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Southland-Based Yoga Teacher Russell Jack Explains Vinyasa Yoga and Sun Salutations

Originally published on theodysseyonline.com

When the word "yoga" comes to mind, you probably envision a person performing very complicated exercises or stretches. Advanced yoga practitioners do engage in those complex poses, but there are forms of yoga exercises that are very easy to do. In this article, Russell Jack, a Southland-based yoga teacher, focuses on a specific type of yoga known as Vinyasa and its connection to sun salutations.

What is Vinyasa Yoga?

Vinyasa yoga, or flow yoga, heightens consciousness by moving from one position to another seamlessly, using breath. Men and women that practice Vinyasa learn to sync their movements with their breaths.

Vinyasa yoga helps develop a more balanced body. The practice of Vinyasa is said to have originated with Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. He is said to have had the strongest influence on how yoga is practiced still to this day. The term Vinyasa comes from "nyasa", which means "to place" and "vi", which means "in a special way."

Characteristics of Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa poses are connected using breath, often referred to as linking or flowing. Transitions are a part of Vinyasa Yoga that connect postures. Transitions are used to move during Vinyasa as gracefully and as connected as possible.

Movement is another important part of Vinyasa Yoga, as practitioners move in and out of postures. However, even the act of being still in Vinyasa is still considered movement because your heart is beating and your breath is inhaling and exhaling.

Vinyasa Yoga and Sun Salutations

Now let's dive into the relationship between Vinyasa Yoga and sun salutations. Sun salutations are an ancient string of movements used to express gratitude to the sun. The sun salutations are a key part of Vinyasa Yoga.

Yoga teachers, like Russell Herbert Jack, enjoy having their students practice sun salutations during Vinyasa Yoga for several reasons, including:

 

Warm-Up: Sun salutations are a great warm-up for a Vinyasa Yoga class

Multi-Level: Sun salutations have a lot of foundational moves that are able to be used by yoga students of all levels.

Unity: Since every level of Vinyasa students will feel comfortable performing the sun salutations, it creates a great common flow of energy throughout the class.

Benefits of the Sun Salutation

Doing the sun salutation while controlling your breathing will help you get in touch with your body, mind, and spirit. The sun salutation is a great way to start your day because it relaxes your muscles while focusing your mind-- an incredible way to start the workday. Vinyasa Flow Yoga is a great form of exercise and body control. The sun salutation is an easy, effective way to start with.

Whether you are a yoga newbie or a yogi, incorporating the sun salutation into your Vinyasa Yoga routine will have great benefits. The pose is a way to wake up your body, control your breathing, and set the tone for a healthy, relaxed day. Yoga has been practiced for centuries and it is a low-impact way to tone your body and sharpen your mind.

About Russell Jack

Russell Herbert Jack is a yoga and mindfulness teacher from Southland, New Zealand. He specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations, helping clients achieve harmony of body, mind, and soul. Russell's classes will help you think clearer, improve memory and concentration, and improve your physical health and mental well-being.

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