VINYASA IS A SANSKRIT TERM MEANING “TO PLACE OR ARRANGE IN A SPECIAL WAY”.
This style combines asana with breathing techniques and flowing movements to build sequences, often structured around a ”peak pose” such as Vrksasana (Tree Pose). In this case a number of complimentary build up and follow up poses are incorporated, which help the practitioner work up to and cool down from the peak pose.
The use of breathing techniques such as Ujjayi breath is a central aspect of Vinyasa Yoga and assists the practitioner to remain focused while also serving a number of energetic functions.
Sun Salutations, called Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, are also often found in Vinyasa classes.
A Vinyasa class might also be focused on a particular theme, for example Chakras, Meridians or another aspect of Yogic Philosophy.
“MASTER YOUR BREATH, LET THE SELF BE IN BLISS, CONTEMPLATE ON THE SUBLIME WITHIN YOU”
– TIRUMALAI KRISHNAMACHARYA
The Vinyasa style was developed out of the Ashtanga or ”eight limbs” Yoga system developed by Indian teacher and Ayurvedic healer Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (November 1888 – February 1989) who is often referred to as the ”Father of modern Yoga”.
He was credited with the revival of Hatha Yoga and was one the most influential teachers of the 20th century.
THE EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA
SAMADHI – Complete Integration
DHANYA – Meditation
DHARANA – Concentration
PRATYAHARA – Withdrawal of the Senses
PRANAYAMA – Breathwork
ASANA – Physical Postures
NIYAMA – Attitude Towards Ourself
YAMA – Attitude towards Our Environment