How slow Vinyasa won me over
Do you avoid yoga classes described as Vinyasa or “flow” style because you worry that they will be too fast paced or include challenging movements and transitions? I used to avoid them! I preferred yoga to be more slow and still — and I’ve done my fair share of CrossFit, running, and other fast, intense workouts. I love those too.
And yet, I’ve come to realize by attending many different types of yoga classes, by deepening my experience through teacher training, and experimenting in my own practice, that flow can be what you need it to be. If you need it at a slower pace, it can be that.
The point and the beauty and benefit of flowing in yoga is that your movement is paced with the breath, which gives you focus. It is a tool to help you regulate your nervous system. With each inhale, we complete a movement. With each exhale, we complete a movement.
We lengthen the breath and use the entire length of the breath to complete the corresponding movement. We maintain an equal ratio between the length of the inhale and the length of the exhale. This takes concentration and that always gets me out of my mind and into the present moment. Keeping the rhythmic pace of breath focuses my attention and also provides a kind of calming effect. It’s truly a moving meditation.
The most obvious places we flow in yoga are sun salutations. Thankfully, there are so many ways to vary the postures in salutations to make a flow accessible. A yoga teacher can always help you with finding ways to modify a movement.
Have you tried slow Vinyasa or slow flow yoga? What did you think?
Slow Flow yoga series starts May 12
Join me for 5 weeks of slow Vinyasa on Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. ET with video recordings available afterwards. Full details are in my virtual yoga studio.
Thanks for the great intro to yoga. I have always wanted to give it a try. I was really impressed with the professionalism of your course.
As a yoga novice, I’m often worried about joining classes that are beyond my skill level. Lisa’s approach quickly eased my mind…