What is Vinyasa?
Vinyasa Yoga means to "place in a special way" and is also often referred to as Flow Yoga Classes that are breath-based movements. It is a physical practice that is built in steps to provide an opportunity for the body to prepare itself for the progressing postures. Many of the poses (asanas) taught are connected to the breath and are linked from one posture to another so that each person can transition easily while staying present and attentive to the body.
The History of Vinyasa
Tirumali Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) is also known as “The Father of Modern Yoga”. Krishnamacharya was the first to introduce the concept of “Vinyasa”. Vinyasa means “to place in a special way”, “step by step” or “putting one thing after another”, it consists of moving from one asana or position of the body to the next, linking breath with movement. This makes the Yoga practice more dynamic. Krishnamacharya taught Vinyasa Krama as a way of introducing concepts to the body in a progressive style throughout a yoga practice. By drawing the mind’s attention to certain aspects of work / ease within a posture, the practitioner could then become more familiar with one’s body and begin to engage in the movement with more awareness.
Krishnamacharya taught one of his long term students Vinyasa. This student was K. Pattaboi Jois who is the founder of Ashtanga which includes the familiar aspects of Vinyasa such as Surya Namaskara A & B sequences and fluid transitions from one asana to another. It is important to note that Vinyasa was the foundation of Ashtanga and not the other way around.