What the Heck is a Vinyasa?

When I tell my students to “go through a vinyasa” in class, I get a few looks of confusion.

Sure, Vinyasa is a style of yoga, one that involves smooth transitions between poses matched with breathing.

But, it also refers to a specific sequence of poses that takes you from Plank to Downward Facing Dog. Let me walk you through it:

1. It starts with Chaturanga.

This looks like the part of a push up when you lower yourself toward the ground — except your elbows bend inward, grazing your ribs.

  • Lower yourself with control (requires some strength).
  • Stop to hover over ground, arms should be parallel with your torso.

2. Then, do Upward Facing Dog.

  • Shift your body forward onto the very tips of your toes until the tops of your feet flip onto your mat.
  • Push up to straighten your arms and look up.
  • Only your hands and the tops of your feet are touching the ground.

3. Finally, flow to Downward Facing Dog.

  • Push your body up into a V shape until your feet lift enough for you to tuck your toes.
  • Push with your arms, round your back (like in Cat pose), pull up with the abs.
  • Rest into Downward Facing Dog, sending hips to the sky.

Tip: It helps to come into plank first before Downward Facing Dog.

Hope that helps!

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