The 6 aspects of Vinyasa

Yoga is evolving to meet the needs of the Western world.

Tristhana Vinyasa Yoga helps us to deal with the physical, mental and emotional stresses of daily life by getting back in touch with our bodies, on a basic and holistic level.

We learn to surrender into postures and release pain and tension accumulated over the years, deep in the body. This enables our perception to shift beyond the physical to the emotional, mental and spiritual.

The following 6 aspects is the formula for true inner freedom – the ultimate goal of yoga.

BREATH

Pranayama means the harnessing and control of the breath. The breath is the most important, but overlooked aspect of health and longevity.

Prana, extracted through the breath, is converted to life giving energy. This life force connects us, and is shared with everything on the earth.

Steady, complete, mindful breathing maintains the rhythm required for the practice of yoga. This is the key to unlocking the body’s true potential.

The breath links the mind and body like a bridge, one movement flows into the next, and long smooth breath allows for smooth, effortless movement. The breath ensures the practitioner remains in the present moment. It is the mantra for the practice, continually enabling the mind to become one focused.

The breath also allows for calm as we meet the challenges of the practice, and helps us to break through resistance in the mind and body.

The specific breathing method used in Vinyasa Yoga is called Ujjayi breathing. This is the single most important aspect of the practice, and has a profound effect on overall health and well-being.

STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY

Strength and flexibility is essential for attaining a healthy, functioning body that allows us to move through life with ease, agility, stability and grace.

The postures and movements are the tools that will open the heart and transcend the limitations of the mind and body. Balanced, overall strength is built. Alignment is gradually achieved as the body opens in response to correct, continuous movement.

Stored tension and stress melts away, pain disappears, and the mind has a chance to settle. Internal organs are also massaged and the endocrine system flushed and stimulated.

HEAT

The practice of yoga builds internal heat and should be done in a warm environment.

When the internal heat radiates through the entire body, it allows the muscles and connective tissue to become supple and more fluid. Circulation is enhanced. This helps prevent strain and injury. The blood is thinned and enriched with oxygen, revitalizing the body on a cellular level. Excess body fat is dissolved and unwanted fluids are released.

The combination of heat, the breath, and movement combine to build the body’s internal furnace, which burns away and flushes out toxins and impurities. This activates the body’s natural healing power, and the immune system is enhanced and strengthened.

The entire system is revitalized.

FLOW

Vinyasa means flow, and is a process of linking postures with breath. This allows for smooth, fluid, graceful motion from one position to the next. The practice of Vinyasa is a meditation in motion.

The Sun Salutation is the basic movement of all Vinyasa yoga, and creates dynamic energy, internal heat, flexibility, alignment and strength as well as a calm mind and mental focus.

Vinyasa yoga is one of the most powerful, unique, effective and unexplored fitness and health activities available.

GAZE

Yogic gaze is called drishti.

The eyes softly focus on a specific point. The use of drishti encourages deep concentration and eliminates distractions. The mind becomes clear and calm. This is the essence of a non-reactive, equanimous mind.

Pratyahara means withdrawal of the senses. This leads to concentration.

CORE STRENGTHENING AND CONNECTION

Uddiyana bandha is the connection to the central hub or core of the body.

Located between the navel and the pubic bone, it begins the pathway for the breath or energy to rise up and open the “wings of the kidneys” or the diaphragm.

This leads to the ability to develop a much longer, more complete breath as it moves into the upper respiratory area of the lungs and opens the heart.

The chance to take full advantage of the active, energizing affect of the inhalation and the passive releasing affect of the exhalation, is given. This provides stability and strength that radiates from the core of the body, also giving support to the lower back

This is the key to building stability in all yoga asana and movement, and is the foundation to true strength.