“Vinyasa,” a word meaning coordinated movement and breathing, reflects the underlying principles of vinyasa yoga. This is a type of yoga the focus is on the timing of the breathing, rather than the accuracy of bodily alignment.
Though unseen by any other human now living, according to Pattabhi Jois, one of the founders of modern day vinyasa yoga, this form of hatha yoga is based on a text called the Yoga Kuruntha. It was developed by Sri Ramamohan Brachmachari and brought to the United States by B.K.S. Iyngar.
Vinyas yoga emphasizes the role that breathing plays in a yoga routine. The breath leads the way to each pose and must be controlled throughout. Although teachers usually indicated when inhalations and exhalations should be done during a class, the student of vinyasa yoga must discover his own rhythms during personal yoga experiences.
Almost every session of vinyasa yoga includes the sun salutation. Other common yoga positions are the half-moon, the cobra, the tree pose, and the warrior pose. The plank pose, the downward dog, and the eight limb asana are also popular. In vinyasa yoga one pose should flow smoothly into the next position without interruption, and appropriate breathing is essential to success.
Vinyasa yoga brings deep relaxation as the body becomes soft and fluid. It adds strength to the muscles and greatly enhances balance. Many participants insist that it eases back pain and gives energy to those who practice consistently. It also contributes to knowledge of one's physical and psychological self.
Like other forms of yoga which originated in ancient India, Vinyasa yoga uses mantras to relieve stress and open the spirit. Sessions might begin with an English version of a Sanskrit mantra and end with the mangala mantra.