Hasta Vinyasa

Definition - What does Hasta Vinyasa mean?

An hasta vinyasa is a sequence of movements in yoga which mainly involve movement of the arms. The term comes from the Sanskrit, hasta, meaning “formed with the hands,” and vinyasa, which refers to a flowing or coordinated movement.

As with all vinyasa sequences, a hasta vinyasa involves coordinated movement with the breath. They boost circulation and energize the body, opening the chest and heart area. They are considered particularly useful for invigorating the body before a full asana practice. They are also effective stretches with significant mental and physical benefits.

Yogapedia explains Hasta Vinyasa

The main postures for hasta vinyasas are lateral side movement (parsvabhaga), frontal stretch (purvabhaga), sweeping movement (prasarana), elbow movement, hands-on-shoulder blades movement, back salute (prishtanjali) and shoulder rotation.

The hasta vinyasas use tadasana as their base posture and, as such, they are considered beneficial for improving mental and physical balance and calming the mind. They are simple to perform, but are a powerful way to open and align the body’s structure. These vinyasas stretch the spine and guide it through all of its natural movements. They also improve shoulder mobility and open the pelvis.

Hasta vinyasas can be performed with the bandhas engaged, although the jalandhara bandha cannot be engaged in the back bending vinyasas.

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