Vinyasa Yoga in Copenhagen
Breathe, move, focus
The Sanskrit word Vinyasa literally means “to place something in a sacred and special way” and another common definition of Vinyasa is to connect the movement and the breath. Sometimes, the word Vinyasa is used during a yoga class in the sentence “take a vinyasa” and refers to the short sequence composed of: chaturanga – urdhva mukha svanasana – adho mukha svanasana (low plank – upward facing dog – downward facing dog). The Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga style was brought to the Western world by Patthabi Jois in the 70s, and since then it has evolved extensively. Nowadays, Vinyasa classes are often called Vinyasa Flow, reflecting the continuity of the movements taken during the class. In fact, during a Vinyasa Flow class the poses are usually only held for a few breaths and there is a deeper focus on the transitions between the poses. The breath and movement connection is one of the core principles of a Vinyasa Flow class. Usually each pose or transition is connected with either an inhale or an exhale, in order to create a natural rhythm of movements and breathing. It is common that a sequence of different poses and transitions is created by the teacher, and is repeated several times during a class. Some Vinyasa classes can have a “ladder” structure, meaning that for each round of the sequence new poses are added, ending with an extended sequence, with no pauses in between. Often the repetition of sequences helps to warm up the body and build up strength and flexibility to reach a so-called “Peak Pose” -a physically advanced pose, that is practiced towards the end of the practice. Often a Vinyasa class will have a theme, such as: balance, heart-opening postures, headstands. Having a theme or intention for the practice helps the mind to stay more focused on what is happening in the practice and creates a better connection between body, mind and breath.