“Vinyasa” is sanskrit for “arranging in a special way”. A Vinyasa Flow yoga class is typically one where movement is synchronized with breath. As you inhale, you might raise your arms. And as you exhale you might lower them towards the ground, reaching for your toes.
The most well-known example of a Vinyasa Flow yoga sequence, or “flow” for short, is surya namaskar. Ashtanga is another example of a flow. If you’ve taken a Power Yoga class it was probably a flow.
Flow classes typically look like a dance because of how you, the student, use your body to move gracefully from one yoga pose to another.
Vinyasa Flow can refer to a particular sequence of movements (surya namaskar, for example), the concept of syncing movement with breath, or a type of yoga asana class.
At Shanti Yoga we teach flow classes to our drop-ins and teacher trainers as long as we know they can physically handle it. It’s a more difficult practice since you’re tensing your muscles to transition between poses. This is more strain on the body than a Hatha yoga class.