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How does vinyasa yoga influence us off the yoga mat?

Vinyasa can be translated to mean "to place in a special way" and often is referred to as flow yoga

because of the focus on the breath and transitioning between poses. In a vinyasa class, there are steps that are taken in a specific order to build awareness of the specific parts of the body that are being used to access the poses throughout the progression of sequences. These steps are often referred to as Kramas. According to T.K.V. Desikachar, vinyasa krama is defined as "a correctly organized course of asanas progressing appropriately toward a desired goal". The focus of a goal or a direction in a specific way is unique to vinyasa yoga and not only addresses the process of taking an action but noticing the way an action is taken. In this way, vinyasa yoga gives notice to the more subtle aspects of how a person might be moving toward, or away, from the desired outcome. Another book on vinyasa yoga called "The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga" by Srivatsa Ramaswami discusses vinyasa kramas in similar ways. By transitioning from pose to pose in a breath-based way, there is a specific succession of events that include the mind and body working in harmony.


With this information in mind, when a person is practicing vinyasa yoga on the mat they are experiencing an intelligent and thoughtful approach to a specific goal. Although in a typical vinyasa yoga class, this goal is typically based on breath (pranayama) and asana (poses), the process is still working behind the scenes. According to the vinyasa yoga philosophy, the shift of attention toward the breath and body can positively enhance the inner states of the yoga practitioner. This effect can often be described as "yoga bliss" or "relaxed". The change in the inner states influences the mental, emotional, and spiritual experiences of the person. Consequently, the person may feel these subtle changes throughout the day, therefore, impacting how they experience the day.


Often students of yoga are not aware of the subtle influences this practice in a class can have on their life outside of the studio. Many people believe that the only benefit to yoga happens during the yoga class without realizing the ongoing influence that a practice can have on the hours after a yoga class ends.


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