Vinyasa means breath linked to movement. So an Ashtanga Vinyasa flow class will feature Ashtanga postures which are synchronised into a flowing sequence usually with music in the background. Vinyasa classes will encourage the student to practice fluid movement linking postures together and transitioning from pose to pose with the intention of using the breath to create a moving meditation. They are energetic in style whilst students are often encouraged to hold postures for five long breaths enabling them to experience the full expression of a pose, activating the deeper tissues to build strength, flexibility and stability. The pace can vary from class to class depending on the theme and can be a slow, mindful flow to an energetic power flow working the body to its limits. Strong attention to alignment and breath is encouraged to create a strong body and mind. For Yogis who enjoy a varied class which focuses on different aspects of a yoga practice, Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow is a beautiful choice.
Ashtanga is a structured style of yoga practice introduced by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in 1975. The postures are practiced in a strict sequence done in a continuous, fast paced manner. It features daily practice over 6 days to maintain focus and has several key features:
· Pranayama or Breath – postures are held for minimum 5 breaths
· Drishti – each posture has a focus or gaze point
· Vinyasa – Vinyasa means movement linked to breath which connects each posture
· Bandhas – energy locks that prevent energy escaping and help control the breath