Vinyasa Yoga Explained
One of the aspects of our yoga studio that sets us apart is that we truly welcome and support yoga students of all levels. For seasoned yoga practitioners, Yoga Pod Fort Collins can be a place of inspiration and challenge. When it comes to students unrolling their mats for the first time, Yoga Pod Fort Collins strives to be an encouraging and informative environment.
Our blog is one way we try to demystify yoga for students of all levels. We believe that by learning more about yoga off the mat, you can grow a strong foundation and deepen your practice on the mat.
For beginner students especially, it can be beneficial to understand the different types of yoga. This way, you know what to expect as you walk into a specific yoga class style. Since vinyasa is one of the most common and potentially confusing types of yoga, we will start here.
What is the history of vinyasa yoga?
If you research yoga classes, you will probably see the concept of “vinyasa flow” alluded to frequently. Vinyasa flow is actually modern yoga, conceived of and popularized in the 1920s by Krishnamacharya. Indeed, one of his motivations in creating vinyasa yoga was to adapt yoga to make it more accessible for a Western population. He would stand on street corners and perform pretzel-like, sensational postures to gain attention . . . and it worked!
Whereas ancient yoga existed to train Hindu priests to sit for hours on end in meditation, Krishnamacharya’s modern yoga aimed to keep the tradition alive in a more palatable, exercise-based form. Now, studies show that at least 36.7 million people practice yoga in the U.S, thanks in part to Krishnamacharya.
So, what exactly is a vinyasa flow?
In its most basic form, a vinyasa flow yoga class connects breath to movement. On an inhale, you move into one posture. On an exhale, you typically move to another. This gives vinyasa flows a “moving meditation” quality.
Whichever way you see this yoga class type written — vinyasa, vinyasa flow, flow class, or power yoga — you can expect an active yoga class that links breath to movement. At Yoga Pod Fort Collins, our podFLOW 1 and podFLOW 2 yoga classes are considered vinyasa flows.
How is this yoga class structured?
“Linking breath to movement” might still seem obscure, especially if you are just starting a yoga practice. While every vinyasa flow yoga class differs based on the level and instructor, you can expect to move through a series of postures called Sun Salutations.
In a basic vinyasa yoga class, you go through two series called Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B too. The first time, your instructor will cue you through the postures slowly to set up proper alignment. Then, you will flow through the same series two more times, now moving at the speed of your own breath. Your instructor will still give verbal cues, but the pace will be matched to about a 4-count inhale and a 4-count exhale.
Yoga Pod Fort Collins
We know that the world of yoga can initially seem overwhelming, and it is extremely common for beginner yoga students to feel this way. Sign up for $30 For 30 Days to see what our podFLOW 1 and podFLOW 2 yoga classes are all about!