Flow Yoga

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What is Flow Yoga?

Flow Yoga is a style of yoga characterized by stringing postures together so that you move from one to another, seamlessly, using breath. Commonly referred to as “flow” yoga, it is sometimes confused with “power yoga“. Our classes offer a variety of postures and no two classes are ever alike. The opposite would be “fixed forms” such as Bikram Yoga, which features the same 26 postures in every class, or Ashtanga which has the same sequence every time. A hallmark of Flow Yoga classes is the variation in sequence from class to class. (A sequence is any time two or more postures are strung together.) No two classes are alike. In a fixed form system, such as Bikram, or Ashtanga Yoga, the sequence remains the same to reveal what changes day-to-day—mainly us. A variable form system, like Flow Yoga, exists to help us see what is changeless and permanent throughout all of the change. This might be an intention or purpose, a way of thinking or connection to something greater than ourselves. One other key aspect of the variation is it keeps your interest. Many practitioners move from the fixed forms to Flow Yogo because they become bored. Flow Yoga meets you where you are—which in today’s world is usually high energy, going in a million directions at once.  It meets you there and leads you by the hand back to an inner peace that exists within you.

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How is it different?

The variable nature of Flow Yoga helps to develop a more balanced body as well as prevent repetitive motion injuries that can happen if you are always doing the same thing every day. As a philosophy, Flow Yoga recognizes the temporary nature of things.  We enter into a posture, are there for a while and then leave. While Flow Yoga, dates back to the Vedic age - the earliest period of yoga thousands of years ago - it referred to a series, or sequence of steps, to make something sacred. The movement practice of Flow Yoga is said to begin with T Krishnamacharya who has had the largest influence on how yoga, in general, is practiced today. Put all this together and Flow Yoga, is a breath initiated practice, that connects every action of our life with the intention of moving towards what is sacred, or most important to us.

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Characteristics of Flow Yoga

Flow Yoga connects one posture to the next using the breath.  This can be thought of as linking or flowing into postures which is sometimes why it’s called “Flow Yoga”. The opposite of this would be an alignment based class where students engage with a posture, explore it for a period of time and then “break the posture” by coming out. “Transitions” are what connect one posture to another in Flow Yoga.  They are the in-between part. What is not always appreciated is that transitions are considered postures themselves.  To move in a more graceful, connected way, allot just as much time developing skill in the transitions as you do in the asana. Flow Yoga is synonymous with movement.  Moving in and out of postures is the obvious movement but even in stillness Flow Yoga is represented by the beat of your heart and inhale/exhale of your breath.Move with breath. Breath initiates the movement of Flow Yoga which is why you’ll hear it referred to as a “breath-synchronized” practice. Ujjayi Breath is the breathing technique used.  It is done by inhaling and exhaling in a rhythmic manner through the nose.  The overall sensation is one of relaxation. Flow Yoga practice generates heat and can add a cardiovascular component not always present in other forms of postural practice.