What is Vinyasa?
Vinyasa refers to the movement between the poses in power yoga. This movement is more of a focus than the poses themselves. Whereas in other forms of yoga, the movement from one position to another is not as important as the time spent holding the posture itself, in power yoga it is this movement or vinyasa that is the primary focus and that gives power yoga its cardiovascular element.
Vinyasa are also used in other forms of yoga as a method of moving from one pose to another, and vinyasa yoga is also described as “flow yoga” because of the fluidity of the movement from one posture to the next. In vinyasa yoga, the exercise that is referred to as “going through the vinyasa” generally refers to a specific sequence of moving from the plank pose to the chaturanga position and then to the upward facing dog posture.
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However, in power yoga, the term vinyasa does not refer to any specific routine and instead refers simply to any movement that provides the transition from one position to the next.
Vinyasa are always accompanied by either an inhale or exhale of breath. The effectiveness of power yoga relies heavily on the synchronization of the vinyasa with the ujjayi breath (ocean breath) style of breathing. The two go hand-in-hand to provide the strength, power and focus in the practice of power yoga. Each vinyasa will always be accompanied by the same breath – in or out. For example, moving from the cobra position back into the downward dog posture, would be accompanied by an exhale of breath in the ujjayi style of breathing.
Asanas (Poses) in Power Yoga
Although power yoga is very flexible and the poses as well as the sequences can vary greatly depending on the teacher and the preference of the practitioner as well as the main goals for the practice, there are a few basic poses that are generally common to all power yoga sessions.