Since the closure of Haven on the Lake due to COVID-19, our instructors have been keeping busy with virtual classes! From HIIT to Pilates, we’re offering a variety of workouts on Facebook Live — and without a doubt, one of the most popular and in-demand classes is vinyasa yoga.
When you consider the mental, emotional and physical benefits of a vinyasa practice, it’s no surprise that this style of yoga is so sought-after. Here’s a little primer on what it’s all about…
The Basics of Vinyasa Yoga
If you’ve ever heard the word “flow” during yoga, it’s likely you were in a vinyasa class. The concept of flow (moving from one pose directly to the next) is central to vinyasa. Because these classes embrace continuous and dynamic movement, you’re generating heat and getting a heart-pumping cardio workout.
Your body isn’t the only benefactor, however. In vinyasa yoga, the power of Sakyong Mipham’s famous quote — “The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness” — is on full display. Vinyasa yoga gives us a powerful opportunity to work within as we work out. As you build strength, endurance and flexibility, the chatter in your mind begins to clear, allowing you to drop more fully into the present and increase your sense of calm and wellbeing.
Part of this release comes from moving with your breath, which is a key characteristic of vinyasa yoga. The breath initiates each physical movement: Your instructor will cue an ‘inhale’ on poses that lengthen or open, and an ‘exhale’ on poses where you deepen, fold or move toward the earth. Learning to move with the breath is a huge part of vinyasa’s “feel good” after-glow. The more you practice, the more the breath’s intimate connection to your mental, physical and emotional state reveals itself to you.
Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
Another hallmark of vinyasa is its variability. No two classes are the same, and there’s endless variations in the sequences that can be put together. Typically, you’ll move through a full range of poses in a single class. This can include standing postures, balance postures, backbends, sitting postures, etc., resulting in a full-body tone-up.
Essentially, practicing vinyasa yoga keeps your fitness routine fresh and inspiring —and carries a lessened likelihood of injuries that arise from repetitive motion. Additional benefits are that it soothes stress and anxiety, increases relaxation, quiets the mind, and boosts your mood…with zero equipment needed!
As your physical strength and flexibility increase, the beauty of vinyasa yoga is that you may just notice the same results within yourself. Check out Haven on the Lake’s Facebook page for regular live classes!