Vinyasa Flow yoga is the act of connecting various yoga poses together to form a continuous stream of motion that stresses the link between postures and breathing (and therefore the body with the mind). Unlike some forms of yoga, Vinyasa Flow yoga leaves room for variety—how it is implemented depends on the style of the teacher. The commonality in different teaching methods lies in the unification of movement and breath as the flow of one pose to the next is stimulated with an inhale or exhale of breath. Many times a faster-paced practice, many “power flow yoga” classes incorporate elements of strength training with Vinyasa practice.
Any form of flow yoga will provide physical benefits, helping you to gain balance and flexibility. With Vinyasa Flow yoga, you will particularly notice an increase in stamina and endurance. As one practices yoga on an everyday basis, his or her muscles strengthen and stretch and the body heals itself.
In conjunction with the increased stamina comes to improved balance and coordination. The body becomes revitalized and its ability to heal is enhanced by stretching, strengthening and breathing techniques. Increased body heat and energy will create looser muscles as well as stronger blood flow, carrying oxygen to essential organs for revitalization.
While the physical body is revitalized during consistent yoga practice, the mind will be as well. Breathing techniques that help you gain balance and control over your body also center your state of emotional well-being. As you have conscious control over your body and its breathing, you become more aware of your body and its restrictions and potential. Allowing yourself to put the time aside for regular yoga practice will calm tension in your muscles, lower anxiety and reduce depressive tendencies. An increased sense of calmness filters into the rest of your life beyond the yoga class
Concentrating on the core breathing of your body brings the focus to your inner being and away from the outside world, including any distractions that may plague your life outside of yoga. An increased sense of calmness filters into the rest of your life beyond the yoga class. This self-awareness can combat anti-depression and increase motivation as you feel a closer connection to the way your body functions.
These popular sequences of poses are common in the practice of Vinyasa because of the natural flow yoga between movements:
- Standing Pose Sequence: Downward facing dog, Lunge, Warrior I, Warrior II, extended side angle, Triangle, Half moon and back to Downward facing dog
- Sun Salutation Sequence: When teachers tell the class to “go through their vinyasa,” they are referring to the sun salutation sequence that varies but usually flows as such: downward-facing dog to the plank position, forward into cobra and back to downward facing dog.
Because Vinyasa Flow yoga is a strength-training form of yoga, always keep former injuries in mind, be aware of your physical limitations and what your body can handle. When considering any new exercise regiment, consult your doctor. Drinking the recommended daily amount of water will prevent dehydration during your workout. Most classes run from 45 to 90 minutes long, starting with sun salutations and standing postures and continuing with several other categories of poses before ending with a meditation series.
Yoga Singles for Mothers and Babies
Many people associate yoga with New Age meditation or pretzel-like body poses, but in reality, it is a very practical and accessible form of exercise for people of many, varied body types. In particular, mom-baby yoga takes the traditional yoga practice of promoting controlled breathing and strengthening muscle tone and adapts it to suit the needs of new parents and their small children.
Exercise for Yoga Singles Mom
The advantages of mom-baby yoga (such classes go by a variety of names, but web searches for “mom and baby yoga” or “postnatal yoga” will yield good results) are physical as well as emotional. This type of yoga is designed specifically to allow mothers and children to exercise while strengthening the bond between them. It focuses on strengthening the core muscles of the abdomen and lower back, which women often have trouble retraining after a pregnancy. Benefits of these exercises for new mothers also include an opportunity for social interaction, and, unlike working out at a more traditional gym, these classes provide an environment sensitive to the needs of a mother with small children. Some yoga studios even provide toys to entertain toddlers as well as an additional instructor to supervise or hold fussy babies while mothers work out.
Health Benefits for Children
Babies as young as four weeks old can rest next to or in front of their mothers on a blanket or zafu, a pillow used in yoga practice. As another option, mothers might even choose to exercise with their babies during certain parts of the routine, which provides comfort for the child and additional resistance for the mother. The relaxed atmosphere and gentle movements can help reduce stress, gas pain, and colic as well as improve sleep and boost immunity in young children. Older children can also benefit by performing many aspects of yoga practice themselves. Participation exposes children to the advantages of exercise by working on balance, flexibility, and body awareness. It also introduces the concept of meditation, which can help with self-discipline and focus.
Yoga’s Nurturing Environment
The unique nature of mom-baby private yoga classes allows mothers to tend to their children as needed, whether that means feeding, changing diapers, or soothing them in some other way. Although there are many options for mothers to begin regaining, or perhaps developing for the first time, muscle strength and tone, practicing yoga with their baby provides exercise for both body and spirit.