vinyasa flow pic

I am asked often what is yoga and what do you do in class. I also hear lots of comments about why folks do not do yoga. Everything from “I am not flexible at all” to “I cannot sit still that long” and my very favorite “I tried it once and I just didn’t like it”. I have lots of answers to those excuses, such as the reason you aren’t flexible is because you are not doing yoga. Also, if you can’t sit still maybe you should practice. And, finally, if you only tried it once how do you know you don’t like it…maybe try a new teacher or different style or better yet, just try it again with an open mind. But, all those responses would be somewhat sarcastic and definitely put someone on the defensive. So, I instead try to smile, nod in understanding, and offer an idea of what I love about yoga.

Today I want to speak a little to vinyasa flow yoga. As most of you know, there are so many types of yoga, and I enjoy just about any type. But, at the heart of my practice and the essence of me as a teacher is always vinyasa. Vinyasa means flow or moving from posture to posture linking the breath to movement in a harmony that quiets the mind, relaxes the body, and heals the soul. To me vinyasa is like a moving meditation that gets me out of the thoughts and chatter of my mind and into the moment so that I can experience each pose and each sensation in my body in a very focused and aware way.

Now, it isn’t like this every class and it most certainly didn’t start out this way. It took time for me to become comfortable with the postures and the names of the postures. It took time and a level of trusting my teachers to attempt new and challenging asana. It took time for me to accept myself and my practice as it is with no self-doubt and criticism – and those things still pop up from time to time. But, the overall lesson for me time and time again to find my flow, let go of the struggle, and move into stillness. This is hard and it takes practice, but the end result is so worth it.

So whether you are looking to find a little flexibility or trying to de-stress and be still or maybe you are just looking for something different – Try a vinyasa class – and try it more than once. It may be just the class that propels you to new ways of thinking about your health, fitness and life.