5 Ways to Sequence Vinyasa Yoga Poses
Vinyasa Versus Vinyasa
The term Vinyasa, which in it's simplest translation means flow, is a point of confusion for many practicing yogis. Vinyasa may refer to a series of poses known as sun salutations which are used to wake up the mind and body. Vinyasas, or sun salutations can be used alone for a short yoga routine, or added to the beginning of yoga sequences. Vinyasa also refers to a style of yoga which focuses on a steady, even and natural flow from one pose directly into the other.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have learned to properly perform yoga poses, learning how to sequence Vinyasa yoga poses is quite simple. If you are still at a point in your practice in which you must refer to pictures or directions for poses, it is best to select a different form of yoga for home practice or continue practice with a teacher in a class, as taking a break to refer to a pose disrupts the flow which defines the Vinyasa yoga experience.
A World of Endless Possibilities
With a wide variety of poses, you can create your own Binyasa yoga sequences. You can eliminate particular yoga series, but you cannot change the order. The series and order begin with sun salutations followed by standing poses such as warrior, crescent, side bends and triangle and then balancing poses, standing forward bends, backbends, abdominal poses, inversions, hip openers, seated forward bends, twists and sleeping poses, ending with savasana and meditation poses.
A Suitable Sequence
When creating your Vinyasa yoga sequences, use all of the series as long as your practice does not last longer than 90 minutes. Alternatively, while each routine should begin with sun salutations and end in savasana, you can choose to focus on a single series, repeating various times, or select a variety of series to help focus on a particular area of the body or emotional need. For example, standing poses increase energy and strengthen the legs, balancing poses center the mind and body, forward and backward bends calm the mind, relieve stress and depression and soothe back pain, twists realign the spine and stimulate the internal organs while sleeping poses promote meditation. It is a good idea to take the time to research the benefits of the poses to help guide your sequence selections.
When selecting particular poses to perform within a series, use your creativity and knowledge to fit poses together like puzzles so that flow comes easily and naturally. For example, the bridge moves naturally into the wheel. Cobra is an obvious warm-up for the locust and/or bow and warrior moves easily into triangle and extended side bend. Finding the perfect flow will take time, practice and effort to seek out and learn new poses; however, it is a rewarding part of creating your own routines.