Vinyasa Flow Yoga: What It Is and Why You Should Try It

Vinyasa Flow Yoga: What It Is and Why You Should Try It

vinyasa flow

If you’re like most Americans, you haven’t tried yoga yet. That may come as a surprise because you hear about yoga all of the time nowadays. In fact, between 2012 and 2016, the number of Americans doing yoga grew by 50%. However, that still equates to only one in three Americans having tried it. Perhaps that’s because people don’t understand what yoga is, or they’re intimidated by it. Well, there’s one type of yoga that everyone should try. Here’s why.

Vinyasa Flow

There are many benefits of yoga, but perhaps none benefit people so much as Vinyasa flow. Vinyasa combines breath and movement. You move through poses a little quicker than you would in other types of yoga, matching your breath to each movement. This makes it the perfect mix of cardio, strength training, stretching, and meditation—all in one workout.

Health Benefits

Vinyasa flow is known for giving people increased strength, more flexible muscles, a healthier heart, and fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. That’s because, like cardio, Vinyasa raises your heart rate for a sustained period of time. To get the maximum benefit, you should raise your heart rate for 30-45 minutes, so you want a yoga class that lasts at least an hour. That will allow enough time for meditation and cool down, as well, which many instructors incorporate before and after the poses and sequences.

Vinyasa flow benefits your mind and spirit by keeping you focused on the moment, often called mindfulness. You move through poses quickly while focusing on your breathing, so you don’t really have time to think about the things that are stressing you out. Syncing the breath to your movements is essentially meditation in motion. This can give you feelings of relaxation and even euphoria.

Some people also believe that emotions are stored in the soft tissues of the body. By working the body, the emotions can be released. If you’ve ever noticed that your shoulders tense when you’re stressed, you get headaches when you’re anxious, or your neck gets stiff from turmoil, you can see how this might work. Many people turn to massage or exercise to release the tension and stiffness. Vinyasa yoga has the same results.

Anyone Can Practice Vinyasa Flow

If you’re new to yoga, Vinyasa Flow is a great starting point. The classes are usually open to both beginners and advanced practitioners. A yoga instructor will show the class a basic pose that students can modify to increase ease or difficulty based on their needs and experience. Even if you are out of shape or inflexible, you will be able to modify a pose in a way to get some benefit. Props, such as a yoga block and strap are used to help you get into position more easily.

If you are interested in trying yoga or even interested in finding a new workout routine, you may want to try Vinyasa flow yoga. It may take a few classes before you are able to do all of the poses, but don’t let that deter you. Just like anything else, it just takes a little practice.

When to Do Yoga to Further Your Practice

When to Do Yoga to Further Your Practice

hatha yoga

People from all walks of life have turned yoga to find balance, happiness, and peace in their daily lives. It’s also a phenomenal source of fitness training that works the arms and sculpts the core. It’s no wonder that 36 million Americans practice this ancient art, despite its origin in India dating back to over 5,000 years ago.

But whether you are new to the world of yoga or have been practicing for years, you may still struggle to understand when to implement yoga into your life.

If so, continue reading. Here is when you should do hatha yoga to further your practice.

Before a Presentation

A good hatha yoga session can help you wind down before a big or overly stressful event. Unlike vinyasa yoga, hatha yoga is meant to align the body and spirit. It’s a much more calming branch of yoga that focuses on breathing, holding static poses to align the spine, and meditation. As human beings, we can’t help but let our minds race, especially before an important date. We think of worse case scenarios and often psyche ourselves out, increasing our stress levels. But hatha yoga reminds us to be more mindful and present. The practice can help decrease feelings of anxiety and prep you for a big presentation at school or an important meeting at work. This way, you can feel prepared, calm, and ready to take on the world.

Select an early morning class or practice at home. Make sure to focus on your breathing and envision all of those negative thoughts and doubts leave your body as you work through the flow.

After Having a Baby

Don’t feel as if you have to get right back on track after having a child. Most women feel the need to start dieting and exercising right away to get back to their pre postpartum body. While an individual’s recovery is based on many factors, listen to your body and find out what is best for you. Just try not to rush the process.

When you are ready to start making strides regarding your health and fitness, practicing yoga is an incredibly effective tool for improving your body and state of mind.

Attending yoga classes is also a great way to get out of the house for an hour or so. While being away from your little one may feel hard at first, remember that this course of action is all in the name of self-care.

After Weightlifitng

Cooling down is an important part of muscle growth and recovery, and hatha yoga is the perfect way to return your muscles to their original resting lengths after a hardcore lifting session. Any avid powerlifter or weightlifter should implement hatha yoga into their fitness routine for optimum results, whether they want to build strength or size. Attending 1-3 weekly classes is rerecommended.

When You’re Feeling Down and Don’t Know Why

If you find yourself feeling lethargic or unhappy and can’t pinpoint why, try and attend a hatha yoga class. Hatha yoga can help with identifying problems in your life. With so many distractions in our daily lives, an hour class can help you find clarity.

Performing Hatha Yoga For a Happier and Healthier Life

As you can see, there are many instances where delving into your practice can benefit your body, soul, and mind. Take a class, learn the basic flow, and take your newfound knowledge with you to use whenever you’re in need of all the spiritual benefits of yoga. Whether you’re nervous about your first day at a new job, or just feel as if yoga is a great way to dip your toe in the water when wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, you will discover that the practice will benefit you in every aspect of your life.

A Beginner’s Guide to Vinyasa Yoga

A Beginner’s Guide to Vinyasa Yoga

vinyasa yoga

The yoga community continues to grow throughout the U.S., with approximately one in three Americans trying out yoga at least once. But whether you’ve taken a few yoga classes or have merely considered trying out instructional videos at home, you might not realize that there are many variations of practice within the discipline of yoga.

There are several different techniques and methods to choose from, which can make it a bit confusing for those who are less experienced in this area to find the right yoga studio nearby. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing one particular type of yoga: vinyasa yoga. Let’s find out more about vinyasa and why you might want to consider incorporating it into your routines for fitness and stress relief.

Defining Vinyasa Yoga

The word “vinyasa” pertains to mindfulness. It’s a Sanskrit word that means “to place in a special way.” It can actually be used outside of yoga applications, as you can use “vinyasa” principles for just about any physical task. In the yoga context, it may also be used to describe moving through breath – but what it really refers to is the conscious way in which yoga practitioners move through a sequence. Vinyasa is characterized by the way one posture connects to the next through breath. The “vinyasa flow” may be used by studio instructors to describe a specific set of movements.

The History of Vinyasa

Vinyasa yoga evolved out of ashtanga yoga, which was created in the early 20th century. Unlike the type of yoga from which it stems, vinyasa is much freer; poses and sequences can be changed. Vinyasa yoga may not always be categorized as such, though there are other popular types of yoga (like power yoga, for example) that’s technically a type of vinyasa.

How Vinyasa Differs From Other Types of Yoga

Vinyasa is unique in that it’s not merely about individual poses; this practice focuses more on the transitions between those postures. In this way, it’s more movement-based than other kinds of yoga. It also tends to provide a more intense workout, since participants are constantly moving in class. That said, class intensity levels can vary widely, which means that this type of yoga may also be accessible for many ability levels. The same cannot always be said for other kinds of yoga.

Vinyasa For Beginners

One reason this type of yoga has become so popular is that it’s relatively easy to teach and to learn; it can also be modified to fit participants’ needs. As a result, there will probably be many levels of vinyasa classes available to you, especially here in Northern Virginia. Some classes will focus on the cardio elements, while others will center more around strength-building. Typically, a class will either be geared towards more advanced participants or will stick to the basics. It’s really up to the individual participant to choose the class that appeals to their needs and abilities. Fortunately, this type of yoga is already able to be modified if necessary – so beginners can feel free to listen to their bodies and adjust as needed.

Although starting a new practice like yoga can feel a bit intimidating at first, it usually helps to learn about it before you ever step foot in a studio. That way, you can feel confident you’ve chosen the right class and will be able to reap all of the benefits this discipline can offer. For more information, please contact us at SyteraYoga today.

Can Taking Yoga Classes Relieve Your Back Pain?

Can Taking Yoga Classes Relieve Your Back Pain?

yoga classes

In recent years, yoga has increased in popularity throughout the United States among all demographics. In fact, the number of yoga participants aged 50 and above has tripled during the last four years alone. Yoga classes have mass appeal for a variety of reasons; people can take yoga for the purpose of losing weight, toning muscle or even for pursuing mental or spiritual wellness. For others, practicing yoga can also be a way to minimize or even eliminate painful conditions.

Roughly 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. This type of pain is currently the leading cause of disability worldwide and is one of the most prominent causes of missed work and doctors’ appointments, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Making matters more complicated, back pain can be caused by many different factors and can be treated in various ways – some of which may be more effective than others.

Physical activity (along with therapeutic methods like chiropractic care, massage and acupuncture) can relieve this type of pain more effectively – and with fewer undesirable side effects – than conventional medications or surgical procedures can. It makes sense, then, that the kinds of classes offered by yoga studios could also go a long way in providing essential relief.

Can Yoga Classes Reduce Back Pain?

In short: yes, one of the many benefits of yoga can include the alleviation of back pain. According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services’ National Institutes of Health, researchers found that yoga was as effective as standard physical therapy for treating moderate to severe chronic low back pain.

It’s understandable as to why yoga might have this positive health effect. The practice of yoga combines stretching, relaxation and the strengthening of muscles. Many of the postures prevalent throughout different types of yoga involve stretching and strengthening the muscles in the back, as well as the abdominal muscles. This can help to support the spine and subsequently reduce back pain.

That said, back pain sufferers will need to put effort into choosing the right yoga classes. It’s best to steer clear of more aggressive options (like “hot” yoga or Ashtanga), as these will present physical challenges that may not be a good fit. However, studios that offer Vinyasa yoga, Hatha yoga, Yin yoga or Somatic yoga can all be great options for people who want to improve their back pain. Vinyasa, in particular, focuses on having a smooth transition between movements, which can ensure deliberate physicality and minimize the potential for injury. Before signing up or attending a class, make sure to find out more about the intensity and experience level to make certain it’s a good fit for your capabilities. Speaking with a studio instructor beforehand can also be highly beneficial in determining the best class for your needs. This can also be helpful in prearranging alternate postures instead of modifying more difficult postures mid-pose throughout the class.

It’s a good idea to discuss your back pain with your doctor prior to participating in any kind of exercise or treatment. But given the positive impact that yoga can have on back pain, it’s clear why this practice has become a go-to for many people.

To learn more about how yoga can support your wellness goals, please contact us today.

Yoga Helps You Breath through Stress

Yoga Helps You Breath through Stress

There are obvious benefits of yoga, like improving flexibility and increasing strength. But yoga is so more than just conventional “fitness.” Yoga is a lifestyle dedicated to self-care. And a big part of self-care is stress relief. If we don’t manage stress, the long-term consequences can be very serious.

How does yoga help with stress and anxiety? Through the potent practice of aligning breath with movement. Indeed, aligned breathing is just as important and valuable as the yoga poses and movement.

Yoga Is Growing in Popularity

The practice of yoga in the west has grown dramatically in recent years. More than 36 million people in the United States practice yoga regularly (generally by taking classes). This is up from 20 million in 2013, which means yoga has nearly doubled in just a few years. Whether it is Hatha yoga, Vinyasa flow, restorative yoga, or one of the other major styles, yoga is now the most popular group activity for health and fitness in the U.S.

Participants in yoga find it is a unique and powerful combination of stretching, strengthening, and calming. They enjoy the camaraderie of being in a class with other practitioners who share the same healthy lifestyle goals. Yoga classes help you develop a wellness toolkit that can be used in other areas of your life — “off the mat,” as many yogis like to say.

Conscious Breathing

Breathing is a natural reflex. It happens automatically. Being conscious of your breathing in your yoga practice delivers several different benefits including:

  • Being present in the moment
  • Increasing blood supply to the brain, lungs, and limbs
  • Helping to improve focus, decrease stress, and build endurance

Conscious breathing is an integral part of yoga. Training in conscious breathing can help practitioners stay focused and present. It can also help to improve oxygen intake into your organs. And, importantly, focused breathing can be used to help control stress and anxiety.

Whole-Person Health: Mind, Body, and Spirit

There are different types of yoga and all of them focus on elevating three things: the mind, the body, and the spirit. At SyteraYoga, a premier yoga studio in Vienna, practitioners report after class that they enjoy a tangible feeling of wellness. Their bodies feel energized, their minds feel calm, and their spirits feel rejuvenated. Yogic breathing can be attributed to helping them experience this much-needed sense of whole-person well-being.

Breath control is well known for reducing stress and helping to release feel-good endorphins. Conscious breathing combined with yoga poses, and the meditative aspect of the practice, increase the feelings of well-being. These techniques can be applied outside the studio to quickly control feelings of anxiety and stress. And this is something that everyone can benefit from — less stress!

If you are struggling with stress and anxiety, try a yoga class today. It can be the perfect way to feel energized and engaged by life instead of depleted by it.

Pin It on Pinterest