Chaturanga Arms and Physical Changes – The arms! Because let’s face it who doesn’t want toned, defined arms (tink Madona)? I practice yoga 5+ days a week at a studio within a cross fit gym. I am often asked if I lift weights or do cross fit. No those are my Chaturanga arms! Vinyasa yoga serves as strength training which builds lean muscle throughout the body. For those of us yogis who get our “flow” on we love the beautiful definition in our arms, shoulders, and back. And yoga improves your balance something that fades as we get older. Yoga also improves flexibly hence where the saying comes from “Yoga Girls are Twisted.” So Namaste to the weight room, gym.
Heat – Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your pulse rate and metabolism. This allows your blood vessels to become more flexible and will help your body burn some major calories. This also makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs. The heat helps improve the lymphatic system and best of all flushes out toxins! And toxins are one of the major reason cancer is on the rise. And toxins also severely interrupt the endocrine system. And we are exposed to toxins in everyday life. They are in the foods we eat, the products we use, and the in the air we breath both inside and outside of our homes. And detoxing your body also energizes the body! So let’s start sweating.
Music and Flow – I love the music in Vinyasa Flow. Some of it is mellow however as we begin to flow the music is more upbeat and fun. There are times I want to break out dancing, however, I stop before I embarrass myself. Music’s beneficial effects on mental health have been known for thousands of years. And so much of the music in yoga is truly transcendent. Music also improves your mood, reduces stress, improves memory and can even ease the pain. My experience has been that Yoga instructors are not only careful about ensuring you are doing the poses correctly and safely but they also search extensively for the right music to accompany the Vinyasa flow.
Breathing and Grace in Motion – In Vinyasa yoga we use our breath as our guide. Deep breathing gives you more energy, lowers stress levels and enriches the blood with oxygen. The focus on breathing while making movements also helps control the movements, which reduces the chance of injury. Yoga instructors recommend smooth, relaxed awareness of inhalation and exhalation during practice. Through this type of breathing the mind stays focused and the awareness can bring up positive thoughts. I find beautiful grace through movement and breathing and also a sense of community and connection with my fellow yogis as we breathe and flow together.
When I went back to yoga I decided to practice Hot Vinyasa Flow. I had just come out of a two-year cancer journey which almost took my life. I was weak, unfocused and felt disconnected because throughout my treatments I was alone much of the time. After over a year of practicing I am;
- Strong with great muscle tone
- Healthy with an improved immune system
- Centered and more focused
- No longer sleep deprived
- More relaxed, much happier plus calmer
Plus I now have a beautiful sense of connection with my fellow yogis and instructors. They are my tribe and are funny, engaging, unique, genuine, loving human beings. Yoga and these beautiful yogis have taught me that we are all connected. Its truly transformative if you can sweat together, come out of a class smelly and wet yet still hug, laugh and be much better equipped to take on the day!