Strengthening the Mind and Body through Vinyasa Yoga

April 8, 2020

We can all agree that this uncertain time in our lives has not only added stress on our minds, but also our bodies. Something that is increasingly encouraged by doctors and mental health professionals around the world is to implement a routine into our day-to-day lives in order to remain healthy and well. For many of us, this includes some sort of physical activity or workout. For me personally, going to the gym to practice hot yoga was a big part of my daily ritual. For years I have found the benefits of vinyasa yoga to be very rewarding. Not only is it something that has strengthened my entire body, but it has strengthened my mind, encouraging me to breathe through tough moments and calm myself. Now more than ever, I would recommend yoga to the people in my life and those that are looking to add some more structure to their lives. If you aren’t convinced yet, continue reading to learn about the health benefits behind the modern practice of vinyasa yoga.

So what exactly is “vinyasa yoga?”

Generally, most people understand the basic practice of yoga. They’ll do stretches and laugh at the silly poses they often see yogis do. However, a missing aspect behind this perception is the partnership of breathing and the yoga “flow.” Essentially, vinyasa yoga is the smooth transition between movements paired with breathwork. This active combination helps to teach your body how to alleviate the stress response by using breath and mental focus. Additionally, other benefits to vinyasa yoga include increased flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning, muscle development, and more. 

How do I get started with vinyasa yoga?

Yoga is a universal activity that just about anybody can do—no matter your athletic ability. Whether you’re someone that prioritizes workouts and stretching or not, yoga is very easy to learn and become stronger in. Vinyasa yoga usually involves sun salutations that include chaturangas—a push-up to an upward dog to a downward dog. These are often referred to as “clearing the slate” throughout your yoga practice and remain constants throughout all of the Sun Salutations. Holding these poses along with a variety of other ones, like eagle, crescent lunge, and warrior II, will build strength in all areas of your body. 

Start your yoga practice virtually online!

While I personally believe that yoga is more fun and fulfilling when done at a studio with a community, there are plenty of other resources we can use in this unprecedented time: 

CorePower: Due to all of their studios being closed, CorePower is allowing free access to a special weekly collection of online classes. 

Down Dog: Normally $7.99 per month for a pro membership, Down Dog is currently free until May 1. This program offers a customized yoga routine by allowing you to choose your type, level, and duration of your practice.

Yess Yoga: Local to Minneapolis, Yess Yoga studio is offering virtual classes via Zoom. Check out their Zoom class schedule to hop on a class of your choice!

All in all, this is a time that we, as a world, need peace of mind more than ever. Active yoga practice has the ability to improve sleep, reduce stress, and overcome anxiety. Because vinyasa yoga is focused around breath and body sensations, it serves as a meditation of the mind and body. So rather than over-stressing your body, try to implement some structure in your day—and give yoga a try while you’re at it!