"The home of hometown heroes"

By Lindsay Hernandez
BSW Contributor

If you have practiced yoga before, then you are familiar with the benefits of the Vinyasa style.  The word Vinyasa means linking your breath with your movement.  In my previous column, I briefly discussed the relaxing benefits of Restorative Yoga. Vinyasa can also be relaxing, although it is an active practice--one that will challenge you physically and allow you to focus your mind on the moment.

Practicing Vinyasa Yoga with proper form and on a regular basis helps you to become more aware of your breath, because breath is the biggest emphasis.  Becoming more conscious of this, you’ll learn how to breathe normally when your body and mind experience the stress of life.  Additionally, you’ll receive a full body workout and strength training to gain/develop lean muscles, with increased flexibility. Vinyasa Yoga is an excellent supplement to numerous training programs and regimens, and may help you as an athlete to strengthen your joints and minimize the potential for injury.

Vinyasa can range across all physical levels, from standard postures to intricate poses, and you will hold certain postures for a few breaths while the yoga instructor guides you with breath and alignment cues.  Vinyasa can be referred to as Flow, Vinyasa Flow, and Power Flow, because of the smooth movements aligned with the breath, similar to choreography.  Every class is different and Vinyasa is not a set series, like Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. However Vinyasa’s roots come from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.  You’ll see a lot of Ashtanga poses in a Vinyasa class.

Each teacher is different, based on their teacher training and athletic background. The best way to find a style of Vinyasa that speaks to you, is to practice with as many instructors as possible.  Some Vinyasa classes are slower-paced in nature, while others move faster.  Classes can be heated or unheated.

My number one focus with students is safety.  With this foundation, we build and align all postures.  I work on your skill level, providing you with modified and alternate poses wherever necessary.  The point is--as with life, a yoga practice is a continuous work-in-progress.  We maintain an open dialogue so that I might best serve you and your practice exactly where you are at any given moment.

 Try a free Vinyasa class with me this Saturday at 8am at Hot Yoga Plus in Cool Springs (Hot Yoga Plus Nashville and Cool Springs are both offering free yoga all day Saturday), or Sunday at 9am at One C1ty in Nashville (yogatennessee.com/classes for map and more information)...  Also, contact me to inquire about a free first class at one of the studios where I teach.   

Lindsay Hernandez is a local, certified yoga instructor.  For questions, comments, or a free yoga assessment, write Lindsay at lindsay@yogatennessee.com or call her at 615-378-5532.

Practice Vinyasa Yoga For Increased Strength