If you enjoy continuous movement and strength building poses, you’d like Vinyasa flow yoga. Unlike some styles of yoga like Ashtanga and Bikram where you follow the same sequences, each flow class is different.
What is Vinyasa Yoga?
The vinyasa style of yoga is a strong, dynamic style focusing on yoga and mindfulness. The emphasis is on connecting breath with movement. The word “vinyasa” means “to place in a special way”. In essence, it is mindful movement and keeping the mind focused on your present actions.
Is there a specific vinyasa flow sequence?
Vinyasa flow is a type of yoga based on Ashtanga Vinyasa. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a stricter form of yoga having students focus on sequence series, the most popular being the Primary Series. A vinyasa class is loosely based on this, allowing the teacher to be more creative in how they bring together a sequence of poses. The poses featured in a flow class will be the same as other styles of yoga, such as hatha yoga for example, with a key point of difference being the inclusion of the vinyasa between various poses.
This is an outline of a typical flow class structure:
- Centring for the first few minutes allows you to set your intention for the class
- Warming ups can start with gentle movement and/or Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)
- If Sun Salutations were not in the warm up (in Ashtanga, only Sun Salutations are used for warming up), this sequence would start after the warm up
- Sun Salutation benefits: Teachers use this yoga sequence because many other yoga poses can be added to the “flow”. Students like the sequence because it is something familiar in each class despite each class being slightly different.
- There is also an expression to “take a vinyasa”, which refers to a partial yoga sequence within a Sun Salutation (plank pose – low plank pose – upward facing dog – downward facing dog). This is often an option between poses to keep a strong flow.
- Many classes work toward an “apex pose” which might be one or more harder poses, which might be standing or balancing poses
- Last part of the pose might be seated or on your back
- Closing pose would typically be Savasana, laying down on your back, focusing on your inhaling and exhaling, allowing a full body muscle release, in a meditative state
Vinyasa Yoga for Beginners
Many people feel intimidated about coming to yoga, as they feel inflexible or think they will be out of their depth. Most yoga teachers and studios will list whether a class is “open to all levels” or not. If it’s open to all levels, this means beginners are welcome. The teacher should give the option to modify a harder pose to make it easier for those who are new. Vinyasa classes can range in difficulty but pose modifications should make most classes accessible to all.
Tips for Beginners
- Before class, if possible, introduce yourself to the teacher and let them know you are new. Most likely they will factor in more modifications into the class if they know there are beginners or new to vinyasa yoga.
- If you are feeling tired, go into a child’s pose which can be done by placing knees on the mat, sit on heels with arms forward. This is a good alternative to downward dog if your wrists are hurting.
- If you are doing a Sun Salutation, if it feels too fast and you are lost, take yourself into downward dog. You can move into several poses from downward dog.
- And remember, the other students are not watching you – they are supposed to be turning inward and focusing on their breathing 🙂
Yoga Classes in Cookham
Although we offer a range of class durations, only the yoga classes over 45 minutes are available to join at our yoga studio in Cookham.
When the weather is good we will have the class outside on the deck, overlooking Cookham Moor.
To book any of our face-to-face classes please click here.
Online Yoga Classes
Following yoga videos online is a great way to start yoga classes in the comfort of your home. YogaTonic UK have created a selection of options for your yoga practice at home:
Specialist Yoga Packages
Each of our specialist yoga packages are available as a one-off purchase providing unlimited access to all the classes in the collection. To find out more click on the package that is of interest to you.