My Experience with Vinyasa Yoga
I have been trying different classes, different kinds of exercises, for something that I will stick to. My doctor told me that if I don’t begin now, I am in for some serious trouble. Family history of heart disease and diabetes, anyone? I liked yoga the most among all the different kinds of exercises I tried out, but you don’t just take up yoga, it seems. There are many different kinds of yoga out there, and you have to find the one that suits you best. And I thought that choosing an exercise routine would be the easiest part of this lifestyle change!
What is Vinyasa Yoga?
After going through the many different kinds of yoga classes out there, I was about ready to give up. I didn’t really love any of the classes. Then one day, my friend told me about Vinyasa yoga. I decided to drive 100 miles to her home, and try her class. Seriously, I was desperate for something I could enjoy. Vinyasa yoga is a kind of yoga in which movement is synchronised to the breath. Vinyasa is a Sanskrit term, meaning connections. Vinyasa yoga is about arranging poses so that they flow into each other. According to the website yogajournal.com, students coordinate movements with their breath as they flow from one pose to the next in the Vinyasa yoga class. According to an article on fitday.com, the emphasis in Vinyasa yoga is on the breath, and on the transition from one asana to the next. Upward movements are generally correlated with inhalations of breath, and downward movements with exhalations.
The Practice of Vinyasa Yoga
I had heard a lot about Vinyasa from my friend, but now I was keen to put some of it into practice. Well, Vinyasa yoga is not for the faint of heart. Firstly, Vinyasa is an umbrella term for different kinds of yoga. For one thing, I didn’t know that Vinyasa yoga can, like Bikram yoga, be done in a hot classroom. Secondly, Vinyasa yoga is more like a cardio workout than any other kinds of yoga that I had done. The continual movements from one pose to the next in Vinyasa yoga gives the body a cardiovascular workout. The heat in the classroom adds to the difficulty level. But surprisingly, I felt good after the class, so I decided to give this class a chance.
The Benefit of Heat
Practitioners of yoga believe that sweat has healing powers. According to an article on powerflownj.com, the heated room helps to open the pores, muscles, and the mind. The ujjayi breath is used in Vinyasa yoga to warm up the body internally. When heat is combined with the ujjayi breath, what you get is a “powerful, detoxifying and cleansing practice.” The thing is, the room is not actually much hotter than your normal body temperature. You feel the heat when you enter the yoga studio. Once the body starts to sweat, you begin to acclimatize and feel much more comfortable. I have never been a fan of sweating, but this class changed my mind on that point!
Vinyasa Yoga, Here I Come!
I was very happy to find a Vinyasa yoga class near where I live. However much I enjoyed the class, I doubt I would have regularly driven 100 miles each way just to get my regular dose of Vinyasa yoga! I can see the evidence of the benefits on my body. Vinyasa yoga has helped to improve my flexibility and strength. As an article on livestrong.com says, “the continual flowing movements of Vinyasa yoga help stretch and elongate your muscles while they are being strengthened, allowing you greater mobility and range of motion.”