Flow Yoga

Last Updated: April 22, 2020

Definition - What does Flow Yoga mean?

Flow yoga is the general term given to any style of yoga asana in which the practitioner moves dynamically from one posture immediately into another, following the breath. This continuous flow of movement and breath generates a meditative state, encouraging practitioners to let go of thought and focus on experience of the present moment. In flow yoga, each movement into or out of a posture is timed with an inhalation or an exhalation in a choreographed sequence.

Although the most commonly known as Vinyasa Flow, there are many different styles of flow yoga. Most comprise an energizing sequence with focus on stamina, strength and breath, often with a theme incorporated. The flowing movements may sometimes be combined with some longer holds of certain postures. The student generally experiences a sense of fluid motion, from which flow yoga gets its name.

Yogapedia explains Flow Yoga

Flow yoga classes tend to be a mixture of meditation, breath-work and energizing movement. They usually begin with gentler movements to warm up the body, then move into progressively more challenging flowing sequences. These may include standing poses, balances, inversions and peak poses. The classes tend to end with slower, deeper stretches, and often floor-based asana practice.

Unlike some other styles of yoga, flow yoga typically has no set sequence of poses, as it is not confined to any particular tradition or lineage. As such, yoga teachers tend to get creative with sequencing, either targeting certain areas of the body, focusing on different themes or helping to build certain abilities, such as strength, flexibility or balance. This diversity gives flow yoga a universal appeal, and flow classes are some of the most popular in the world.

Depending on the teacher, flow yoga classes can either be a strong physical challenge, or slow, gentle and relaxing. Names such as ‘Power Flow,’ or ‘Gentle Flow’ will generally indicate what to expect from a class. Regardless of the practitioner’s level, most flow yoga sequences can be modified to accommodate those with injuries or disabilities. The most common style of flow yoga is Vinyasa Flow, with more recent adaptations, such as Inside Flow, rapidly gaining popularity.

The breath synchronization found in flow yoga is said to maximize the positive benefits of the practice, turning it into a moving meditation. The breath primarily helps to maintain the pace of the sequence, preventing practitioners from rushing through poses. It can also be used to assist in deepening the expression of a pose, whilst providing greater mental focus and freedom from distraction. In this way, meditation and breathwork are woven throughout all flow yoga practices.

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