This six-week series will focus on transitions, particularly those we use frequently in our practice as we travel from one end of our yoga mat to the other. We will break down the relationships between the poses and talk about different ways to allow ourbody to find freedom of movement between them, as well as maintaining proper breath and alignment so that the benefits of Vinyasa yoga are fully experienced. The word Vinyasa means literally “to place carefully with the breath”, and this is the concept we will work with throughout the series, so that we not only deepen our understanding of the asanas but also bring the benefit of pranayama into our practice.
A common sequence of poses, which consists of moving from Downward Facing Dog to Plank to Chaturanga to Upward Facing Dog and then back to Doward Facing Dog (often referred to as “a vinyasa”. We will break down each of these poses individually and then examine the fluidy of movement between the postures as we work toward transitioning from one pose to the next. The first transitions we will work with will be moving from Chaturanga, or Low Plank, to Upward Facing Dog and moving from Upward Facing to Downward Facing. Once this sequence has been solidly introduced and practice, we will begin to work with Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutations), continuing to focus on proper breath and alignment as well as keeping the chest open and the spine long.. Each week in class we will work toward these transitions, slowly weaving them into a fluid vinyasa flow. As we build on these skills we’ll also talk about jumping through, jumping back, and other methods of transitioning more common in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition.
Transitions in Vinyasa (the linking of movement with breath) generally follow the natural breath- when we inhale we tend to move in ways that open and lengthen, creating space, and when we exhale we tend to move in ways that contract and lower. This concept of movement with the breath is one we will return to throughout the series, as it is crucial to a solid Vinyasa practice.