Although vinyasa may feel like a proper ‘workout’ (which it is) there’s so much more to it. Things you discover while doing it. And the more evolved you become the more it opens up to you and you start noticing. Here’s 7 yoga-facts you didn’t know about vinyasa yoga.
If you’ve been practicing vinyasa for a while, these little known facts might come as a surprise to you (or make you even more motivated).
1. It’s not about the exercise
I catch myself sometimes telling other women that yoga is not only a great practice, but it also gives you a very toned body. Trained arm muscles, flat stomach and if you work hard enough a something-like butt as Jennifer Lopez. And yes, it’s an actual workout, but you’re not standing on your mat to become one of those Instagram fit girls. It’s all about the internal practice, to get to know and love yourself, your mind and your body better than ever before.
2. Forget about the muscles, it’s about the organs
When you start to do yoga for the first time, the upcoming months are all about getting to know the different postures and how to do them properly. Or how to align them with the breath. The physical aspects weigh the most. But after a while you start to notice all the other things that are shifting in your mind and body and that the impact of the practice goes way deeper than just the surface of the body, the muscles. Once your muscles are open, it goes a level deeper, into the joints. And in the end it starts to effect the organs and glands. Organs benefit and function best when moved, so postures like twisting can be super helpful for helping out with digestion problems for example.
3. Your practice slowly becomes a meditation
At least, that’s what all my fellow yogini’s who practice Ashtanga Mysore promised me. Once you’re so familiar with the practice and it goes all by itself without even thinking about what comes next, you only have to focus on the ujjayi breath, contracting the bandhas and drishti (focus point). Meditation means you calm and focus the mind, and that’s exactly what you do in the more advanced fase of the practice. It’s a dynamic meditation. Be patient, because you’ll get there for sure.
4. There are actually 9 drishti’s, not one
‘Find your drishti. Fix your gaze.’ In most yoga classes, especially ashtanga, one of the first things you’ll learn is about the drishti. The point you focus on while doing your practice, wether this be the tip of your nose, between your eyebrows or your navel. It’s used to bring you closer to dharana (concentration) and pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). But fact is that there are 9 drishtis or gazing points (stay tuned, soon we talk more about this on Urban Goddes). And every asana has a specific drishti.
5. There are 8 main yoga styles
This including Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Hatha, Hot Yoga, Iyengar, Restorative and Vinyasa.
6. It improves your breathing, even off the mat
It may not come as a surprise for you, but the breathing techniques you practice during yoga have major benefits on your way of breathing in general. It not only learns you to breath deeper, it also filters and warms up the air. Studies have shown when correct breathing technique is taught, their average respiratory rate decreased almost in half, and the oxygen levels in your blood improves big time.
7. Getting into difficult poses is not the ultimate goal
We start practicing yoga with many different goals in mind, like releasing from stress, build strength, improve our flexibility, train our muscles or learn how to relax and loosen up those tight neck and shoulders. But not that many people know that the physical practice has always been a way to prepare the body for a state of meditation. So you will feel more calm and at ease and there’s less chance of physical distraction while you’re meditating.
Main image source: Web Health Journal