Introduction to Vinyasa Yoga

Photo of author
Written By Boss

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

Vinyasa Yoga is a very popular style of yoga in the Western world. Head over to any of your local studios and they will most likely have at least some vinyasa classes on their schedule. So why is Vinyasa such a coveted class? The main reason may be that Vinyasa appeals to those who are looking for a physical challenge as well as a spiritual and mental exercise. The fluid movement styles and challenging poses of a Vinyasa yoga class help the practitioner train the whole body, developing strength, stamina and flexibility. At the same time, posture and an emphasis on breathing allow students to tune in and find a deep connection to themselves and the practice.

Vinyasa is an all-encompassing style that invites students to turn inward, focus on their body and breath, push their physical limits, and truly connect with the present moment. If you’re interested in learning more about this ubiquitous style of yoga, this article will help you gain a deeper understanding of exactly how it’s practiced.

What does vinyasa mean?

What does vinyasa mean?

Vinyasa means “put in a special way” in Sanskrit. This means that in Vinyasa Yoga, we move our bodies consciously and intentionally, not aimlessly.

Vinyasa can be used in different contexts in the yoga world, so it can be a bit confusing for yogis. However, it is often used to denote a specific style of yoga. It can also describe specific pose sequences.

Vinyasa generally refers to a flow-centered style of yoga in which practitioners flow through different poses by linking breath to movement. In this style, students associate inhalation or exhalation with movement. Typically, inhalation involves upward movement, while exhalation involves downward movement or twisting.

While this breath-to-motion component is most often associated with flow yoga, many believe this breath connection is crucial to any yoga practice, as it allows for a deeper inner connection and more focused movement.

When teachers pronounce vinyasa, they are referring to a specific sequence of movements. This sequence entails changing from a plank position to a four-legged employee to upward dog to downward dog. If you take a vinyasa course or any other streaming course, you will most likely practice this sequence at least a few times during the course.

The History of Tandem Yoga

The History of Tandem Yoga

We can trace the association with Vinyasa Yoga as far back as 1500 BC. Look for. Combining conscious breathing with movement is mentioned in the Vedas. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras around 300-400 BC, we again see the connection between breath (pranayama), postures (asanas) and the other eight branches of yoga.

The Vinyasa yoga practice we see today has its roots in Ashtanga yoga, but is much more relaxed than its very methodical predecessor. In Ashtanga (developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century), there is a strict structure of rules, including a fixed order that you must follow. While Vinyasa Yoga incorporates many of the same asanas as the Ashtanga class, there are more variations in the sequential structure.

What to Expect at a Vinyasa Yoga Class

What to Expect at a Vinyasa Yoga Class

Mostly, vinyasa sessions begin with gentler poses to warm up the body. From there, teachers lead students through more challenging sequences that may involve balancing poses or handstands. Usually, a class is created for the top job. After reaching the top pose, expect to cool down with gentler seated stretches and a final savasana.

Because it offers so much more freedom than a style like Ashtanga, vinyasa yoga classes can offer a variety of options. Some can be faster, while others are slower. Some can be extremely physically challenging, while others can be more gentle. Some teachers may focus more on pranayama (breathing techniques) or meditation, while others may only focus on asanas. Vinyasa Yoga can take many forms, so when you start a new class, you may find yourself facing the unexpected!

The sequence, poses, music, and general mood of a vinyasa yoga class vary from studio to studio and teacher to teacher. However, there are some key elements you can expect:

Ujayi Breathe:

This is the breathing technique used in Vinyasa classes. It helps focus and bring you into the present moment, and it creates warmth for the body. During this breath, you inhale and exhale through your nose, creating what is often referred to as “ocean noise” in the back of your throat.


As mentioned earlier, in a vinyasa yoga session, you move from breath to movement, connecting breath to posture. This creates a dynamic flow rather than the calmer feeling you might find in more gentle or alignment-based classes.


Transitions are essentially what create flow. They connect one action to the next, creating fluid movement. While these transitions can be de-emphasized, they are just as important as the poses themselves.

“Move through your Vinyasa”:

You will most likely be asked to perform vinyasa at least a few times. A more detailed breakdown of the components of this sequence and their reasons follows.

Move by Vinyasa

Move by Vinyasa

Use vinyasa between sequences to reset, reconnect and re-energize the mind and body. Typically in a yoga class, you do a series of poses on one side of your body, then repeat the same series on the other side. vinyasa is usually called between these pages to repeat

Leave a Comment