Why Vinyasa Works

"Vinyasa yoga" has taken over the west. Why? What about this contemporary yoga practice works here? 

Simply put, we live vinyasa lives. We're constantly moving. From the moment we wake up until the few moments before we fall back into sleep at night, we're moving from one activity to the next. We keep our energy high (with back-to-back meetings, afternoon coffee breaks, after-work drinks) to maintain this pace and we never take even five minutes to rest.

It makes lots of sense, then, that we've flocked to a yoga practice that mirrors our lives. In a vinyasa class we move between poses for a full 60, 75 or (rarely) 90 minutes and cap it off with a brief moment of pause before we're out the door.

Sound familiar? It's our day in a nutshell: constant movement from one activity (asana) to the next and then a minute of sionara (savasana) on our pillows (mats) before we peace out. 

Extrapolating, could it be that this mirrors our entire lives, too? We move non-stop, full-force from thing to thing: infant to toddler, elementary to high school to college to work, job to job, marriage to kids, etc. etc. Until all of the sudden we're old and we get reflective for a moment and then, again, a minute of sionara and we peace out. 

Vinyasa meets us where we are in this whirlwind. It jumps on board our fast-moving train and comes along with us. But it imparts subtle messages that slowly begin to change practitioners... to turn us inwards and slow us down. 

Joanna CohenComment