For those who have never tried yoga, the thought of it being too difficult can be daunting and often puts them off ever practicing any of its disciplines. However, yoga flow, or flow yoga, can be a great place to start.
This encompasses a range of poses that can be modified to suit practitioners and their experience level.
But, what exactly is yoga flow? Essentially, yoga flow is a fluid style of yoga that incorporates a sequence of flowing movements that are synchronized with the breath.
This dynamic practice is often characterized by a series of postures that are linked together to create a continuous and fluid movement.
Yoga flow is sometimes also referred to as vinyasa flow, power yoga, or dynamic yoga, and it has gained popularity around the world in recent years due to its accessibility and flexibility.
To find out more about yoga flow and how you can start practicing it in your everyday life, read on.
Today, we have a super helpful guide to get you started on your yoga flow journey, which will hopefully help you to improve your physical health and mental wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety, and cultivate a deeper sense of peace and inner harmony.
Yoga Flow Explained
Firstly, it’s important to start by saying that yoga flow can be practiced by anyone, anywhere.
It is a type of yoga that focuses on the connection between movement, breath, and the mind, and is based on the principles of ashtanga vinyasa, vinyasa yoga, and hatha yoga.
The terms “yoga flow” or “flow yoga” are in correlation with the flowing, continuous moves from one position to the next (for more yoga terms you’re likely to come across, read here).
When you become so focused on something you are doing, you can be “in the flow” of things, meaning you often lose track of time and focus entirely on what you are doing at that present moment.
This is what yoga flow can help you achieve through the combination of movements with deep breathing exercises.
Flow yoga is focused on the synchronization of your breath and movements. So, when you move, you breathe. For instance, as you lift your arms above your head, you will exhale. Each part of a movement in yoga flow will come with a simultaneous inhale or exhale.
The poses in flow yoga are linked with movements to help form flowing combinations and/or sequences. This can be achieved with the aid of an experienced yoga teacher, with or without music, or on your own.
When practicing flow yoga, your slow and deliberate movements will become emphasized, allowing your muscles to relax and release stored-up energy.
Poses incorporated into yoga flow include:
- Upward dog
- Downward facing dog
Yoga flow also includes a range of groundwork poses, too. These sequences help you move from one yoga pose to another easily and with grace.
Some forms of yoga are more flowing than others, such as vinyasa yoga, where the poses are linked together to flow more fluidly than in yin styles, for example.
When performing flow yoga, you may find that it is easier to breathe and move more naturally without having to hold your breath or stopping to have a break.
As you practice yoga flow more and more, your body grows increasingly accustomed to the sensation of air expanding within your lungs and chest. This can expand your lung capacity over time and result in more effortless breathing.
Generally speaking, yoga flow is designed to promote flexibility, strength, and balance, while also cultivating mindfulness and relaxation.
The pace of the practice can vary depending on the level of the class and the preferences of the teacher, making it suitable for practitioners of all levels.
Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, yoga flow offers a dynamic and engaging way to explore the mind-body connection and tap into your inner strength and vitality.
The Benefits Of Yoga Flow
Comprising standing poses, seated poses, sun salutations, and inversions, the primary objective of this yoga style is to foster a state of harmony and equilibrium.
It can also be utilized as a form of moving meditation, promoting deep relaxation and mindfulness through deliberate, gentle movements coordinated with the breath.
Such breathing and movement exercises may involve you inhaling while lifting, and exhaling while reaching, lowering, or twisting into a certain movement.
Apart from promoting relaxation and mindfulness, flow yoga has been shown to assist in the reduction of stress, pain management, an enhancement in sleep quality, and alleviating depression.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga Explained
The term vinyasa translates to ‘to place in a special way,’ signifying that both the movement and breath are purposeful and deliberate.
Vinyasa classes are characterized by a dynamic and accelerated pace, featuring sequences that intensify progressively, occasionally culminating in a peak pose.
At the outset of a flow class, you will usually come across the ‘climbing the mountain’ or the ‘going to the sun’ positions, followed by the ‘going to the moon,’ or ‘heading down the mountain’ poses.
Vinyasa flow yoga is often preferred over power yoga, which may be excessively rigorous for beginners or individuals with injuries. Though vinyasa flow yoga offers similar benefits to power yoga, it is gentler and more gradual, meaning it is perfect for novices.
Your vinyasa flow classes may differ based on the yoga system or class you are undertaking, such as Iyendar, Hatha, or Ashtanga.
Iyengar yoga focuses on alignment, whereas Hatha yoga emphasizes breathing techniques and unhurried poses, and Ashtanga yoga emphasizes the precise vinyasa flow sequence, incorporating approximately 75 poses in the sequence.
However, all forms include some variety of flow.
Yoga flow is a free flowing style of yoga where your body movements are synchronized with your breathing. This form of yoga can benefit you in many ways and has sequences that are considered simple enough for beginners to try.
Why not see for yourself and give flow yoga a try today?`