What does Vinyasa Flow mean?
“Vinyasa” is a Sanskrit word that means “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 your arms 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”. This Sanskrit term translates to “sun salutation”. “Ashtanga”, meaning “eight limbs”, is another type of flow class. If you’ve taken a Power Yoga class it was probably a flow, too.
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.
The term “Vinyasa Flow” can also refer to a particular sequence of movements. For example, surya namaskar. Others might be referring to the concept of syncing movement with breath. Finally, some might use the phrase to describe a type of yoga asana class.
How difficult is a Vinyasa class?
A vinyasa class is often quite difficult. It’s a more difficult practice because you’re tensing muscles to transition between the poses. Further, you tense your muscles to hold a pose. This puts more strain on the body than a Hatha yoga class, where there is often not a transition between poses.
Because flows are physically demanding they are a great workout. Therefore, this makes them a popular form of exercise in the West. Yoga is so much more than just exercise, though.
At Shanti Yoga we teach flow classes to our drop-ins and teacher trainers as long as we know they can physically handle it. Are you interested in taking a vinyasa flow class? Learn more here about flows during a Shanti Yoga Teacher Training.