The Life-Changing Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
It’s safe to say that our nervous systems have been through it this year. With our lives upturned by the pandemic, there’s never been a better time for yoga, which is a powerful tool for dealing with the stress and uncertainty of the times.
Of all the styles of yoga to choose from, vinyasa is perhaps the most well-known. When you consider the mental, emotional and physical benefits of a vinyasa practice, it’s no surprise that this style of yoga is so sought-after.
Here’s a little primer on what it’s all about…
The Basics of Vinyasa Yoga
If you’ve ever heard the word “flow” during yoga, it’s likely you were in a vinyasa class. The concept of flow (moving from one pose directly to the next) is central to vinyasa. Because these classes embrace continuous and dynamic movement, you’re generating heat and getting a heart-pumping cardio workout. As aches, pains and stiffness begin to fade, you may be surprised just how good it feels to be in your own body post-yoga.
Your body isn’t the only benefactor. In vinyasa yoga, the power of Sakyong Mipham’s famous quote — “The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness” — is on full display. Vinyasa yoga gives us a powerful opportunity to work within as we work out. As you build strength, endurance and flexibility, the chatter in your mind begins to clear. This allows you to drop more fully into the present and increase your sense of calm and wellbeing.
Part of this release comes from moving with your breath, which is a key characteristic of vinyasa yoga. The breath initiates each physical movement: Your instructor will cue an ‘inhale’ on poses that lengthen or open, and an ‘exhale’ on poses where you deepen, fold or move toward the earth. Learning to move with the breath is a huge part of vinyasa’s “feel-good” factor (also know as the yoga glow). The more you practice, the more the breath’s intimate connection to your mental, physical and emotional state reveals itself to you.
Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
Another hallmark of vinyasa is its variability. No two classes are the same, and there’s endless variations in the sequences that can be put together. Typically, you’ll move through a full range of poses in a single class. This can include standing postures, balance postures, backbends, sitting postures, etc., resulting in a full-body tone-up.
Essentially, practicing vinyasa yoga keeps your fitness routine fresh and inspiring. It also soothes stress and anxiety, quiets the mind and boosts your mood. Best of all, the only thing you need to get started is a yoga mat (which can be purchased for as low as $10).
As your physical strength and flexibility increase, you may just notice the same results within yourself. Yoga directs our attention inward, introducing us to how it feels to sit with our emotions. Because we’re all experiencing the highs and lows of this strange and unprecedented year, this mind-body practice is the ultimate tool for riding the waves with more peace and resilience.
Did we mention yoga also acts as a buffer from the damaging physical effects of stress? Because stress causes your body to pump out an excess of cortisol, it can lead to inflammation over time. Plus, it lowers your lymphocytes, the white blood cells that fight off infection, which means you’re that much more vulnerable to viruses when your levels take a dip.
Get Your Yoga On at CA
Yoga is the ultimate TLC for your mind, body and soul. CA’s fitness clubs take pride in offering a variety of yoga styles, including vinyasa. We’d love to flow together! Check out our class schedule here.