Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement”, and Vinyasa yoga is a series of poses that will move you through the power of inhaling and exhaling. Vinyasa movements are smoothly flowing which explains why it is sometimes referred to as Vinyasa Flow or just Flow. Vinyasa Flow moves steadily from pose to pose in a sequence of movements linked or associated together synchronized with breath, often pausing to hold poses for various lengths of time while maintaining the rhythmic flow of the breath. Unlike Ashtanga Vinyasa, each class usually offers a different sequence of poses, although most use some form of Surya Namaskara A and B. Most Vinyasa Flow classes apply Iyengar alignment principles, energetic actions within poses, and use of props.
Unlike most approaches to Hatha yoga, which have a fixed system, Vinyasa is not a system. This allows creativity in sequencing asanas and offering a diverse array of themes in different classes. There is no hierarchy, no leading guru as in Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, and many other approaches.
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Ashtanga Vinyasa is a highly focused practice. The practice of dristana, in which one gazes steadily upon a specified point in and between each asana, lends to pratyahara, a more internal awareness. Ujjayi pranayama is maintained throughout, creating a steady rhythm in the breath that is sustained evenly from pose to pose, its sound and sensation creating a mantra that fosters greater mental focus and acuity. Bandhas are employed in most of the practice, assisting in the regulation of pranic energy flowing through the body. The practice is tied together through vinyasa, the conscious connection of breath to movement that helps generate a “balance of strength and flexibility, lightness and heaviness, movement and stillness”. Below is an image of the primary series sequence of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.
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Power Hot Yoga
Power hot yoga is often described as a vigorous fitness based vinyasa practice connecting breath with movement. It is known to be an offshoot of Ashtanga yet more dynamic and intense. It is basically the CrossFit for yogis¡ It is the ultimate practice of “mind over matter”, inspiring personal endurance and self-confidence. By the end of class, the endorphins rush in after 60-90 minutes have elapsed, sweating it out on the mat, leaving you with the sensational feeling that there is nothing in this world you cannot achieve. As with all forms of yoga, Power Hot Yoga reduces stress and tension and gives the practitioner a brighter outlook on life.
A few words of caution, hot power yoga is a very brisk exercise and beginners should be hesitant to start at this level of intensity. My advice as a newbie to yoga, practice at least 3-6 months in a normal studio before trying your hand at Power Hot Yoga.
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Yin means “passive” and in Yin Yoga we will slow our postures down and hold them for longer periods of time. The benefits of yin yoga are that it focuses on specific areas, releasing tension and deepening your flexibility. Yin also encourages the release of emotions that we often hold in certain areas of the body, allowing for not only a physical release but a mental release as well. This class is especially useful for quieting the mind, relaxing the body, and preparing for meditation. If you’re looking for a slower paced class and relaxing postures, this class is for you! As well it is perfect for those who would like a relaxing session after the 19:00 vinyasa class!
Hypopressive abdominals are breathing and posture exercises based on pression and tension. The benefits behind of doing them are a flatter belly, strengthening of core muscles, a narrower waist, more flexibility for the lumbar spine and the hamstrings, increased thoracic capacity, better sex life (increases the proprioception of the pelvic floor) and a better physical wellbeing.
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