What is Vinyasa Yoga?
Many long-time yoga practitioners are discovering the power of Vinyasa yoga, but others have known about its benefits for many years. Like traditional yoga, Vinyasa yoga uses a variety of postures and breathing exercises to clear the mind, tone the body and lift the spirit. But the health benefits of Vinyasa yoga go far beyond the traditional.
Vinyasa yoga differs from other forms of yoga in a number of important ways, starting with its origins. Originally derived from bahta yoga, Vinyasa yoga tends to be done at a faster pace. That makes Vinyasa yoga a superior exercise in many ways, burning more calories than other forms of yoga and doing a better job of toning the body and building the muscles.
In Vinyasa yoga, the postures are linked together into a series of movements. Those movements are synchronized with the breathing to create a comprehensive workout for mind, body and spirit. In fact, Vinyasa yoga places a greater emphasis on breathing and the transition in and out of the various postures. Specifically, the upward movements of Vinyasa yoga are correlated with the inhalation of breath, while the downward movements are associated with exhalation.
The almost continual movement involved in Vinyasa yoga make it an excellent cardiovascular workout for both men and women. In fact, the cardiovascular benefits of Vinyasa have won over many people who never thought they would enjoy yoga.
Other benefits of Vinyasa yoga include an increase in muscle strength, greater endurance and better flexibility. Like other forms of yoga, Vinyasa is also an excellent stress reliever. Practitioners learn to control their breathing and get in tune with their bodies, and that helps them spot the early warning signs of anxiety and deal with them at the source.
While it may sound like the practice of Vinyasa yoga is rigid and unchanging, the opposite is actually true. One of the great benefits of Vinyasa yoga is its diversity, and practitioners can use a variety of sequences to achieve the desired results. The very word Vinyasa is derived from a Sanskrit term meaning "variations within parameters", and that is an apt description for this fast-growing exercise.
While all forms of Vinyasa yoga have been growing in popularity, Tapas Vinyasa is a particularly attractive choice for people who want to get fit, improve their cardiovascular endurance and build their muscles while still enjoying the traditional benefits of yoga - things like stress relief, a better mind-body connection and better relaxation.
The word tapas has a number of meanings, but it typically translates to "heat" or "fire". When used to describe this unique form of Vinyasa yoga, the word tapas is used to refer to the building of heat through breathing exercises and powerful posture sequences.
Tapas Vinyasa yoga is an intense workout, and it is not typically suitable for the beginner. Men and women who have never done yoga before are generally urged to start with the traditional practice, or with the regular form of Vinyasa yoga. As their fitness level increases and the sessions become easier, it is time to work up to the Tapas variety of this powerful exercise regimen.
Check out the video here with Green Apple Advocate as Joan talks more about Vinyasa yoga. Tell us if you’re a newbie at Vinyasa, interested, or a long-time practitioner! We’d love to hear your stories.