Hello you beautiful yogis, welcome back to my blog! 🙂
So in this post, as what’s written on the title, we’ll be discussing all about Vinyasa yoga for beginners to know! Vinyasa is probably one of the famous yoga types out there. It’s pretty similar to Ashtanga yoga, with a few slight differences that can give you 2 different varieties and options of which one to choose!
First thing first, Vinyasa can be hard – similar to Ashtanga, but, there are a lot of alternatives in Vinyasa flow for beginners.
It’s easy to remember how Vinyasa work – you just need to remember the word “Flow” because Vinyasa, in general, involves a lot of flowing from one pose to another, in a very elegant way 🙂
So this post, I will be talking to you specifically on how to Vinyasa yoga for beginners 🙂
P/s: To read on where I do my daily yoga practice, check out my review on Alo Moves here.
Read More: Different Types of Yoga And Their Benefits
History of Vinyasa
Vinyasa yoga, let’s put it in a way that it’s the creative sister of Ashtanga yoga.
Ashtanga yoga, founded by Pattabhi Jois, is a pretty dynamic, powerful and can sometimes be a challenging style of yoga. Though it’s great, it’s pretty strict (Read my post on Ashtanga here). So Vinyasa yoga came in to create a “free” style of Ashtanga, giving the teachers and students the flexibility in creating the Vinyasa Flow/Vinyasa class.
Basically, the poses being practiced in Vinyasa are mostly taken from Ashtanga yoga. However, there’s a rule in Ashtanga yoga whereby you can’t really go to the next pose if you first haven’t mastered the first one. But Vinyasa yoga, the free creative sister, bends the rule a little by giving everyone the flexibility of incorporating Ashtanga poses and sequence in any class.
Of course, if you’re a beginner, don’t be scared of this. There’s always an alternative flow that you can take as a beginner if you haven’t mastered some of the more challenging flow! 🙂
Vinyasa yoga can also be known by Flow yoga or Power yoga. There’s also Vinyasa yoga practiced in a hot sauna-like room called Hot Yoga (Read my post here on Bikram or Hot Yoga)
It’s An Exercise, But Not Really – It’s More Than That
Like how I’ve said before if you’re someone who enjoys cardio work out, you’d be more likely to enjoy Vinyasa yoga. While it’s true, and I still stick to this belief, Vinyasa yoga, like any other yoga, is more than just the physical aspect of it. Nothing is wrong with only taking Vinyasa as your daily/weekly workout, but I’d definitely recommend for you to explore the meditative side of it too 🙂
By doing the poses (which can sometimes be challenging) and flowing to another pose, while maintaining the pranayama breathing, linking the breath from one pose to another, you might not realize this when you’re doing it, but, your mind could totally be zen out and actually focusing on the flow that you’re doing.
That, my friend, is already a meditation for me 🙂
It’s so hard to empty out our minds sometimes, and just by focusing on our body movement and what we’re feeling at that time can be so precious.
Anyway, before I forget, Vinyasa yoga is also good at training your strength and overall flexibility, as well as creativity! 🙂 Due to Vinyasa flow creativity, you might not get any same Vinyasa flow with different teachers and that’s definitely one thing I like about Vinyasa. You get to personally know the teacher’s style and you get to enjoy a lot more variety of flow even with the same teacher!
Basic Vinyasa Flow To Know For Beginners
1. Plank Pose
- Wrists right below your shoulders
- Energy in the shoulders, shoulders blade apart
- Pull the navel up towards the ceiling
- Engage your core
- If it’s hard, drop your knees onto the mat
2. Chaturanga Pose (Advanced)
- From plank pose, on an exhale, bend your elbows
- Slowly try to make sure that your body is in one straight line
- Shoulders not below the elbows
- Upper arm is parallel to the floor
- Engage the core
3. Cobra Pose / Upward Facing Dog (You Can Choose)
- With your body on the mat, face down, on an inhale, gently lift your chest
- Hands by your side pushing the mat away – however, try not to put much pressure from the hands
- Try use the strength of your back as you lift up your chest
- Engage your buttock muscle
- Pelvic pressing down on the mat, as well as the front of the feet
Upward Facing Dog
- From Chaturanga Pose, on an inhale, push your body upwards
- Straighten your arms
- Shoulders away from the ears
- Hips hanging down but not touching the mat
- Press away from the mat through your palms and front of the feet
4. Downward Facing Dog
- Hands and knees hip-width apart. It’s also okay for hands to be a bit further away from each other.
- Palms pressing into the earth, keep your spine long and nice.
- Shoulder blades are in together.
- You can peddle your legs first before getting them to a nice long sturdy pose.
Taking It Slow
I’d recommend starting with slow movements, as not to push yourself too hard at the beginning. Similar to everything else in life, you just gotta ease into something that you’re not familiar with. Same goes with Vinyasa yoga. For you to consistently loving practicing Vinyasa yoga, it’s better to start slow and enjoy beginner-friendly class 🙂
You can actually choose whether to do the fast-paced one or one which is rather slower. I personally like the slower one better..
You will definitely become more attentive with your body as you’re flowing slowly. If there’s any part of my body that hurts while doing the flow, this is the best way for me to detect the pain – by knowing where to pinpoint the pain and at which body movement does the pain appear. & perhaps, in the future class, I can try to avoid doing that specific flow and try a simpler or an alternative movement. Also, if the pain persists, can straight get it checked with a doctor.
Sometimes, taking it slow can be deemed as a bit boring, think again my friend. Holding a certain pose and flowing to another pose longer can really BURNNNN.
Anyway, it’s my personal preference. I’d suggest you give it a try first and see which one is the best for you 🙂
Pushing Yourself – Vinyasa Can Be Fun!
Vinyasa, as I’ve mentioned, is extremely diverse and versatile, so it’s easy for you guys to find a beginner-friendly class out there! & you can also go on a quest of finding the best Vinyasa teacher for you. I like the quirky weird ones since they tend to be a bit more creative and their classes are usually a bit more lighted up 🙂
Learning Vinyasa as a beginner can also be very beneficial as they will still teach you the basic things to know about pranayama breathing exercise, as you get to learn when to inhale and exhale during each flow – which is pretty crucial in yoga overall! & starting with beginner class will be the best way to learn all the skills to build the foundation to move on to a more challenging yoga practice 🙂
If you like the creativity in Vinyasa, or in life in general, I’d definitely definitelyyyy recommend you to try out Vinyasa yoga. It’s a little loose and pretty much unpredictable – and that what makes it so fun!
If you have tried out Vinyasa yoga, let me know how you like it. & if you haven’t, will you give it a try after reading this? 🙂
Let me know below! Till next time,