Yoga: a complete guide to fitness and health.
In present era of modernisation, yoga is done in almost every urban household. The yoga classes can be found in every neighbourhood.
Yoga is an exercise which is preferred dominantly, as it can be done on individual basis and as per your own comfort.
One such form of yoga is Vinyasa yoga.
Vinyasa yoga has a deep history. Its roots take us to the ancient times where sages used to practice it.
What is Vinyasa yoga?
The term Vinyasa is a Sanskrit term, which means “placing in a special way”. Vinyasa yoga is all about coordinating the various asana with the breathing techniques.
It is the proper way of putting what should come in the first place, and what should be the next move! The postures are made in a continuous flow and are interlinked.
A balance is created all around, which can be felt physically, spiritually and emotionally. The movement in the upward direction is synced with inhalation, and downward movement with exhalation.
The continuous movement is very beneficial for the rhythmic contractions of heart. The cardiovascular capacity is greatly affected. Let us learn more about it.
Vinyasa yoga poses
Yoga is always about postures and breathing techniques coordinated with these postures.
1. Half moon
Stand with your feet a few distances apart. Keep your body straight upright. Now, bend at the waist, with putting your one hand on the ground.
Raise your other leg up in the opposite direction of your bending. You have to make a half moon with your legs. While you are supporting yourself with one hand on the floor, raise your other hand up towards the ceiling straight.
Stick your fingers close to each other. Look up.
2. Chair 1 and 2
Stand straight with your feet close to each other. Raise both your arms up towards the ceiling and join your hands just like you do when you pray. Extend the hands upwards. There should be no bending at the elbows. Bend at your knees a little bit! Hold for a few seconds and then release.
Another chair posture is the same with slightly bent knees. Just you have to extend your hands in the forward direction, parallel to the floor.
Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Extend your hands up in a joint form, towards the ceiling. Lunge forward. One forward knee should be bent, and the other should be extended straight at the back. Hold the position for a few seconds and then release.
Get down on your all fours. Place your hands at the floor and the knees as well. Look forward, straight. Give your back a curve inside. Do not let your hand bend at the elbows. Yes, you can get it right! Try.
Get down on your all fours. You have to give your back an outer curve now. You have to pull your tummy in and bring it close to the spine.
Look down in such a way that your chin touches your collar bone region. The legs are all extended back!
6. Plank pose
Lie down on your tummy in contact with the floor. Rest your hands at the sides, near your head. Palms should face the floor. Now, push yourself up, taking support with your hands.
You have to raise your feet as well with the support of your toes. Your body should be straight like a plank, without any curves. Do not bend at the elbows and the knees.
Vinyasa yoga sequence
Vinyasa yoga sequence is the properly arranged yogic postures, interlinked with each other to maintain a continuous flow. Many postures can be sequenced in many ways, but this needs to be done by experts only. However, we have a sample for you.
– Begin with meditation and bringing your concentration at one point. Relax and feel the breeze whizzing past your ears.
– Now, follow it with some warm up postures. Take about 10 minutes in warm up.
– Since your body has now become apt for performing the yogic asana, you can begin with the standing exercises.
– You can also do squat-like poses and hip opener exercises.
– Do this for about 30-45 minutes.
– End the posture section by bending exercises, especially the back bends and the twists you do while sitting.
– Relax by performing the Shavasana. Let your body release out all the negative energy, and feel the positivity spreading in every body part.
This was the long Vinyasa Flow sequence. Short flow cycles are also followed which range for a few minutes. The short flow has following stages:
– Warm up and begin.
– Give a mountain pose or Tadasana.
– You can also do Surya Namaskar.
– Follow the exercises with breathing coordination.
– Give the eagle pose or a dancer’s pose
Power Vinyasa yoga
Power Vinyasa Yoga is an immense exercise or shall I say workout, which involves all the postures to be made and practiced along with the breathing exercise in a continuous flow! Yes, without stopping!
It is an intensive one, as depicted by the term “power” in the name itself. Generally, the poses are not much in number, but the holding time period is very much! The holding time period is extended which puts muscles in much pressure.
Then, you have to swiftly switch to the next posture in continuity and hold that position as well.
Power yoga focuses on building strength as the postures and the way they are done, increases endurance.
The longer you hold, the longer the muscles exert pressure and the more their strength is developed.
It also increases flexibility and improves range of muscle movement as the yogic postures are done in a sequence and involves every body part.
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga
Ashtanga yoga is a form of yoga, but do not get confused with the Ashtanga yoga introduced by Patanjali. Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga involves the “eight elements” of yoga and a series of postures are done in a flow.
Usually it begins with the Surya Namaskar repetitions. Then you can do the standing postures along with the breathing techniques. The time duration should be pre-planned.
The session can be ended with the closing set of postures. You can find the whole sessions on the internet easily, or join a yoga class for learning the basics. You can then do all the exercises all by yourself.
For every posture you take in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, you have a point of focus where you have to keep your eyes- called “drishti”. Also, the key principles are based on the bandhas. Breathes and bandhas go hand in hand, then only Ashtanga Yoga proves to be a success.
The mantras also find a place in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, all in Sanskrit.
Hatha Vinyasa yoga
Hatha yoga is the opposite of power yoga. As intense is the power yoga, the more gentle and smooth is the Hatha yoga. It involves slow breathing exercises, pretty normal yogic postures and the transition from one posture to the other is very smoothly done, without exhaustion or extra pressure.
Hatha Vinyasa Yoga is considered best for the beginners. It brings positive energy around, and you feel the best when you add a little meditation to the session.
Vinyasa yoga benefits
Yoga has very deep benefits, and so does the Vinyasa yoga.
Let us look at the benefits and advantages you will be receiving by doing Vinyasa Yoga.
– It definitely increases flexibility, strength and endurance. All these things are known.
– When you utilise your energy in a workout session of Vinyasa yoga, your negative energy is released out and you feel more relaxed and stress-free. It feels as if a huge burden is put down.
– When you release the entire negative, you are left with the entire positive! Don’t you feel this is the best part? Being positive makes you enthusiastic, rejuvenating your dull soul and opening your blocked mind!
– Scientifically it is proved that Vinyasa Yoga has an impact on migraines and related headaches. There is some reduction in the intensity and the frequency!
– The cardiovascular coordination is improved.
– Neuromuscular coordination is improved.
– The breathing techniques followed in a flow are found to be very beneficial, improving the respiratory system and functioning of heart.
– The best part is, for the women who want to lose weight; this yoga form will help you till you lose the last Kg!
– Your stress levels go down, thus you feel more peaceful. People who have anger issues can find positive changes in themselves.
– The soul gets cleaned and the body as well! All clear, Captain?
Vinyasa yoga routine
Vinyasa yoga is a continuous flow of postures and breathing techniques. It should be followed in a particular sequence and should be done in a particular manner. You miss out a class, you lag the routine. Follow it up as said by your instructor.
Baptiste power Vinyasa yoga
Baptiste Vinyasa yoga has been named under its founder, Walt Baptiste and his son, Baron Baptiste. This is a form of Power Vinyasa Yoga and has been inspired by the teachings followed by the founders.
Baptiste Power Yoga stands straight on three of the pillars:
– Asana or the postures
– Meditation and focussing element
It enhances the strength and muscle power by continuous workout. The muscles get toned and the cardiovascular capacity is improved.
The workout ends for about 90 minutes, involving a great amount of energy doing several postures and synced breathes. You feel energised, you feel strong, you feel powerful and as majestic as you can ever be!
Vinyasa yoga schools
There are several schools and institutions which impart training in Vinyasa yoga. They are available all over the world. You need to look out and search for the one in your neighbourhood or locality.
1. Akshi Yogashala, Rishikesh, India
2. Rishikul Yogshala, Rishikesh, India
3. Samatahiti, Puerto Rico
4. Marianne Wells Yoga School, Costa Rica
5. School Yoga Institute, Indonesia
6. Om Shanti Om yoga school, Lakshman Jhula, India
7. Sudhha Anand Yogshala, Rishikesh, India
And there are many more! Practice under proper guidance and learn something new and divine! Vinyasa yoga would be the best if you wish to utilise your energy in any workout!