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Vinyasa is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. The word Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.” In other words, the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. This technique is sometimes also called Vinyasa Flow, or just Flow because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance.
A Cat-Cow Stretch is an example of a very simple Vinyasa, because the spine is arched on an inhale and rounded on an exhale. A Sun Salutation sequence is an example of a more complex Vinyasa and with each movement in the series is done on an inhalation or an exhalation. A great yoga workout has the power to stretch your muscles to the max, making them longer, stronger, and more tone. Plus, a great way to relieve stress, find your center, and leave each workout feeling calm and relaxed. Find your personal stretchy style and twist, bend, and breathe your way to a better you.
This style allows for a lot of variety, but will almost certainly include Sun Salutations. If your yoga class schedule lists a Vinyasa class, expect movement, not just stretching. Whether the class is fast or slow, includes chanting, or is very alignment- oriented will depend on the individual teacher. Some very popular yoga styles, such as Ashtanga, Hatha and Power Yoga make use of the Vinyasa method, but they will be listed on a class schedule by their individual names.
Vinyasa’s strength is in its diversity. There is no single philosophy, rulebook, or sequence that teachers must follow, so there is a lot of room for individual personalities and quirks to come through. This makes it essential that you find a teacher you enjoy and can relate to. If your first Vinyasa class doesn’t rock your world, keep trying different teachers. If you enjoy having things a little loose and unpredictable and like to move, Vinyasa is probably right for you.