Definition - What does Flow Yoga mean?
Flow yoga is a term given to a style of yoga where the practitioner moves dynamically form one posture immediately into another. The continuous flow of postures or asanas makes the class or practice become almost like a dance.
Generally, each movement into or out of a posture is made on an inhalation or exhalation. Flow yoga unites the breath with the movement in a choreographed sequence. The flowing movements may be combined with some longer holds of certain postures.
Flow yoga is also called Vinyasa Flow yoga.
Yogapedia explains Flow Yoga
Classes of flow yoga will usually begin with gentler movements to warm up the body, then into progressively more challenging flowing sequences. These may include balances, inversions and peak poses. It may end with calmer, deeper stretches, and often floor-based asana practice.
Unlike some other styles of yoga, flow yoga has no set sequence of poses. The yoga teacher creates the sequence of poses beforehand, thus allowing the sequence to target certain areas of the body or to help build certain abilities, such as strength, flexibility or balance.
Flow yoga classes are perhaps some of the most popular yoga classes in the West. This may be because of the physical workout they can provide. The room can also be heated to add to the intensity. However, depending on the teacher, flow yoga classes can also be much slower and gentler. Flow yoga sequences can also still be modified to accompany those with injuries or disabilities.
The breath synchronization of flow yoga is said to maximize the positive benefits of the practice, making it like a moving meditation. The breath works by:
- Maintaining the pace of the sequence, preventing rushing through postures
- Keeping the body temperature consistent
- Giving a greater mental focus
- Helping block out distractions
- Assisting in finding the proper form of postures
Many styles of yoga incorporate flow yoga including Ashtanga, Anusara, Bikram and Power yoga.