The tradition of yoga is over 5000 year old and it has always been heavily steeped in meditation and energy work. The actual postures of yoga are relatively new, and much of the postural yoga we practice today is only about 100 years old.
While practicing these more modern forms of yoga, it is important to remember the roots of this practice. The Sanskrit word “yoga” in itself means “to unite.” Indeed, yoga is a practice meant to unite us with our highest selves. Yoga is that which brings us closer to our deepest truth, while cleansing away all that is not aligned with our true selves. Yoga is the recognition of our inner wholeness. The asana (postures) of yoga are tools that allow us to connect to our highest selves every time we step on the mat.
The sanskrit word “vinyasa,” means “to place in a special way.” We can look at vinyasa flow yoga as mindfully and attentively using our awareness while moving the body, breath, and mind. As a whole body discipline (incorporating mind, body, and breath), vinyasa yoga follows a bell curve sequences where we are progressively building our energy up to the peak of the class, and then gradually winding back down into our final relaxation, Savasana.
Vinyasa yoga can vary from gentle to vigorous, yet the thread that ties the discipline together lies in connecting movement, mindful breathing, and awareness based meditation practices. Where these three parts of the practice line up, we embody a state of flow.
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