By Jennifer Barron
Jul 6, 2014
We link the terms “Mindful” and “Vinyasa,” to create a practice that utilizes the components of a Vinyasa yoga class with more awareness
The term Vinyasa alone means connection. Connection to what you might ask? As with any yoga practice, we are constantly connecting to our breath. In Vinyasa in particular, we are connecting breath with movement that is performed in a special, graceful way that creates a dance like, often-rhythmic flow.
When it comes to mindfulness, this entails being aware on all levels; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We as individuals tend to get so stuck in the past, which can trigger depression, or the future, which can create anxiety. One of the key components of yoga is to bring us back to the present moment, raise our consciousness, and become more aware of what things (i.e., emotions, excess mental chatter) might be triggering blockages. When not examined, these may create a buildup of physical pain because blockages are not released in a way that is cleansing and healing for the mind, body, and spirit.
In Mindful Vinyasa, the goal is to create a practice that utilizes the components of a Vinyasa yoga class while flowing with more awareness. As opposed to a Power Yoga or Ashtanaga Yoga class, in Mindful Vinyasa there is still time to slow down, tune inward, and meditate prior to completing a particular series of postures. Additionally, mindfulness will come into play, as there will be a focus on maintaining proper alignment throughout each asana (posture).
After proper instruction, students will be encouraged to move at their own pace. At times, they are asked to close their eyes and flow through a sequence without guidance, so that they can truly “feel” the movements. The teacher encourages them to check in with themselves and acknowledge certain thoughts and/or emotions, let go of what the posture looks like and whether or not it is being done “correctly,” and tap into that deeper part of themselves that stops criticizing and judging.
Overall, as students continue to build awareness throughout their Mindful Vinyasa practice, they will create an opportunity to explore their mind, body, and emotions, which will leave them feeling invigorated and nourished.
Teacher: Jennifer Barron