This At-Home Vinyasa Yoga Flow Boosts Strength, Flexibility, and Mindfulness

If you're like us, you hear the term "vinyasa yoga," and you immediately picture a long and lean yogi (possibly someone with an intimidating vibe about her) stretching and flowing with undulating movements that glide one into the next. It is, after all, the form of yoga made famous by quick-paced, heart-pumping, and body-lengthening movements. What most people don't know, however, is that it's deeply rooted in mindfulness and meditation, just like any other form of yoga. Take it from Jasmine Rausch, certified yoga therapist, corporate wellness expert, and founder of Root Yoga Therapy. "When we think vinyasa, we instantly think 'flow.' However, vinyasa translates to 'place in a special way,' and master teacher Sri Krishnamacharya intended for it to be used in all forms of yoga and in everyday life," she says. "For that reason, vinyasa is more than a style. Vinyasa is a tool that allows us to apply the art of yoga to our work, relationships, and personal growth to keep us balanced with the rhythm of life." 

So there's much more to a vinyasa yoga practice than simply breaking a sweat or building up your flexibility, although it's great for that, too. "The techniques used in vinyasa (breath, movement, mantra, etc.) are all ways to support the development of awareness and connection," Rausch explains. "And for that reason, all yoga carries the quality of vinyasa because all forms encourage presence, mindfulness, and intention." In other words, it's about linking your mind to your movement, both on your yoga mat and beyond. It might sound easy, but anyone who has tried it knows it's the contrary. That's why we asked Rausch for some foundational advice on the best vinyasa yoga poses to hold.