“ Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions” . BKS Iyengar
Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Vinyasa – evolution, wave, cycle, to place in a special way
Flow – flow, continuous and smooth movement, fluidity
Yoga – Union, unify, the state of unified consciousness
Vinyasa Yoga is a passionate style. It is a journey through the alignment of the breath with the movement and also through creative sequences of postures that open space in our body / mind / spirit to get into the flow of life with more joy, lightness and fullness. Vinyasa is a tool that helps us to see our Sva dharma: life purpose. In general, the practice is an effective and creative system of progress in the yogic path, which is the very way of life.
So in order for us to be able to make space for all potential within us, the sequences of Vinyasa need to be designed with the specific intention. In Fernanda’s classes, fluidity between the postures is important, but the alignment of the postures and their sequences are more important than the postures by itself.
Fernanda’s approach to Vinyasa practice includes her studies on the lineage of Krishnamacharya, tantra, ayurveda, Vedanta, spontaneous movement, hatha yoga, vinyasa flow, mythology, mantra, meditation, traditional knowledge combined with contemporary wisdom and power of practice for transformation in our day to day. Her classes are inspiring and has a clear intention. The sequences of postures and movements are designed according to energy proposed by each class to promote a journey of self-discovery and integration in the body / mind / spirit of the practitioner.
What is Vinyasa Flow Yoga?
Vinyasa Flow is a style of yoga which means “top lace in a special way” in stages (kramas), linking movement to breath and creating a fluid quality of practice. In this practice, we move from one asana (posture) to the next one through the breath. The Vinyasa Flow has its roots in two styles; Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Iyengar. The first one has the quality of moving with rhythmic breathing and the second emphasizes the alignment of the postures. Thus, the Vinyasa is a dynamic and challenging style that demands total dedication, focus and concentration of the practitioner.
The purpose of Vinyasa is to purify the body internally, which happens through the heating caused by the alignment between the breath, movement and postures.
The Respiration used during Vinyasa practices is Ujjayi Pranyama that is made through the nostrils and throat slightly contracting the glottis. This contraction of the glottis will create a sound that resonates breath and it seems like the sound of the ocean. However, only when the sound comes from the back of the throat it will be able to increase the space of mobility of the diaphragm.
The breath dictates rhythm of movement and practice. It is the guide to keep the attention absolutely present from moment to moment. With this quality of presence and moving in stages and with breathing guiding, the practice gains a presence and meditative quality. The awareness of “how to move” is more important than the movement itself.
Who should practice?
Vinyasa is suitable for those who like to challenge and want a more dinamic practice taht includes moviment. The challenge is to keep the breath flowing and the mind present at every single stage of the postures, no no matter how challenge or complex the sequence or the posture is to keep the breath flowing is key. This is a great practice for life. Normally, when the situation is challenging, the first thing we compromise is the connection with our breath. Missing it, we lose the connection to our center and then usually the result is a desaster. In Vinyasa practice is the same, there will be more challenging postures and movements and the goal is to keep the breath flowing in order to be connected and more aware we are more able to make beter choices and choose the most appropriate modification of posture for your body at each time.
How the classes are?
Classes are creative, free and can have music. The key is to pay attention to the breath and body movements, which must be synchronized. As a practice of free sequences, they can vary from more vigorous classes, or more restorative depending on the level of the students and each teacher’s approach.
This practice will develop strength and flexibility, and improve body awareness, respiratory, circulatory and lymphatic system, coordination, postural alignment, concentration and sleep. But it is how you place your hands on the ground and how you move in and out of postures that will make this practice an inspiration to make more space to move and relate to life with more awareness. So it can not be any sequence, but that one that enlightens consciousness integrating all aspects of the physical-mental-emotional-spiritual being. Thus it is possible to take these teachings from our yoga mat to the day-to-day life.