The word Vinyasa is derived from Sanskrit, which means “to place in a special way.” Yet, more simply put, vinyasa means flow, and flow is the synergistic movement among all the poses in a Baptiste Power Yoga sequence. Yogis are more apt to hear the term, vinyasa, in the sequence of chaturanga, upward-facing dog, and down-dog. Yet, flow is present in the entire practice: from flip-dog to side plank, to pyramid to twisted triangle, to lizard lunge to half-pigeon, and so on. Vinyasa equates with free-flowing movement and the lack of resistance. Since yoga practice is practice for life, once you surrender to the flow on your mat, you can surrender to the flow in your daily life.
Flow allows you to drop the stories in your head (I can’t do it; I am too tired; I am not flexible enough), and allows you to create free-flowing, meditative movement. Flow allows for presence and creation of “dynamic energy” that can sustain you for the duration of your practice.
"Your Breath is Your Flow....."
To start surrendering to the flow, connect to your ujjayi breath throughout your practice; be conscious of it; let it move you from one pose to the next, for your breath is your rhythm, your flow. Conversely, when you hold your breath in a pose like chaturanga, your body starts to activate the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight-or flight” response, and instead of flow, you create resistance; instead of surrendering into the pose, you’re gearing up for impending harm. The beauty of ujjayi breath is that with each new breath in, you create a clean slate, so if you lose your breath at any time, just tap into it again. Once again be conscious of your breath, and a pose like chaturanga will be less challenging and will become more powerful.
Your focus on breath will help create the flow in your practice; you’ll flow like water from crescent lunge to prayer twist, like a river flowing around the rocks, rather than being blocked by the rocks in your path and the stories in your head.
And….. flow can happen off the mat. Accessing your ujjayi breath will help bring ease to difficult situations, stressful times, and moments of resistance. Simply tap into your breath and the flow will come!