Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement,” and Vinyasa yoga is a series of poses that will move you through the power of inhaling and exhaling. Vinyasa movements are smoothly flowing and almost dance-like, which explains why it is sometimes referred to as Vinyasa Flow or just Flow.
Vinyasa Flow began as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga by a Yogi named Sri Tirumala Krishnamacharya. He was given a place to teach yoga and eventually taught a young boy named Parrabhi Jois his learnings on the power of breathing. Jois then established an institute for practicing the specific form of Vinyasa yoga.
Like all styles of yoga, Vinyasa has both mental and physical benefits. Physically, sweat expels toxins and re-energizes your body. Mentally, the synchronized breathing relaxes your mind and helps to release any blockage of energy flow throughout your body.
Good for beginners?
Absolutely! A Vinyasa class is both a great place to start and to continue challenging yourself. If you don’t love Vinyasa after your first class, try other teachers as one class can vary significantly from the next. If you like to focus on the power of breathing and flowing movement through poses, you will enjoy the Vinyasa style.
What to wear
Vinyasa yoga involves a lot of movement, so wear something you are comfortable in to flow from one pose to another. You will likely be working up a sweat so wear something breathable and moisture-wicking.
What to bring
If your studio doesn’t supply them, bring a yoga mat, a towel, and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
What to expect
Expect to move and breathe smoothly from one pose to another. Your class will most likely include Sun Salutations. Vinyasa yoga is almost like a dance with synchronized breath and movements; the style and sequence will vary depending on the teacher, so try a few different instructors to find a flow that fulfills what you desire in your practice.