There are a multitude of yoga styles. I was certified in #Hatha yoga and have also taken teaching courses in #Baptise, or power yoga, as well as #trapeze yoga. I have sort of fallen into teaching #Vin #Yin which is a combination of Vinyasa Yoga and Yin Yoga. Vinyasa warms the body up during the first half of class, ridding the body of excess #Prana, or energy. During the second half of class, the body is ready to relax and lengthen with Yin.
Vinyasa is a Flowing Practice
A vinyasa flows through various poses, or #asanas, so that each move is coordinated with the breath. We typically inhale as we expand and exhale as we fold. After warming up and working through a few Sun Salutations, vinyasa flows will typically offer a few standing poses for balance practice, an inversion and backbends, and then move into twists.
This sequence is energizing, it calms the mind, builds strength, improves #flexibility, relieves stress, can help to reduce #headaches, improves #cardiovascular health, and can burn excess #calories. What I enjoy about vinyasa is not only the beautiful flow of the sequence, but how it causes you to become more mindful of your breath. Vinyasa means "breath-synchronized movement."
Yin Yoga is a Deep Stretch
Poses in a yin sequence are held for three to five minutes typically, which offers a much deeper stretch. This helps target the deep connective and #fascia tissue, increasing your flexibility. The goal is to find the edge of your stretch while avoiding #pain. There really shouldn't even be any discomfort, but just a right amount of #stretch. Resolve to just remain still in your mind, holding the pose three to five minutes, maybe less for a beginner or longer for the more advanced yogi. A timer may be helpful, but if listening to music while practicing yoga, a helpful clue is to transition asanas with each new song.
Range of motion is improved in yin yoga. Muscles are lengthened and #adhesions are worked. Tissues and muscles are better oxygenated and hydrated. Ligaments are thickened and strengthened. Joints are lubricated. Skin is hydrated. Stress is reduced. The spine is supported in a physiologic curvature and the #nervous system is calmed. Yin yoga balances prana, slows the mind, grounds us and offers a meditative practice.
Savasana & Meditation
Most all yoga classes will end in savasana, which may be held for only a few seconds in some classes or maintained as long as 15 minutes in others. For many, this will be the most difficult pose as it requires stillness of mind and body. However, this may also be the most important pose. It helps the body transition out of a #sympathetic or engaged nervous system, to a calm resting state dominated by the #parasympathetic system. This transition assists with reducing stress, improving digestion, and enhances our body's ability to heal.
Meditation or breath work may follow savasana as yoga is a practice much deeper than just the physical poses. Yoga also strives to optimize our mental and emotional health. In fact there are eight components or arms of yoga that work to guide you in living a meaningful life.