What is Vinyasa?

What is Vinyasa?

  • Posted by Kaleigh
  • On April 9, 2018
  • Comments

Shala Announcements

Bonnie is coming back from Australia on April 11 so be sure to catch her vinyasa classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:45-7:45 pm and welcome her back from down under. We have missed her!

Sarah Jane will be out of town April 10-17. Jeff and Brian will be subbing her classes. View the yoga schedule here.

Be sure to check out our 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training coming up at the end of June!

What is Vinyasa?

Vinyasa is a breathing and movement system. For each movement, there is one breath. For example, in the Ashtanga version of Surya Namskara A (Sun Salutation), there are nine vinyasas. The first vinyasa is inhaling while raising your arms over your head, and putting your hands together; the second is exhaling while bending forward, placing your hands next to your feet, etc. In this way, all asanas are assigned a certain number of vinyasas.

The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot, or as Pattabhi Jois says, boils the blood. Thick blood is dirty and causes disease in the body. The heat created from yoga cleans the blood and makes it thin, so that it may circulate freely. The combination of the asanas with movement and breath make the blood circulate freely around all the joints, taking away body pains. When there is a lack of circulation, pain occurs. The heated blood also moves through all the internal organs removing impurities and disease, which are brought out of the body by the sweat that occurs during practice.

Rebecka Cooper by Elliot Layda

Sweat is an important byproduct of vinyasa, because it is only through sweat that disease leaves the body and purification occurs. In the same way that gold is melted in a pot to remove its impurities, by the virtue of the dirt rising to the surface as the gold boils, and the dirt then being removed, yoga “boils” the blood and brings all our toxins to the surface, which are removed through sweat. If the method of vinyasa is followed, the body becomes healthy and strong, and pure like gold.

After the body is purified, it is possible to purify the nervous system, and then the sense organs. These first steps are very difficult and require many years of practice. The sense organs are always looking outside, and the body is always giving into laziness. However, through determination and diligent practice, these can be controlled. After this is accomplished, mind control comes automatically. Vinyasa creates the foundation for this to occur.