What is vinyasa yoga? Poses and benefits – INSIDER

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What is vinyasa yoga? Poses and benefits – INSIDER

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The word “vinyasa” in Sanskrit means arranging something in a special way. Thus, vinyasa yoga links postures together, so you flow from one to the next. It also synchronizes movement with the breath, which some other styles of yoga do not do. Vinyasa developed from Ashtanga yoga, a more traditional version of the practice.
In particular, vinyasa yoga relies on sun salutations, specific sequences that are often used to warm up the body, says Robyn Childers, a certified yoga teacher and co-founder of Welcome Home Yoga & Wellness. Instructors may also direct your gaze to strengthen mental focus, says Childers. 
Generally, vinyasa yoga is a more demanding physical challenge than some other yoga styles, such as yin, which involve less dynamic movements and more stillness, says Tahl Rinsky, a certified yoga instructor who teaches through the health app Centr and at Creature Yoga.
Vinyasa is suitable for beginners if you stick with basic poses, Childers says. How often you should practice depends on your goals, but they recommend at least twice per week to notice changes. Avoid practicing on consecutive days, so your body can rest. 
Important: The key to vinyasa is being aware of your breath: “If you’re noticing your breath, you’re practicing yoga properly, end of the story. Everything else is a progression,” Childers says.
Here are five poses Childers recommends that are suitable for beginners. Practice the following poses one after another so you move in a fluid motion. 
How to do it: 
This pose works your arms and legs while stretching the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves. It is an opportunity to recenter your breath and calm your mind.
Modification: Table pose
How to do it: 
Plank strengthens the back, core, and legs while building the internal heat associated with a vinyasa flow. 
Modification: Table pose  
How to do it: 
This stretches shoulders, abs, and chest, expanding the chest and releasing stiffness.
Modification: Rest on your forearms instead of your hands, or try baby cobra.  
How to do it: 
Child’s pose is a place of rest, recentering, and calmness. It opens the hips, thighs, ankles, and lower back.
Modification: Bring your arms alongside the body and rest your forehead and chest on a bolster.
How to do it: 
This strengthens the outer hips, quads, calves, ankles, and outer shoulders, as well as stretches the chest, groin, and inner thighs. “Warrior II trains the mind to find ease and stillness during moments of discomfort,” Childers says. 
Modification: Position a metal folding chair outside your right leg, with the front edge of the seat facing you. As you bend your right knee, slide the front edge of the seat under your right thigh.  
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Although vinyasa can be demanding, there’s always a way to modify it to meet you where you are, Childers says. To learn more, they recommend going to a vinyasa class, but you may have to try a few different studios or online videos to find an instructor that suits your needs. 
What’s most important is creating a consistent practice that you can stick to, and a guided program, like Centr Align, might help, Rinsky says. 
“Vinyasa yoga helps to keep the mind focused and calm, and the body strong and mobile,” Rinsky says.
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