Flow yoga is a term that has become interchangeable with Vinyasa yoga, a style of yogic practice that focuses on synchronizing breath and movement. Similarly, the poses done in Flow Yoga are characteristic or similar to the series of yoga poses done in Vinyasa. A lot of people decide to go into Flow Yoga because apart from being a physically challenging and rewarding workout, it also helps increase mental focus and concentration.
As mentioned, the basic concept of Vinyasa (which is the core of Flow Yoga) is to do series of poses in such a way that every movement is accompanied by an inhale or exhale. In this sense, breath is used also to count the series of movements as well as measure the time spent holding a pose. Among the physical benefits of this breath-movement synchronization are a more stable heart rate and consistent body temperature, which is useful in practicing yoga because body heat makes it easier to stretch muscles as you do different yoga poses.
Tips for Doing Flow Yoga
If you want to learn Flow Yoga, the first thing you would need to do is to sign up for a class facilitated by a certified or qualified yoga instructor. If this is your first time to try and learn yoga poses, we suggest looking for a relatively small class because this means you can get a more personalized instruction and monitoring for your movements. And because Flow Yoga requires listening to your breathing and moving accordingly, you should be free from distractions - no sudden ringing or message and email alerts from your cellphone, etc.
What to Expect From a Flow Yoga Session
The movement and yoga poses you can expect to do in your Flow Yoga session would depend on the level of the class you signed up for. While most Flow Yoga instructors use the same series and sequence of poses, there may be certain positions integrated into this sequence that are tailored for intermediate or more advanced students. This is true especially for back bends and inversion poses. However, at the very least, you can expect to engage in steady, fluid movement that follows your pattern of breathing.
What to Wear to a Flow Yoga Class
As we said, Flow Yoga involves constant and flowing movements. So if you're practicing this kind of yoga, avoid as much as possible wearing tops or bottoms that are too loose as these may interfere with movement transitions. If you're a woman, we suggest you go for cropped leggings that are sweat-absorbent and stretchable and fitted tops made of breathable material. For men, stretchable shorts and snug-fitting, sweat-absorbent tee shirts or tanks will do.
If you are still doing research on which type of yoga would suit you best, here are some things you need to remember about Flow Yoga: it is physically challenging (read: you can lose weight practicing it), it will teach you to listen and stabilize breathing patterns, and it promotes a calmer sense of being by teaching you to synchronize every movement with how you breathe.