Vinyasa is a term that covers a range of yoga classes and the word “Vinyasa” means “breath-synchronised movement” or “flow”. Put simply, the teacher of the class will instruct you to move from one pose or asana to the next on inhalation or exhalation. Essentially, the class flows from one pose to the next while incorporating specific breathing patterns. It is a very unique and creative form of yoga.
The purpose of Vinyasa yoga is to create heat in the body, which in turns leads to purification through increased circulation and sweating. It also improves flexibility as well as the strength of tendons and hard tissues, allowing the student to practice advanced poses or asanas without the risk of injury.
In Vinyasa yoga, there are six series altogether, with each sequence typically beginning with ten sun salutations and the standing poses. This is the opening sequence. The student then moves on to either the primary, intermediate, advanced A, B, C, or D, depending on their individual skill level before closing with a set of inverted poses known as the finishing sequence.
Vinyasa yoga is a faster-paced yoga class that was developed in order to strengthen the body and the mind through synchronised breathing and flowing movements. It is great for intermediate yoga students that are looking for something more challenging. Vinyasa yoga is not suitable for beginners.
There can be a lot of variety in a Vinyasa yoga class but almost all classes will include Sun Salutations. The class may be fast or slow, include chanting, or be very alignment-orientated, depending on the individual teacher. Some popular yoga styles are actually Vinyasa styles – such as Ashtanga yoga – but these are listed by their own names.