As if the term yoga isn’t intriguing enough, there are many different kinds of yoga to choose from – Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar, Bikram… the list goes on!

We’re all about Vinyasa Yoga at pplpoint. Vinyasa is a dynamic practice that is more joyful than other yoga styles so we love it for its ability to increase the heart rate and help students move into a meditation that benefits the mind and body. Vinyasa Yoga is a subset of hatha yoga style as it is distinguished by movement through a series of carefully planned poses. The literal translation of vinyasa is “to place in a special way.” Each teacher may interpret vinyasa in their own way, but you can count on coordinating your breath with fluid movement.

Vinyasa classes are often categorized by level, typically beginner, intermediate, advanced, or numbered levels 1, 2, or 3. The difficulty of the class depends on your own experience, strength, and flexibility. You may be in great shape, but that doesn’t mean you are ready to skip to Level 3. Each level creates a foundation for the next level’s work on breath and poses. If you jump ahead, you won’t be fully prepared for the experience. I suggest starting with beginner classes and consulting with your teacher about when you’re ready to move up a level.

Vinyasa yoga differs from ‘traditional’ yoga where you are holding static poses. Vinyasa yoga places emphasis on controlling your breathing. Your focus is to synchronize your movements with your breathing. Transitions from one pose to another are performed during a single inhale or exhale. This style of yoga is great for increasing your balance and proprioception as well as core strength and muscle endurance. Vinyasa can also be combined with other styles of yoga such as Bikram or hot yoga.
Another big difference between traditional yoga and a vinyasa style is the stretching that is performed. Since traditional yoga focuses on holding static poses for longer periods of time, the stretching performed here is considered active stretching. During vinyasa yoga you are holding poses for a much shorter period of time, meaning this style of yoga uses a combination of active and dynamic stretching methods.

Vinyasa is a practice that links several poses together with breathing work in a continuous movement. It helps build internal heat in the body. There are many forms of vinyasa offered in studios today. Because of the focus of moving with the breath, vinyasa generally is a more physically active yoga practice. You may hear the terms vinyasa flow, flow and power yoga.
At YogaWorks we talk of vinyasa’s other definition “to place in a special way,“ such that with each breath our movement becomes more mindful, focused and special, rather than something to complete because we have to. Mindfulness is a large part of why yoga is different from other forms of exercise.

Read More: What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Read More: What is Yin Yoga?


In Vinyasa Yoga we connect one posture to the other posture using the breath. The opposite of this would be an alignment-based class where students engage with a posture, explore it for a period of time and then “break the posture” by coming out.

  • “Transitions” are what connect one posture to another in Vinyasa. What is not always appreciated is that transitions are considered postures themselves.
  • Vinyasa is synonymous with movement.
  • Breath initiates the movement of Vinyasa which is why you’ll hear it referred to as a “breath-synchronized” practice.
  • Ujjayi Breath is the breathing technique used. It is done by inhaling and exhaling in a rhythmic manner through the nose. The overall sensation is one of relaxation.
  • Build strength, coupled with flexibility, by emphasizing and exploring slower options. Doing so will help you create a sustainable, life-long practice.
  • The families, also called categories or classes, are the groupings the postures belong to such as standing postures, backbends, forward bends, etc.
  • Contrast this to alignment-based classes that cycle through the asana categories over a series of weeks, instead of every class. The benefit is a greater depth of postural understanding, in a particular class, at the expense of single session balance.
  • A sequence is any time two or more postures are strung together. No two classes are alike.
  • A variable form system, like Vinyasa, exists to help us see what is changeless and permanent throughout all of the change. This might be an intention or purpose, a way of thinking or connection to something greater than ourselves.
  • One other key aspect of the variation is it keeps your interest. Many practitioners move from fixed forms to Vinyasa because they become bored.
  • Vinyasa meets you where you are—which in today’s world is usually high energy, going in a million directions at once. It meets you there and leads you by the hand back to an inner peace that exists within you.

Read More: What is Pranayama?

Read More: What is Bikram Yoga?

Vinyasa Yoga


That’s the regular cue you hear in a vinyasa practice as you move from pose to pose with each breath. Sometimes it can feel that you didn’t stay long enough in a pose so that you really feel the effects of a stretch — it’s often much less than 10 to 30 seconds as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.

  • Physical Benefits:- While you don’t always hold a stretch for a super long time in vinyasa yoga, by repeating postures and movements you do accumulate the 60 seconds recommended by ACSM to benefit, flexibility-wise. This active yoga practice also gets you moving — a tremendous benefit to the average American who sits an average of 13 hours per day, according to research from the company Ergotron, published in 2013. Sitting so much makes your joints stiff, contributes to weight gain and chronic disease, say studies, including one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2015. This flowing movement of vinyasa also burns calories, which helps you maintain or lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume a day. In 45 minutes of vinyasa, a 150-pound woman burns 415 calories — more than the 334 calories burned in 45 minutes of jogging or 214 calories in 45 minutes of jumping jacks. To burn the 415 calories, you should be actively flowing the whole time — not just for short periods and resting in Child’s pose for others.
  • Helps You to Burn Calories:– An average woman who weighs 150 pounds can expect to burn up to 594 calories in an hour-long session. This makes it an ideal type of exercise for people who are looking to lose weight. How many calories you burn will be dependent upon your weight, however, as well as how much effort you put in and the level you’re practising. For example, beginner sessions will burn fewer calories than intermediate and advanced sessions. Ideally, Vinyasa yoga should be performed in conjunction with other types of workouts for full weight loss benefits.
  • It Improves Circulation:– As you progress through the flow sequence, it creates heat within the body. This purifies the blood and makes it thinner. In turn, it improves blood circulation. The organs also benefit, since improved circulation helps to ease congestion. The better your organs work, the healthier you’ll feel. What’s more, the breathing techniques used within Vinyasa yoga also improve circulation within the organs, spine, and glands. The key is to ensure you are breathing in sync with the movements.
  • Calms the Mind:- Vinyasa yoga benefits the mind as well as the body. It is described as a dynamic meditation due to the focus required during its practice. Since it helps to connect the mind and body, it releases stress and anxiety. Once you’ve finished a session, you will feel calmer and more relaxed. Since you focus your mind on the breathing techniques throughout the duration of a session, the central nervous system enters a more elevated state of calm. Numerous studies have linked the nervous system to the brain. If one or the other isn’t functioning correctly, it can have a direct impact on the mood. A calm central nervous system equals a calm brain.
  • Builds Up Strength and Flexibility:- Vinyasa yoga is a great way to boost strength and flexibility. The combination of flow and sedentary poses challenges the body. The continuous movements stretch and strengthen each muscle within the body, which helps to loosen them. This makes it ideal for those who have stiff, uncomfortable joints. Your range of mobility and motion will also increase. As you focus on yogic breathing throughout, more fresh oxygen will be delivered to your muscles. This further helps to loosen and fuel them. Finally, tension within the muscles is released as they are flexed throughout the practice, which minimizes the risk of injuries like muscle tears and pulls.

Read More: What is Karma Yoga?

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Krishnamacharya is attributed with being the architect of Vinyasa. A guest of his benefactor, a maharaja, or prince, Krishnamacharya taught adolescent boys at Mysore Palace. What better way to calm down active teenagers than with a lot of movement.

Who knew that insight is also perfect for calming the high-spirited mind of the modern world?

Rishi Vamana was also credited for creating Vinyasa Yoga. The idea was to simultaneously embody the different facets of yoga: mudra, pranayama, meditation, asana.

Vinyasa Krama

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali also cite [vinyasa] krama


If you were to look at the average Iyengar Yoga class you might find 12 students. Contrast that to a Vinyasa class that has anywhere from 15 to 50 or more. What’s going on here?

  1. Vinyasa doesn’t take long to learn to teach initially. It does take time and effort to learn to teach well.
    Go back to that Iyengar class and the teacher leading it will have to have had a minimum of four years of continuous study, with a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. They have also either had a mentorship or graduated from a narrow list of teacher programs, had the recommendation of a mentor and passed an assessment so rigorous. The Vinyasa teacher might have two-years of teaching experience, will have completed a 200-hour teaching training program, where no two are alike, and not had a mentorship because they are rare. The reason it’s so easy to teach Vinyasa teachers also contributes to the popularity of the form. In many Vinyasa teacher training programs, the trainees are taught a script—a specific sequence to teach. A script can be a learning tool. It also provides a lot of consistency from class to class, which students find reassuring. Students like to know what’s coming because it allows them to be successful and feel confident. But scripts can become crutches, or worse, anchors for both the student and the teacher. In order to move beyond them, you have to know the poses well as both a student and teacher. Poses are the building blocks of yoga asana. They are like musical notes to a song. A script is a completed song. You can learn to play that one tune, but only that one. If you ever want to play another or even write your own, it helps to read music. This is why the most skilled Vinyasa teachers have done stints in Iyengar Yoga and/or spent a lot of time (years) practising and working through different poses and sequences.

Also Read: What is Yoga?

Also Read: What is Yoga Nidra?


The practice is dynamic and this freedom of movement resonates with students and teachers at all levels and from all walks of life. Vinyasa yoga can have a dance-like quality and when sequenced by an experienced teacher, you’ll walk out of the studio having had a full-body workout but one that has worked to both strengthen and lengthen your muscles to create balance.

Vinyasa yoga encourages self-reflection and mindfulness.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

In this article, I have discussed WHAT IS VINYASA YOGA | CHARACTERISTICS OF VINYASA FLOW YOGA | VINYASA YOGA BENEFITS | WHERE VINYASA YOGA ORIGINATED | VINYASA YOGA SO POPULAR | WHY PRACTICE VINYASA YOGA in the best possible way. If you have any doubts regarding anything then please comment below or contact us via Contact Page .. We will try to answer all your questions…

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