Vi-Nyaah-Sa

Vinyasa, (pronounced: vi-nyaah-sa)  is a Sanskrit term used in certain styles of yoga. In Sanskrit, Nyasa means “to place” and Vi means “in a special way”.  So we define Vinyasa as, “a specific sequence of breath synchronized movements used to transition between certain postures.” The Vinyasa flow is a variant of Surya Namaskar A and consists of the flow from chaturanga to chaturanga dandasana to urdhva mukha svanasana to adho mukha svanasana. Vinyasa is the alignment of one’s movement and breath and it turns static poses into a more dynamic flow. The length of one inhalation or one exhalation dictates the length of time spent transitioning between postures. Poses are then held for a predefined number of breaths. Attention is placed on the breath and the transition between postures rather than solely on achieving perfect body alignment in a pose, as in Hatha yoga.

Vinyasa is used is various forms of yoga. For example: Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga

The breathing style used in Vinyasa Yoga is Ujjayi. This is a relaxed diaphragmatic style of breathing which first fills the lower belly (activates the 1st and 2nd chakras), rises to the lower rib cage (3rd and 4th chakras), and finally moves into the upper chest and throat. Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. It is characterized by an ocean sound which resonates in the practitioner’s throat. Throughout a practice, this specific breathing style is maintained in alignment with movements. The steady cycle of inhalations and exhalations provides the practitioner with a calming, mental focal point.

Together, Vinyasa and Ujjayi create internal heat, which leads to purification of the body through increased circulation and sweating.