Posted by on 5/7/2021 to Let's Talk Yoga!
A Deeper Look: Mind-Body Connection of Vinyasa Yoga or Flow Yoga | Popular Poses
Vinyasa is a Sanskrit term which, like so many words in this language, has multiple meanings. Its literal translation can be "positioning in a special way" and its first definition describes vinyasa as the link between body movement and breath. As an element of flow yoga practice, vinyasa is a sequence of breath-coordinated movements that help transition from one position to the next.
Finally, vinyasa is the name of a particular style of modern yoga.
Flow yoga: movement and breath connected in a flow.
Vinyasa is a form of dynamic yoga which, instead of having the positions performed in a simple succession, connects them in a flow. The vinyasa transitions are precise movements that close and open the asanas appropriately and with extreme care, to lead the student from one position to another in safety.
At the same time, the movements of the body are coordinated with breathing: each movement occurs during an exhalation or an inhalation, according to the instructions of the master.
A simple example of vinyasa is the position of the cat (or Chakravakasana), in which the back is arched on inhalation and it is stretched in the opposite direction during exhalation.
The benefits that can be drawn from Yoga Flow are numerous: energetic movements allow you to acquire strength, flexibility and agility, endowing the muscle groups with symmetry and resistance, while the emphasis on breathing teaches you to manage balance correctly during twisting, bending. and isometric seals.
Furthermore, the care of asanas and attention to posture balance the abnormal tensions that weigh on the entire spine, relieving back and neck disorders.
The positive influence of Vinyasa Yoga does not end on the physical level: the deep sense of relaxation and inner calm transmitted by the practice allow you to effectively combat psychosomatic pathologies, such as migraines, constipation, gastritis, insomnia and irregular menstruation.
Vinyasa yoga poses
How to do Marjariasana (cat pose)
Start from the all-fours position. The knees should be hip-width apart directly below the hip, while the hands should be directly under the shoulders. Exhale and slowly lower the chin towards the chest and lift the middle back upwards. Contract the abdomen inward and push the tailbone down.
How to do Bitilasana (cow pose)
After waiting a few seconds in the cat pose, continue with the cow pose. Inhale deeply and, in the meantime, lower the belly and lift the tailbone and gaze upwards. As far as breathing is concerned, it is good to coordinate it with the two positions: during the position of the cow one inhales; during the position of the cat you exhale. Finally, it is advisable to practice the cat-cow sequence in the morning as soon as you wake up or even after a long time spent sitting. This improves flexibility and posture throughout the day.
Flow yoga sequence
The sequential execution of the postures is another distinctive feature of flow yoga. Here the union of the asanas with each other is fundamental thanks to transitional movements.
In particular, we can highlight three of them:
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
That is the position of the dog with the head down. His starting position is on a four-legged mat, with his arms outstretched and feet slightly apart from each other. From this position an inverted V must be formed.
Therefore, you need to lift yourself up trying to put your heels on the ground, stretching your back and arms as best you can. The position should be maintained for a few moments - with controlled breathing - and slowly dissolved at the end.
That is, the position of the stick on the ground. After positioning yourself on the mat with your knees and hands firmly on the ground, you need to assume the dog position with the head down. Continue by moving the torso forward, always keeping the back and arms straight. From here you bend your elbows, with a slow movement, until you touch the floor with your chest.
Continuing to breathe, the position is held for a few moments and then slowly dissolved. This is a fundamental position for the flow but, at the same time, quite complex to perform. If done incorrectly, it causes problems in the wrists, joints and lower back.
URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA
That is the position of the dog with the head up. We start with the belly facing the mat, legs positioned hip-width apart and the back of the foot facing the ground with the toes well extended. With your hands placed below your shoulders and your elbows on your sides, slowly raise your chest by raising your pelvis slightly.
The shoulders must always be kept straight and wide open throughout the movement. We then move on to the cobra position, stretching the back backwards, with the neck well stretched and relaxed. The ideal would be to bring your head back too. Hold the position for a few moments and slowly return to the starting position.
So, we start with Adho Mukha Svanasana, then move on to Chaturanga Davanasana and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana ending with the return to Adho Mukha Svanasana. It is the central part of the sun salutation sequence, common to most types of yoga and with a dual function: to fortify the body and warm the muscles before and during the practice! Namaste