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.
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.
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.