What Is The Name For Sequence Yoga Positions?

By Patricia | January 27, 2009
Vinyasa - The Sequence Yoga Poses

Ideally the name for a sequence of Yoga positions is Vinyasa. In one Vinyasa is included the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) that merges twelve different yoga poses in one smooth, graceful movement. The word Vinyasa, when used as a noun denotes a set of three postures which are supposed to be done as part of a Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) sequence. So, if your instructor tells you to do a Vinyasa on your own, he or she is normally referring to the three primary poses which are described later.

Vinyasa Yoga is derived from Ashtanga Yoga and employs the flow technique that connects postures, breath and movement. It is characterized by its focus on flow or dynamic connections in poses, which form the flow between the traditional, static Yoga poses. Hence it constitutes linking while the system even implies connecting breath and movement. Basically, your breath decides the movement and the length of time you hold the poses. As against other styles of Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa also lays stress on the time between poses rather than on the poses themselves. Essentially, Vinyasa or 'flow' is a variation of Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation. The whole Sun Salutation is defined by 12 – 13 specific poses, done dynamically and always in the same given order, together with regulated breathing patterns.

Normally, Vinyasa consists of the flow from the Plank Pose, to the Low Plank Pose, to the Upward-Facing Dog, to the Downward-Facing Dog. Vinyasa or Flow Yoga generates heat in the practitioner’s body that eventually results in purification of the body by way of increased sweating and circulation. This style of practice even improves tendon and hard tissue strength as well as flexibility thus facilitating the practice of advanced asanas with less risk of injury.

Altogether there are six series of flows and, normally, every sequence starts with the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) followed by standing postures. This is called the opening sequence, from which you either move to the Primary or to the Intermediate or to the Advanced levels, graded A, B or C, depending, solely on your own level of skill. This is followed by the back-bending sequence that finally closes with a series of inverted poses. This is called the finishing sequence. Ideally, in Flow Yoga students progress from one stage to the next at their own pace and level of efficiency; there is no comparison or competition.

Flow Yoga has no rulebook, set philosophy, or sequence that you have to follow; which is why you have so much of room for improvisation. In fact, individual quirks and personalities are free to come up with their own modifications. This makes it even more important that you find the right Yoga instructor who you can relate to.

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