We are all very fortunate to live in a world where yoga is immensely popular, in fact increasingly so, but to the beginner it's hard to know where to start when there are so many forms, styles and lineages to choose from. Our brand new Focus on: guides are designed to help you to choose the style of yoga that is right for you. We hope you find them both interesting and informative! First up, Yoga Flow...
Yoga Flow (also known as 'vinyasa flow') is an elegant, dynamic style of yoga, derived from Ashtanga Yoga, which emphasises the synchronisation of mind, body and breath. In fact, the Sanskrit word for 'vinyasa' is often translated as "connection". Intelligent and creative sequencing will lead you safely towards a different 'peak' posture every time. Pace varies from teacher to teacher but expect to work hard and get hot, using ujjayi breath ("ocean breathing" - inhaling and exhaling through the nose, creating a rasping sound in the throat) to support your practice.
The term 'vinyasa' is also used to describe the sequence of poses that are performed between Downward Facing Dogs as part of a Sun Salutation sequence.
Yoga Flow classes typically involve repetitions of Sun Salutations, with Downward Facing Dog used as a resting pose throughout the class. Most teachers will offer a variety of levels to suit different bodies and abilities, encouraging those who feel tired or pushed beyond their limits to rest in Child's Pose. Due to the fast pace of most Yoga Flow classes, they aren't recommended for beginners. Make sure that you have a few months of yoga under your belt first, along with a reasonable level of fitness.
GREAT FOR: strength, fitness, weight loss, energising, flexibility