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Introduction to Vinyasa Yoga

In Sanskrit, the word "Vinyasa" means "breath and movement working together," so it's not surprising that in Vinyasa yoga, synchronizing breath with movement is very important. In fact, Vinyasa is sometimes known as "flow yoga" because its practice consists of a series of poses that move quickly and smoothly from one to the next. Because Vinyasa offers a strong workout, it sometimes attracts beginners looking to burn a lot of calories. However, it may not be the best yoga style for beginners, as moving through the postures quickly holds a greater risk for injury if you haven't already worked on refining alignment in other styles.

This Vinyasa sequence is called Dancing Warrior. It links four different warrior poses together, including warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse warrior, and extended side angle.

  1. Begin in warrior 1 pose, with your right knee bent and the left leg extended back. Keep hips squared to the front of your mat.
  2. Inhale to reach your arms overhead and your head back.
  3. Exhale to move into warrior 2, with arms extended parallel to the floor and hips facing the side of your mat.
  4. With an inhale, bring your left hand to the back of your left leg for support, and reach back with your torso, head, and right hand.
  5. Exhale to bring your right hand to the mat next to your right foot. Your arm should be inside of your bent right knee.
  6. Reach your left arm overhead and turn your gaze up toward your left arm.
  7. To exit the pose, exhale and shift weight back onto your left foot by straightening your right leg. Bring your left foot up to the top of the mat to return to a balanced standing position.

As you flow from pose to pose, try to link your breath with your movement. Hold each pose for up to two to three breath cycles, and try to keep the energy moving.


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