Love is a strong word we sometimes use overabundantly. I thought for a long time if I should be using that word in that sense, but I came to the conclusion it’s definitely valid for me to use “love” when talking about a practice that changed my whole life. When I took my first steps in the yoga world, I dabbled in various classes like yoga+pilates, hatha yoga, triyoga flow and ashtanga. I liked ashtanga best until I found a vigorous Vinyasa Flow class and it got me head over heels. But why is Vinyasa Flow so special?
Find your perfect match(es)
Didn’t like that one Vinyasa Flow class? Try different teachers! Every Vinyasa Flow teacher has their own unique way of teaching and sequencing. Some might incorporate more breath work and meditation while others like to play around with arm balances. Also the taste, choice and usage of music varies a lot from teacher to teacher so don’t give up if that pop-song from one class didn’t really enhance your yogic state of mind. There is just the teacher out there that will struck your chord. Probably even more than one!
Expect the unexpected
Vinyasa Flow forces you to keep an open beginners mind. You never know what’s coming. I have deep respect for the ashtanga practice and there are many benefits of sticking to a series in your practice. While I also like to practice the primary series from time to time, there is something about a good Vinyasa Flow that just keeps my mind more clear and more alert.
There are two scenarios: You are actually taking a Vinyasa Flow class or you are practicing at home. When you’re in a class you have to pay attention and let go of your expectations. Breathe, listen and feel while trusting the teacher to guide you through a wonderful wave of yoga practice. When you have gained some experience and you are practicing at home, you can allow your body to guide you through the poses that will feel best now while staying in synch with your breath. It can be a glorious feeling to really listen to your body, let it take over for a while and let the magic of the unexpected unfold itself.
Meet your edges
Taking into account the variety of teachers and classes, Vinyasa Flow is mostly one of the more dynamic and sweaty kinds of yoga. Some of the benefits when taking a Vinyasa Flow class in real life or even online is that you will be pushed to your limits in one way or another. One pitfall of a home practice is that you might avoid “hard” poses or poses you simply don’t like. In a Flow class chances are high you will meet one or two of those avoided poses (but then, you never know – see the point above 😉 ) and guess what – that’s where the magic happens! I used to hate Utkatasana (chair pose) but one of my teachers managed to sneak it in again and again until my aversion began to fade and my thighs grew stronger and now I actually enjoy this pose a lot. Meeting your edges means transformation and that’s what yoga is about.
Enjoy the synchronicity of breath and movement
Let’s face it, moving in synch with your breath feels amazing. If that is paired with a kick-ass sequence and some great music I can feel on top of the world and connected with everything, not just my body and my breath. For me this is one of the best feelings ever – after a good ol’ savasana of course!
Letting go in your savasana becomes even sweeter
Since you practiced letting go of your expectations the whole class, finding that relaxed state of effortless surrender in savasana is much more easy. And at least for me it is a glorious feeling to drop into savasana after meeting my edges in a surprising Flow class and just releasing every last bit of control.
In a way, a Vinyasa Flow class can be a metaphor for life: You show up, you breathe deeply and go with the flow to reap all the benefits of letting go completely at the end.
Thank you for reading and I truly hope you enjoy your next Vinyasa Flow class 🙂