imagine being a new student, mustering up the nerve to find a studio, going on their website to see what they offer, and feeling like everything is essentially written in another language.
Vinyasa yoga, Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga…how do you know which one is for you? How do we even know which yoga is which? Will it be okay for beginners? How will I know it’s right for me? Let us break down what Vinyasa yoga is and what benefits you might gain from it.
Vinyasa yoga, in short, is characterized by continuous movement linked with the breath. It is in a Vinyasa class where you’ll most likely see things like Sun Salutations and “flowing”.
A “flow” is usually defined as “breath with movement.” For example, you might be in a seated position and instructed to inhale your arms up, then exhale your arms down, repeating this for a few breaths. This movement is a type of “flow”.
Sometimes teachers will tell their students to “do a Vinyasa flow”. This is typically shorthand for a specific and connected set of movements. Sometimes this Vinyasa flow looks like a variation of a push-up, a variation of a backbend, and a type of “neutral” pose.
How Vinyasa Yoga Is Different Than Other Styles Of Yoga
In Vinyasa yoga, the emphasis is placed not just on the poses themselves, but the transitions into and out of each posture. Also, you typically do not stay in the poses for long in a Vinyasa yoga class. Vinyasa yoga is considerably more movement-based than practices like Hatha yoga and Yin yoga.