What's a Vinyasa Yoga class like?
Updated: May 5, 2020
Well, it depends on what you bring to it and what your energy level is like! Sometimes I feel totally relaxed and warm after a class, other times I feel invigorated and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Vinyasa is a form of yoga that involves flowing sequences of movements between poses, called asanas. That makes the practice more dynamic and engages the whole body in rhythmic movement which in turn, mobilises the joints and a wider range of muscles. I like vinyasa because when you connect each asana in sequence and you remember what comes next, it feels like a real sense of achievement. It's also good as it focusses your mind as you try and remember what comes next. People who have danced before, done gymnastics or been to aerobics classes will know what I mean.
In my class, we always start with a short time to ground ourselves, connect with our mind and body and then do a short warm up to prepare the physical body for the asanas. I include sun salutations in each class (that's the video above) and sometimes a balance. Each suggestion I provide during the class comes with modifications so you can personalise your practice and so you don't overdo it. What one person can do on their mat might be different to what you can do. We all have different sized bodies, different shapes and different joints. My hips don't fit together very well (the joints are misshapen due to lots of swimming whilst I was growing up) and that means I can't get my knees to the floor when I sit cross-legged. So trying to compete with someone else who can is crazy! You can go at your own pace and rest when you need to, in fact, I encourage you to listen to your body as it is your best teacher, not me. There's time for relaxation and meditation towards the end of every class, which can be a silent time for you to observe the thoughts that come into your head. Sometimes I will guide the meditation to help you connect to the present moment and bring you back from planning what you're having for tea later!
Every person has a different experience when they practise yoga but at the end of a class, nearly everyone has said to me they feel relaxed, calm, content and some say they feel refreshed. My experience of yoga is individual to me and yours will be to you. It should make you feel better than when you first started the class, in a way that gives you joy, even if it's just for the time you have spent taking care of yourself whilst on your mat.