The term "Vinyasa" is defined as "movement synchronized with breathing" but what is "Vinyasa Yoga" in practice? Can you practice it and for what results? At Forevernoon, we have noticed the growing interest in this form of yoga and will answer you in the most complete way.
What is Vinyasa Yoga?
The benefits of Vinyasa flow yoga?
3 tips to start Vinyasa Yoga
Breathing during yoga (Ujjayi)
What is yoga Vinyasa ?
- What is Vinyasa Yoga?
- A physical and spiritual practice
- A dynamic sequence of asanas
- A yoga inseparable from a good breath (Ujjayi)
Vinyasa yoga is an ancient practice of physical and spiritual development. It is a dynamic sequence of yoga postures (asana) unique in the yogasana approach.
By integrating the functions of mind, body and breath in the same time frame, you will experience the true joy of yoga practice. Each variation is linked to the next by a succession of specific transitional movements, synchronized with the breath. The mind follows closely the slow, gentle and deliberate yogic breathing of the ujjjayi (rest assured, we explain this term "ujjayi breathing" later)
Thus Vinyasa yoga strictly follows the most complete definition of classical yoga.
Yoga is generally defined in two ways:
In one definition, it is defined as union (yukti in Sanskrit) in the other, it is mental peace (samadhana).
Using breathing as a harness, Vinyasa yoga integrates body and mind. And because the mind follows the breath, the mind is part of the whole process and achieves a high level of mental peace.
As we offer a complete guide, here are some technical terms from Vinyasa Yoga
Definition of Vinyasa yoga
The Sanskrit word Vinyasa comes from the prefix vi, which means variation, and the suffix nyasa, which means "within the prescribed parameters". The parameters prescribed in classical yoga in relation to yogasanas, as contained in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, are:
For a posture to be considered a yogasana, it must allow the practitioner to remain stable in that posture, whether standing on his feet (tadasana) or standing on his head (sirasana).
Breathing is the attention of the mind, these are the distinctive marks of yoga. Breathing is about ensuring joy and relaxation during your session.
That's it! That's it! You now have a precise historical, practical and etymological idea of Vinyasa Yoga, but then why should you practice it? Whether you wake up or in the evening, this practice is a BIG plus for your quest for happiness.
The benefits of Vinyasa flow yoga
- Tones your muscles and sculpts your figure
- You will be more flexible with a better balance
- You will be more concentrated every day
- More serenity (and better stress management)
First of all, why did we add "flow" to Viyana?
Flow" is defined as a more or less short state of grace where mind and practice are one, ignoring all distractions. It is a state of ultimate concentration where productivity has no limits.
We wish you to experience the flow at least once a day.
Vinyasa flow is a synonym of Vinyasa yoga and can be a practice in its own right or can be used to warm up the body before other types of practices such as running or going to work!
In any case, it is a multi-level practice that combines work on breathing, muscles and the execution of rhythmic movements.
The idea is to move smoothly from one posture to the next and to go a little further with each new series of postures.
How do your muscles work during a Vinyasa yoga session?
Put on your yoga legging and start by warming up the main active muscles of the main mobilized joints. It is the muscles that create the overall shape of the posture.
In the Dog upside down, start by engaging the quadriceps to stretch the knees and the triceps to stretch the elbows. This work stretches their antagonistic muscles, especially the hamstrings and biceps. Consciously contracting the main muscles that act on the joints also has the beneficial physiological effect of relaxing their antagonistic muscles. As the session progresses, other muscles are gradually worked on to refine the postures.
In short, Vinyasa yoga acts like the exercise of the board but not only at the abdominal level, but also for all the other muscles of your body!
What is going on in concrete terms?
This dynamic practice combines breathing and body movements to produce heat, which warms muscles, tendons and ligaments and produces a sweat that detoxifies the body and gives beautiful, healthy skin.
Practicing Vinyasa Flow yoga in a heated room accentuates these effects (be careful to hydrate yourself properly!)
As a result of this practice, activities of daily living, such as standing or walking, are easier and more enjoyable. This work on the muscles and joints of the lower limbs also stimulates the nerve centres that serve the region and increases electrical activity in the sacral plexus.
Now let's look at the spiritual influence of Vinyasa Yoga on your subtle bodies.
How Vinyasa yoga improves your mind?
This activity stimulates the 1st and 2nd chakras of the subtle body, which helps to solve energy blockages that form over the course of life. It is precisely this combination of biomechanical, physiological and energetic processes that distinguishes yoga from other forms of physical activity.
To do yoga is to progress through a series of doors, each door revealing new possibilities in the postures. The key to opening the first door is to understand the work of the joints.
Be aware of all the benefits of yoga: flexibility, awareness, well-being, relaxation.
Vinyasa Yoga for Beginners: 3 Tips for Everyone
If you are a beginner, it is good to respect these 3 ancestral principles, but they are also 3 qualities necessary to succeed in any business.
1. Common sense
Do not force it. In many yoga postures, the joints go to the maximum of their range of motion. By forcing the body into a certain position, you can damage your cartilage, ligaments and muscles that surround your mobilized joints.
Yoga is based on freedom. The freedom of movement, thoughts, energy flows. It is important to find a balance between intensity and regularity. In fact, it is better to do small sessions regularly than to do a very intense session once in a while. With short, regular sessions, you will integrate yoga into your daily life, create long-term changes and open your energy channels in a sustainable way.
Another way to be disciplined is to take a few moments to think about the session right after Savasana (final relaxation). Ask yourself what went well and what progress you have made. Indeed, by adding conscious reflection, one connects one's practice to the unconscious and reinforces its effects.
3. Attention to detail
"The devil is in the details." When Hatha Yoga is practiced with precision of alignment, the body becomes the vehicle that leads us to union. As we move through the postures and breaths, chemical changes occur and create a sense of well-being and relaxation. Working with drishti, i. e. the point of concentration, also helps to calm the mind. By focusing on the muscles that position each joint, your posture and alignment will improve, as will your mind.
Well, after this reading you already know a lot about Vinyasa yoga, well done! At least in theory... Because it is with practice that you can sincerely understand Vinyasa Yoga. But before practicing, you must know the importance of breathing
Breathing during Vinyasa Yoga
During the practice of Vinyasa yoga, it is necessary to practice ujjayi, or throat breathing, because ujjayi facilitates the spontaneous control of breathing, which is necessary.
Respiratory rate in Vinyasa practice
If, while doing several asanas in a sequence, you feel overworked or out of breath, take a one or two minute break to catch your breath.
People who practice asanas often find that their breathing rate gradually decreases over time, both during practice and in a usual way; the mind becomes calmer and more joyful.
There are yogis who can do yoga at a constant rate of about four breaths per minute, even during one hour of practice. Some followers maintain a rhythm of only two breaths per minute, without feeling choked or rushed. Such people show extreme relaxation while remaining in a complex posture.
How does the breath affect the mind?
If you are a meditation enthusiast, then you will find it easy to understand the importance of breathing on body and mind consciousness.
Samapatti is total mental concentration. You should mentally focus on breathing during your Vinyasa yoga practice. Whenever the mind gets lost, it should be gently folded back, focusing on breathing. Overall, most people find it easy to maintain their mental attention on their breathing and enjoy the process.
According to Srivatsa Ramaswami, author of "The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga", the practice of yoga asanas was the pillar of his guru's teaching. For thirty years, he studied the method with him, watching him teach others and participating in his lectures and demonstrations. He has never once seen him teach the practice of asanas without coordinated breathing to accompany the movements. This is the key to teaching Vinyasa krama correctly. It is necessary to maintain the practice of slow and gentle breathing, and also to know the whole range of asanas.
Vinyasa Yoga: Ujjayi Breathing
You will have understood it, during your Vinyasa yoga session you will have to concentrate on your movement but also on your breathing.
Which leads us to ask you a strange question but:
Do you know how to breathe?
To breathe, you need to engage your breathing muscles to get air in and out of your lungs, properly oxygenate the blood and evacuate carbon dioxide.
The main breathing muscle is the diaphragm. It is a thin, dome-shaped muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. As it contracts on inhalation, the diaphragm flattens, increasing the volume of the chest cavity and allowing air to enter the lungs through the trachea and bronchi.
Exhale more actively during Vinyasa Flow yoga.
The diaphragm works unconsciously: it contracts without us having to think about it. But you can also contract it consciously, which happens when you breathe voluntarily faster or deeper.
The Ujjayi breath produces a sound that evokes waves rolling on a pebble beach. This sound resonates throughout the body and connects it to the vibratory energies of the universe. Our breath is like the background music of our practice. Eventually, Ujjayi breathing will even produce an autonomous rhythmic vibration. This double work on breathing and muscles creates harmony and energy that we take with you into our daily lives.
Isn't that deeply wonderful?
Vinyasa yoga is a more dynamic yoga than hatha yoga. It is much more in line with the expectations of the Westerners that we are, while respecting its spiritual dimension. But how is this alliance between body and mind possible? It is through Ujjayi breathing, controlled inhalations and exhalations that make you more conscious.
Who among you has already practiced Vinyasa yoga? What would be the best argument to convince those who are still hesitating? Share your thoughts in our comment space