At a time when we, as human beings, are becoming more and more sedentary, we are also becoming disconnected with normal functional movement of our evolved biped form.
Our ancestor hunter gatherers would have moved stealthily through the jungle, with ease, controlling the breath, sharpened senses, with alertness, not quite the tightness and physical constraints that some of us live with presently. Some may see exercise as not for them, the perception of a painful process with little immediate gain mainly to achieve long term aesthetic improvement, the actual benefit of how moving the body makes you feel, has been largely ignored.
I am fascinated with vinyasa yoga style of movement, ‘vinyasa’ translates to movement steadily with the breath a dynamic sequenced moving practice that doesn’t simply focus on static singular yoga postures, the individual’s flexibility, or lack of..
Neither is it dogmatic or metaphysical, referring to cultural learnings of centuries ago that might appear like the ‘emperors’ clothes’ to some.
Vinyasa yoga is of this age. It enables practitioners re learn how to move functionally, the way the human body, with all its component parts, should naturally move. We relearn how to apply core stability, use the breath to greater efficiency, achieve grounding and foundation whilst we become acutely aware of the position of the body in space, without the need for a mirror! We move fluidly, with grace and integrity. This movement requires high levels of concentration, it epitomises mindful movement.
Those that practice vinyasa yoga, (yoga flow or power yoga) on a regular basis know that something positive happens every time they practice.
Stamina and endurance are developed through the dynamic movement of the practice, both lengthening and contracting muscle groups, creating deep strength without building unnecessary bulk, the body become more toned and defined.
The flowing movements promote both cardiovascular, (CV), and muscular stamina. CV stamina is developed through the continuity of movement and muscular stamina with the static holds of the postures. It is not wholly aerobic; the breath rate will rise but with careful sequencing and interspersed restorative postures, the heart rate will achieve its optimum. Fitness improves with each practice session as we learn more about our bodies and improve the technique of our movement.
Increasing circulation with movement and efficient control of the respiratory system, tones the whole body. The muscles, internal organs connective tissues and skin are bathed in a continuous flow of fresh blood, bringing nutrients to the cells and removing toxins and waste, purifying. The whole body is cleansed and nourished more efficiently than with other forms of exercise movements than may create and stagnate lactic acid and toxins.
Thereby, the respiratory, digestive, circulatory, endocrine, immune, and reproductive systems will all benefit, improving overall health and physical wellbeing. We improve our focus and concentration, and the sense of satisfaction and achievement is unparalleled in any other form of exercise.
Practice with care and attention and you will feel deep, but alert relaxation when you have finished. Those that are residually tired and perhaps will feel more tiredness, this will pass after a few practice sessions. With time and consistent practice, the feeling of release and relaxation you achieve at the end of practice will infuse your life, you will become more and more relaxed with your everyday activities, and within yourself.
Vinyasa yoga is as challenging as we make it, we are in control, and we can experiment and innovate with the movements. It is accessible for absolute beginners, the teacher will take you through the sequences and you will discover how wonderful 'vinyasa' is!