Vinyasa Yoga

Did you know that different styles and formats of yoga exists?  Not all yoga falls under the same category, the poses, sequences and breathing patterns can differ and make a class either harder or easier.  There are seven different forms of yoga: Yin, Restorative, Ashtanga, Hatha, Strala, Iyengar and Vinyasa.  Vinyasa is the style we will be discussing today, below you will find a little background information on this style and the basic Vinyasa poses to create your own Vinyasa flow at home. 


Vinyasa Yoga’s main focus is on the flow of the class.  No two Vinyasa classes are alike, you can experience a different routine every time.  This form emphasizes the sun salutation pose and aims to have a highly synchronized flow for the body's movement and breathing.  Each movement is done in a smooth manner and every new pose in the cycle is connected to the other with either an inhale or exhale.  

Below are a couple of benefits from practicing Vinyasa Yoga:

  • Improved fitness levels, increase in strength, flexibility and stability
  • Helps improve mental health, can reduce stress levels and improve sleep
  • Assist in weight loss, due to the changing routines this keeps the body constantly moving and not in a stuck routine
  • Physical benefits can include improved cardiovascular levels, more energy, and better posture

8 Crucial Vinyasa Yoga Poses


Warm Up:

  • Sit cross-legged with your hips propped on a blanket or block, if that feels most comfortable. Allow your eyes to close, and find your breath. Stay here for five or so minutes, until you begin to feel ease in your breath.

Downward-Facing Dog

How To: From a tabletop position, curl your toes into the mat and lengthen your legs, lifting your hips to the sky. 

Beginner Adjustment: to make the pose easier, you can bend at the knees.

Upward Facing Dog

How To: Begin by lying facedown on the mat with your legs extended straight behind your body. Place your palms on the mat next to your shoulders. Then, extend your arms straight to lift your upper body while simultaneously and gently arching your back and lifting your thighs and shins off of the floor.

Beginner Adjustment: keep your hips on the floor/mat surface.

Chair Pose

How To: Stand tall with your feet at a hip distance apart.  Bend into your knees and sink your hips.  Tilt the bottom of your pelvis upward. Elongate the back of your neck as you look four feet in front of you to the ground. Lift your hands up to the sky, keeping the ribs knitted together.

Beginner Adjustment: Place your hands in the prayer hands at the heart center.

Warrior 2

How To: Stand tall with your feet at a hip-width distance. Step your left foot behind you, keeping the toes facing toward the long side of the mat. The front foot will stay planted forward. Think front heel to back arch alignment. Bend deeply into your front knee. Lift your arms out to a “T,” keeping your low belly engaged. Switch sides and repeat.

Beginner Adjustment: Shorten the length of your stance and place your hands in the prayer pose at the heart center.

Side Angel

How To: From Warrior 2, place your front forearm on your front thigh with your opposite arm to the sky. Stack your top shoulder over your bottom shoulder. Consider hovering your bottom hand over the ground, creating a “T” with your arms. Switch sides and repeat.

Beginner Adjustment: Shorten the length of your stance and place your forearm on your thigh.

Plank

How To: From a downward-facing dog position, articulate the spine forward until you come into plank. Think of this as one long line from your heels through the crown of your head. Protract the shoulders. Engage the belly.

Beginner Adjustment: place your knees on the ground/mat.

Chaturanga

How To: From a plank position, bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Think of this like a tricep push-up with your elbows held close in toward your sides.

Beginner Adjustment: place your knees on the ground/mat. 

Side Plank

How To: From a plank pose, step your right hand just underneath your face. Tilt your heels to the right and lift your left hand to the sky. Stack your top shoulder over your bottom shoulder and your top hip over your bottom hip. Switch sides and repeat.

Beginner Adjustment: place your bottom knee on the ground/mat.