Vinyasa is a broad range term of yoga classes. Yoga teacher training instructs this style with moving from one pose into the next through an inhale or exhale. This type of technique is referred to as Vinyasa Flow because of the smooth movement of poses that run together and become a type of dance.
Vinyasa Flow yoga is probably the most familiar and taught in gyms and studios everywhere. Vinyasa flow yoga is also referred to as Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, Power yoga, and simply Vinyasa Flow yoga. Yoga teacher training has the standard training and then each yoga style make modifications for their own practice.
What is it?
One way to describe Vinyasa Flow yoga is by saying that it is a physical workout. During a vinyasa flow class you better be ready to sweat. Sometimes with this yoga teaching style the room may be heated, which pretty much guarantees that you will be dripping with sweat by the time you leave class. There are different levels of class and depending on what your yoga teacher does you will have a very good workout. The yoga teaching will incorporate intense cardio and strength building exercises as well as a lot of core abdominal work, asanas to help with flexibility, and some fun acrobatic moves.
Vinyasa flow yoga could be just about the best yoga workout that you will ever have. Again, not all vinyasa flow yoga classes are going to be hard core. There are classes that do these same movements without all the sweating. It is your personal preference of what you want out of a yoga teacher.
Who can participate?
To be able to fully participate and gain from a true vinyasa flow yoga class you should probably not be a beginner. There are some harder asanas that will require a considerable degree of strength and flexibility and so you may need to start with a beginner style yoga class in order to build up the skills of flexibility and strength that you will need for the more difficult asanas. Yoga teacher training helps teachers recognize when things are too much for students but as a beginner you cannot walk into a tougher class and expect the class to wait for you to keep up.
Mental Workout Too!
Vinyasa flow yoga is also a good mental workout. There is usually some sort of meditation before and after the class. The yoga teaching itself is considered to be a moving meditation so there is no talking during class. This is a type of yoga experience where you view your yoga practice as a sort of spiritual experience and do not appreciate distractions of talking during the time of practice.
Through your vinyasa flow practice your meditation is connected to being able to observe the sensations and thoughts that are passing through your body and mind. Through practice you will learn to see that your body, physical sensations, and even your mental activity are not integral to your true self. Your true self will stand outside of these things and you will come to learn and experience how to stay calm and peaceful during challenges. Vinyasa flow yoga does promote overall mental health, lowers stress, increases focus and concentration and helps you sleep better.
Vinyasa Flow Patterns
During yoga teacher training we learn about Ashtanga yoga and how it is connected to Vinyasa flow yoga. Vinyasa flow is really best described as freestyle to Ashtanga yoga practice and instead of following a rigid structure of rules to practice; you can choose postures from all the series and not in a specific order. Vinyasa Flow yoga is fun in that you can do the poses in the later series without having mastered the poses that require you to put your foot behind your head. There are of course advantages to staying with the traditional Ashtanga yoga program.
Vinyasa Flow class will range and yoga teacher training has given all teachers the ability to create their own style and sequences that they want to incorporate into their own teaching and practice. Classes will vary and will hard to predict on the level of ability. You should go in and talk to the yoga teacher to get an idea of the style and level before you begin. Find the teacher and class that fits to your practice and brings you new information and challenges.
Is this style for you?
There is no singly philosophy or rule book for teachers to follow. Yoga teacher training provides tools to make each class unique. Individual personalities and quirks will be in each yoga teacher’s class session. If you want to find a class that is fun and unpredictable, Vinyasa Flow is the class for you!