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Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga for Beginners

Updated on January 3, 2015
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Vamana Rishi and the "Yoga Koruntu"

Ashtanga yoga is a form of yoga developed by Vamana Rishi in an ancient manuscript called the "Yoga Koruntu". This form of yoga incorporates many teachings and means the "eight limbed yoga". The path of internal purification is based on these eight branches of spiritual practice:

Yama - the moral codes

Niyama - self purification

Pranayama - your breath control

Pratyahara - your sense control

Asana - the posture

Dharana - for concentration

Dhyana - meditation

Samadhi - absorption into the universal

A good definition of yoga is that of "controlling the mind". However, one cannot control the mind without perfecting yama or moral codes and niyama or the purification of the self. A daily practice of asana will make the body stong and healthy. Asana is the yoga pose designed as the practice of sitting. It is Vinyasa and Tristhana that helps to perfect asana yoga. Vinyasa is the breathing and movement system. In yoga there is one breath for every movement and Vinyasa or Flow Yoga helps achieve internal cleansing. Through Vinyasa yoga, the body can become light, healthy and strong. Vinyasa yoga is an excellent start for yoga beginners. There are many different styles that allow you to express your individuality and move at your own pace. Studying this type of yoga may be done easily online, with a beginners DVD or at a local yoga center.

Flow yoga and Vinyasa yoga are practiced widely. It is easy to find flow yoga classes in your area. Try your local YMCA or try Everything Yoga a search by zip code yoga class directory. Your home town's community center is another great place to search out classes for beginner's yoga. A private instructor may also be you best tool, however, private instruction can be pricey. Expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour. The private instructor is also beneficial because he or she can introduce you to less costly groups and classes. Even one or two instructions can help you understand the needs of your body and put you on a path to choosing the appropriate yoga instruction that is most beneficial to you.

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What is Vinyasa or Flow Yoga?

Vinyasa yoga or Flow yoga serves the purpose of internal cleansing. Vinyasa yoga cleans the blood, improves circulation, helps remove toxins and cleans disease from internal organs. Impurities and toxins are removed through sweat glands during Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is translated from the Sanskrit word to mean "connection". This is important because Vinyasa yoga helps one to move from one yoga pose into another through a change of breath either an exhale or an inhale. This breath focus is a smooth movement.

You may already be very familiar with a very basic Vinyasa yoga pose. The "cat-cow stretch" is a very simple Vinyasa yoga position that aligns and warms the spine and allows the body to alleviate back troubles. The spine is arched on the inhale of the breath.

Vinyasa yoga will almost always include the sun salutation pose. If your yoga instructor tells you to "move through Vinyasa at your own rate", the instructor means for you to move through plank pose, chaturanga and upward facing dog.

Vinyasa is a diverse yoga practice. Styles include Bikram or "hot yoga", Forrest, Moksha and Ashtanga. The many styles of Vinyasa allow a beginning yoga student to choose a work out that is right for them and fit it into their life style easily.

If you would like to try Flow Yoga, a highly recommended practitioner is Shiva Rae. She describes the flow technique in Vinyasa yoga readily and takes out the difficulty of understanding the style. Shiva Rae has an excellent yoga DVD for beginners and her workouts move up in difficulty for those looking for a more intense or highly focused Flow yoga routine.

Vinyasa Yoga

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    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 

      6 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I have been practicing yoga for years and I love it! It is the best way to heal back pain and other aches and pains throughout the body. Also, I used Shiva Rae's prenatal yoga DVD throughout my entire pregnancy. It is excellent.

      Very well-written article. Thank you!

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