[TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO] Flow classes are faster-moving types of yoga classes based on flows, or vinyasas, a four-part movement that looks like an elaborate push-up, combined with sun salutations from the Ashtanga yoga tradition along with other standing or seated poses to round out the class.
Vinyasa is another word for flow, in this context, and is Sanskrit for “placing in a special way”. In other words, taking purposeful steps forward toward a goal, on the mat or in life!
Ok, I’m going to demonstrate 4 different ways you can flow in a flow yoga class, ranging from newbie to intermediate.
You’ll want to focus on the right one for you. If you reach too far too fast, you could be at risk for a repetitive stress injury in the wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Remember to observe “Ahimsa”, or non-harming, in your yoga practice.
Also, if you’re pushing too hard, and you’re out of breath, you are not staying in control of your breathing or your practice. Remember, you want to last the whole hour.
Let’s get started.
Version 1. From downward facing dog, an inverted V shaped pose, inhale forward to high plank, which looks like the top of a push-up. As you exhale, lower just your knees, chest, and chin to the mat. Then inhale and slide forward, rolling over your toes into Low Cobra, elbows at a right angle. Then exhale and push back and up into downward facing dog.
Version 2. From down dog, inhale forward to high plank, then exhale and drop your knees, coming into chaturanga with dropped knees, inhale, push forward, rolling over the toes and keeping knees on the mat, full cobra. Lastly, exhale and lift the hips, rolling back over the toes and pressing back into down dog.
Version 3. This is the most common version you’ll probably see in most flow yoga classes. From down dog, inhale and come forward to high plank, keeping the thighs pressing up, then bend in the elbows and come slightly forward and down into chaturanga, knees OFF the floor. Inhale and roll over the toes, pressing the shoulders back coming into Upward facing dog, knees OFF the ground, then inhale and lifting up the hips then rolling back over the toes into down dog.
Version 4. The reverse flow! This challenging version has two extra poses. From down dog, inhale to high plank, exhale and lower to chaturanga, inhale to Up dog, and exhale BACK DOWN INTO chaturanga, then root down through your hands and press back up into high plank with an inhale, then exhale as you press back into downward dog.
Thank you, and namaste!
(Bonus tip: use the full duration of your inhales and exhales to come into the poses slowly, fully, and mindfully.)
Music: All I Want, by Mark Nivet (Album, THE PATH)