As one of the most popular branches of contemporary yoga, Vinyasa yoga
often comes to mind when people talk about the practice. Even if you’re new to the art of yoga and have only started on your journey, you have likely seen Vinyasa yoga at some point.
Vinyasa yoga has proven to help improve one’s quality of life through its many physical, mental
, and emotional benefits. These advantages include:
➤ An improved range of motion
➤ Boosted mood and lowered stress levels
➤ Enhanced energy levels
➤ Activated lymphatic systems
➤ Engaged core strength
In this blog, let’s dive into the definition and benefit of Vinyasa yoga and whether it’s the right yoga practice for you. Grab your mat and let’s get to it!
What is Vinyasa Yoga?
Vinyasa yoga is characterized by yoga poses that are connected in a sequence so that they flow smoothly and seamlessly into one another. (This is why it’s also sometimes called “flow yoga.”) Vinyasa yoga is a popular branch of contemporary yoga and encompasses a diverse range of practices, including power yoga and Ashtanga. Flow yoga is very different from Hatha yoga, which involves breaks between yoga poses.
Deep, controlled, and energized breathing is crucial to Vinyasa yoga as each move is synced to the breath. This serves as the anchor for flowing from one position to the next.
Because the yoga poses are connected and performed in a flowing sequence, once you start a Vinyasa yoga session, you won’t stop until the end of the program. It can feel like one long dance, with your breath as the music that sets the pace and rhythm.
The Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
You might already know that yoga offers a number of physical and mental health benefits
. But how specifically can Vinyasa yoga enrich your life? Here are just a few benefits.
1. Improve Your Range of Motion
is something that deserves more attention than we give it. Some estimates say that the average adult from the U.S. sits about 6.5 hours a day
. For teens, it’s even more. When you sit too much, your hip flexor muscles get tight and weak. Additionally, poor posture leads to rounded shoulders, which can equate to tight pecs. When you try to stand up, those poor muscles are stretched beyond their capacity.
Now, imagine trying to exercise like that! What’s the solution?
Well, the first answer is to sit less. But moving your body in the right way also helps immensely. Yoga is a wonderful way to increase flexibility and mobility, which boosts the body’s maximum range of motion. This allows you to move more efficiently, reduces your risk of injury, improves your posture, and enables you to perform everyday activities more safely with less or no pain.
The asanas and sun salutations in Vinyasa yoga enhance your mobility. On top of this, the combination of quick-flowing movements and held positions also helps build overall muscle strength.
We all know someone who threw their back out doing something like tying their shoe. That’s likely an issue of poor mobility, and Vinyasa yoga is a practical answer.
2. Boost Your Mood and Lower Stress
Without a doubt, most people have been advised to “take a deep breath” when feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Flow yoga is soothing to both the mind and body as the breath-anchored movements can be considered a form of moving meditation. Flowing through the different yoga poses entails a high level of focus and controlled breathing, leaving little space in the mind for intrusive thoughts and anxious feelings. This can help calm the mind and alleviate stress.
Practicing Vinyasa yoga can also help improve your mood, as it helps relieve tension in the body and focus the mind on the present. By encouraging mindfulness, you can set aside your negative thoughts and emotions, recharge your internal batteries, and enter a more relaxed and positive mindset.
In fact, science agrees. According to a 2014 study
, participating college students who attended Vinyasa yoga classes twice a week, over the course of eight weeks, increased their positive feelings and decreased their negative feelings.
Vinyasa yoga does as much for the mind as the body. It combines physical activity, breathwork, mindfulness, and meditation into one practice. In a 24/7 world where we’re constantly on the go and overstimulated, we need this more than ever. Your emotional health will thank you.
3. Enhance Your Energy Levels
Americans are tired. One survey
of 2,000 adults in the U.S. found that:
➤ 58% feel “unfocused or disjointed,” and brief naps aren’t a possibility
➤ 55% said that no amount of rest helps them feel better
➤ 56% attribute their low energy levels to poor sleep schedules.
➤ Furthermore, working from home has disrupted the sleep of 69%
➤ 34% said that the pandemic has made it harder to participate in their usual activities
➤ Exhaustion has been triggered by longer working hours (53%), too much time indoors (52%), excessive screen time (46%), and lack of a routine (41%)
In other words, we are all out of whack, and the pandemic has only made it worse. So, how can we boost our energy levels?
Flow yoga can empower you to feel more energetic and revitalized, as practicing asanas and pranayama can promote endorphins, a feel-good chemical that your nervous system produces. These are your body’s natural painkillers, and they help you better deal with pain and stress. Additionally, yoga helps increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This can help you feel more alert and focused.
Just as we discussed how Vinyaga yoga can improve your mood and lower your stress, it can also help boost your energy levels by bringing your attention to the present, releasing tension from the body, and encouraging you to set aside anxiety-inducing thoughts.
4. Activate Your Lymphatic Systems
Think of your lymphatic system as your body’s sewage system
. It helps to maintain the appropriate levels of fluids in your tissues by removing anything that leaks out of your blood vessels. This can help your immune system stay healthy and strong, especially during periods when viral illnesses are common, such as flu season. Lymphatic dysfunction
can lead to a number of side effects, including infection, congestion, and trouble breathing and swallowing.
Practicing Vinyasa yoga can help strengthen your immunity by activating the lymphatic system, helping to flush out the toxins from the body, and boosting the creation of disease-fighting white blood cells.
5. Engage Core Strength
The body’s core isn’t just the abdominal muscles. It’s all the muscles that wrap around the torso, including your back muscles. This muscle group is crucial to one’s overall health and stability. After all, you can’t do anything without the support of your core. As you sit and read this blog, your core is supporting you. When you stand up to leave, you need your core.
These muscles support the upper body, but a strong and efficiently functioning core can help alleviate pressure from the lower body as well. For example, a weak core may contribute to poor posture, which could lead to disproportionate strain on your hips and legs. Very often when people experience lower back or hip pain, the root of the cause is weakness in the core.
Vinyasa yoga includes a diverse range of poses that engage the body and build strength. If you are new to the practice, expect flow yoga sequences to feature several planks, side bends and back bends, as well as twists. All of these movements engage the core in one way or another to prevent spinal injury, enhance strength, improve stability and balance, and build power.
Furthermore, while Vinyasa yoga is known for its flowing transitions, it also entails holding poses for a certain period while keeping the breath calm and measured. There are also yoga poses that intentionally target the body’s core muscles. For example, you may do variations of a plank as you transition to or from a cobra or sphinx pose.
Is Vinyasa Yoga for You?
The short and simple answer is, yes! It’s often said, if you can breathe, you can practice Vinyasa yoga (of course, assuming that you don’t have any conditions that require a qualified professional’s approval before practicing yoga).
Even if you’re a yoga newbie, you can scale and modify your Vinyasa yoga sessions to make them more beginner-friendly. Don’t be intimidated — all yogis are on their own journey. Keep practicing your poses and always mind your form.
Pro tip: Because of its flowing and transitioning nature, you might find Vinyasa yoga more manageable if you have some prior experience with basic yoga. You don’t need to be an expert or advanced yogi, but you’ll likely benefit from some level of understanding of common yoga poses. Otherwise, if you frequently need to pause to learn the pose, you will not get the full benefits of Vinyasa yoga.
For budding yogis who are interested in practicing flow yoga, you may consider learning the basic poses through Hatha yoga before progressing to Vinyasa yoga. This can be an easier way to transition into the practice.
Getting Started with Tempo
Home gyms are here to stay, and active adults are looking for more innovative ways to stay healthy. Whether you’re new to the practice of yoga or you’re an advanced yogi, Tempo is here to help you reach your fitness goals with correct form and efficient movement. Our award-winning AI-powered system is the only smart home gym that comes with a built-in personal trainer, to empower you to get in your best shape. With our 3D Tempo Vision, we’ll give you real-time feedback and guidance to help improve your technique and feel at home in your poses. For our most powerful all-in-one solution, try Tempo Studio
. For a system that can fit anywhere, go for Tempo Move
From Vinyasa yoga
to just about any other workout
, Tempo’s got you covered. Shop
now and take the next step in your health and wellness journey.