7 Reasons to Practice Vinyasa Yoga

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Originally published on http://www.doyouyoga.com by Samantha Allen

With unfamiliar names like “Ashtanga,” “Bikram,” and “Vinyasa,” it can be hard for beginners to keep all the schools of yoga straight. But if you can remember that Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement,” you’ll know everything you need to about this fantastic style.

Whether you’re just starting out with yoga, or you’re looking to try something new, there are tons of great reasons to try Vinyasa—which is one of the most popular styles among yogis of all experience levels.

1. You stay focused by going with the flow.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Vinyasa Flow” when referring to this type of yoga. Vinyasa Flow refers to the way this style keeps you moving from asana to asana, linking each pose to an inhale and an exhale.

Instructors keep the flow of movements smooth and continuous, which can help you stay present during the session. If you find your mind wandering off in the down-time between poses or sequences, Vinyasa yoga is for you.

2. It’s all about variety.

Vinyasa has a lot in common with Ashtanga yoga, which also links continuous sequence through the breath. But while Ashtanga uses a proscribed sequence of poses that’s taught the same way in every class, Vinyasa is a lot more flexible.

Instructors are totally free to mix up the order of the poses, or throw in something new and unexpected. This “no rules” approach to yoga means you’ll never fall into the slump that can set in when you repeat the same routine over and over.

3. You can find your perfect yoga class.

Since there are no set-in-stone rules about how to conduct a Vinyasa class, teachers can incorporate whatever they choose into the class—including different styles of yoga, a thematic music playlist, or a relaxing nature soundtrack.

Best of all, if one class doesn’t click with you, the next one might be just your cup of tea. With Vinyasa yoga, you can shop around to find the perfect class for you.

4. It pushes you to your limits.

Though “Vinyasa Flow” might sound easy and relaxing, this style can seriously push your physical limits.

This style incorporates elements from all schools of yoga, so even if you’ve mastered those Iyengar standing poses, you’ll find yourself in all new territory when the instructors throws in a Anusara inversion. You’ll push the limits of your strength, flexibility, and balance with Vinyasa yoga.

5. It gives you great cardio.

Cardio is an important part of any fitness routine. The continuous sequence of Vinyasa yoga is great for getting your heart going, even when the pace is relatively slow. The only ‘break’ you’ll get is in resting poses like Downward Dog, which will lead right into another, more challenging pose.

This style of yoga is great for working up a sweat.

6. It’s perfect for beginners.

Since Vinyasa is so diverse, it’s easy to find classes tailored specifically to beginners that will still provide a healthy challenge. This style is also a great way to learn the basics of pranayama, or yogic breathing, since the instructor will tell you when to inhale and exhale during each pose.

This style is a great way to learn the skills you need to build a strong foundation for a more advanced yoga practice.

7. Vinyasa yoga is fun!

With the flowing movements and great music usually playing in class, this style feels like a dance! Just about everyone looks super graceful practicing Vinyasa yoga, and there’s no better feeling than seeing yourself flow into the perfect warrior pose in the mirror.

Want to learn about Corporate Vinyasa Yoga with Urban Balance? Click here.

The Story of Yoga

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We humans, we love stories.  I read this this engaging article, featured by Power More Dell that discusses the importance of a good story when developing a company face. It brings up many good points and, as a corporate yoga instructor, I would love to discuss them, because developing a culture of healthy and passionate employees is part of a good origin story. But I’ll save that for another blog post.

Yoga is a practice that is, and always will be constantly evolving and branching into new origin stories along with human culture.

What struck me most about the article is the idea of yoga and “the origin story.”  In my experience as a yoga instructor and practitioner, there are so many versions of this story.  Yoga as a practice has branched out to take on so many different forms, and despite the lasting influence of sanskrit, the language that yoga instructors use doesn’t always translate to all styles. It is a practice that is, and always will be constantly evolving and branching into new origin stories along with human culture.  And why shouldn’t it if we are always reinventing ourselves?

A lot of what yoga does is help us explore our personal stories. These can change. These should change.

On a personal level, the complexity of the yoga origin story reflects something that is integral to yoga: that it is always changing, just like you and me.  A lot of what yoga does is help us explore our personal stories. These can change. These should change.  Yoga helps us explore and develop our stories as they exist in our minds and bodies so that we have a healthy relationship to them and continue to grow as human beings.

 

Want to learn more about bringing yoga to your workplace?  Contact us.

Stabilize Your Wrists: Child’s Pose

Anatomy 101: 8 Poses to Strengthen Your Wrists + Prevent Injury

Wrist Support

Originally Published on yogajournal.com by Ray Long, MD

Each time you vinyasa your wrists bear weight. Without the proper support, this can lead to injury. Use these poses to help build strength in your wrists and core.

The key to protecting your wrists is—surprise!—a strong core. Evidence-based medicine demonstrates that a strong core can increase the efficiency of your rotator cuff muscles, which stabilize your shoulders, and decrease the load that is transferred to your wrists. Picture the ubiquitous Down DogChaturangaUp Dog-Down Dog sequence. Each time you repeat it, your wrists bear weight throughout. Over time and without proper support from the core and shoulders, this can lead to injury.

Use this simple four-step program to strengthen your core, rotator cuff, and wrist muscles. Step four integrates steps one through three into Down Dog. Ease into all of these poses using smooth gradual engagement of the muscles. Prepare the body in this sequential way, maintain awareness of the core-cuff-wrist connection, and infuse these actions into every vinyasa to keep your wrists healthy and pain-free.

Note: People with wrist pain should consult a medical professional. Avoid weight-bearing in the wrists until pain subsides.

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5 Simple Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk

Originally Published in Mind Body Green by Jen Kluczkowski

Notice the position of your body right now. Are you slumped over in a chair? Are your shoulders collapsing in towards each other? Is your neck tilted down? If you’re sitting at your desk, chances are high you answered yes to all. This body posture literally closes off our centers for communication and intuition.

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