Vinyasa – Yoga That Helps You Face Life
It’s been two months since we started practicing Vinyasa in the class along with “Hatha” sessions. I know, for some of you these sessions have been exhausting, challenging and even painful. I congratulate you for sticking with the practice during this new regime. There are some strong reasons that made me introduce Vinyasa in the class.
Vinyasa means flow. It is linking of different movements together with synchronized breath. In this practice “speed” is the factor that differentiates itself from the conventional “Hatha” practice which is not very fast paced. Even I resisted any kind of speed during yoga sessions till a few months back. But as my teacher says, “Speed is life, it keeps you young. Slowing down is the sign of ageing!”
Surprised? As we all know that yoga is slowing down at all levels of existence. But then yoga is also to be able to maintain calmness, being non-responsive, non-reactive under extremely difficult and challenging situations, and not running away from them.
So it makes perfect sense to expose our body to mental and physical challenges once in a while in terms of speed, advance postures and preparing ourselves to face them with calm, non-reactive response.
So we are practicing “Hatha” as well as “Vinyasa” in our class. Both work towards achieving the same goal of strengthening the body, quieting the mind and preparing it for meditation. Only the way is different.
Of course, “Hatha” practices are equally challenging as you start going deep into the practice. In “Hatha” you are expected to hold every posture long enough so as to align your body, breath and mind with that state of consciousness. It focuses on individual postures rather than the flow between the movements as done in Vinyasa. There is no second thought that finally “Hatha”, balancing sun and moon, inertia and activity is the ultimate aim of yoga. But Vinyasa can make this journey more exciting and challenging, even for beginners!
Any journey is not without obstacles. And as Patanjali says there are 13 obstacles a yoga student has to face as he begins this journey. The body may react to Vinyasa practice with knee, back, shoulder or wrist pain in the initial days. It’s important not to get bogged down.
Taking precautions reduces the chances of injuries.
Taking care of weight-bearing joints like lower back and knees e.g., softly bending the knees while bending forward is recommended till we develop enough flexibility of hip joints or hamstrings, etc.
Acknowledging limits of your body is equally important. In the first few sessions it’s alright to relax a bit in between two Vinyasa sequences but be careful not to make it a habit!
Remember, once you enter the yoga hall, it’s a competition free zone. Don’t look around and compare with others, not even with yourself. The way you face challenges on the yoga mat is probably the way you will face challenges in real life!
Relaxation at the end of the practice is where the essence lies. If you are short of time and plan to skip this last part, I would recommend you skip the complete session. Leaving the class without undergoing proper guided relaxation can have serious effects on your body.
You will be surprised to see how your fitness level goes up with every session. You will feel energetic till the end of the day.
Let’s continue exploring this journey together!