Wellness: The Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga




I learned about Vinyasa yoga while working at a gym after college. The gym had many group exercise classes and when a new instructor came by and added her new Vinyasa Yoga class to the board, I wanted to learn more. One night as I waited for the class to end, I looked through the window of the group exercise room and saw the class attendants lying on the their yoga mats on the floor, eyes closed . The instructor had turned the studio lights off and I could not tell if they were sleeping or what. After the Vinyasa class was over, the women walked out of the class looking stress free and peaceful. I remember thinking to myself “I need this class, I want to feel like that”. I would later learn that the position they were in when they were lying on the floor was known as Shavasana (also known as corpse pose). This pose is the last pose in a sequence of flow and is the position of deep relaxation.

The next week I went to the class and liked it so much , I attended classes thereafter. Despite a few classes where I felt slightly intimidated because I was still in the learning process and couldn’t hold every pose and my short attention span; I learned that benefits of the Vinyasa yoga far outweighed what I considered to be mysterious “failed attempts”. I learned from the instructor that yoga wasn’t about competition, but about learning yourself in and out and becoming one with self.During my time working at the gym (2012-2015), I attended the classes more and more and then stopped. It has now been five years since I last did Yoga and I decided to start back up as I realized how much of an impact it had in and on my life when I practiced consistently. Thinking about trying it out? Here’s some reasons why you should .

What is Vinyasa Yoga? "Vinyasa flow yoga is a creative form of yoga. Yoga poses are linked together with the breath in a flowing sequence” ekhartyoga.com There is no standard “flow” in Vinyasa Yoga, but the sequence of a flow will vary according to the teacher.
According to Ekhart Yoga, a website that offers online yoga, meditation and Pilates classes, Vinyasa Yoga benefits a number of things from your body's immune system, stress, overall life balance, and more.  
  • Vinyasa yoga has helped with my Breathing - Vinyasa Yoga has helped me with my asthma and breathing. Within a flow you do a lot of deep breathing and focus on aligning your breath with your body's movement, and this strengthens your lungs and heart. Growing up, I suffered with severe asthma and I have found that with more exercise and practice of  breathing exercises, my asthma symptoms have decreased and my overall breathing has improved.
  • Posture and Balance- Vinyasa Yoga has helped me to check in with my body throughout the day and also check in with my posture. It has helped me to see when I am putting too much pressure or weight on certain parts of my body, and also lets me know that it is time to distribute my weight or make a shift in the positioning of my body. When I take a break from yoga (anytime between one and three days apart), I can often tell where I am feeling pressure in certain areas of my body or where I may have some stiffness.
  • Awareness of my body and weight- When I have bloating or maybe put on some weight, I can feel where I either have put on  the weight or maybe even lost some. I can feel it when I am holding a pose or making a transition from one pose to another. 
  • Stress Management & Anxiety- Vinyasa Yoga has definitely helped me manage my stress and anxiety. Between breathing, closing my eyes,posing and being close to the ground;  What can I say " I feel Grounded". With Vinyasa Yoga you also get a moment  be one with your mind, body, and soul. You even sleep better.
For more benefits of Vinyasa Yoga see here
For one of my favorite sequences, see here
If you are new to Vinyasa yoga, for safety reasons I  advise that you seek guidance from a yoga instructor for help with poses, breaths and moderations. Teachers are available virtually.

Be Encouraged,
Noelani


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