Woman doing yoga by the beach

A newbies understanding of yoga

Dear Yogis,

This will be my last blog post and I’m sad to say that my work here has come to an end. It’s been 10 wonderful weeks which have gone by so fast! I hope you enjoyed the blog posts and maybe even learned new things and/or got inspired to try out some of the tips. 

However, I will not leave you yogis without one last informative blog post. 

This last blog will be about how I have come to understand this ancient, yet so lovely practice, called yoga. From a newbie to a yogi!

Women doing yoga at the beach
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My understanding of yoga is that it’s a process. It’s active. It’s the way you engage with the world to create harmony. Yoga is how we participate and create relationships.

When we engage, we change how the situation unfolds. Instead of things simply happening to us, we become an active participant. We exercise our agency, the ability to act. Yoga is the process we can engage in to understand our body, the way it moves and the way we use it. We can engage with our mind and understand it, where it habitually goes and how to focus it. And we can work with our emotions and notice how we tend to react. 

Yoga is something we do, to connect and engage with the world and it takes our entire mind/body attention. It’s is a lifestyle.

Yoga is love. Love for oneself and love for others. 

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I wish to extend a big thank you to the Yoga Roots crew. And a special thanks to Bethany! Thank you for all your support, guidance, patience and kindness. I had a blast and enjoyed every single part of my internship.

Thank you for all your love and support! Happy weekend and Namaste yogis. Love, Shirin.

tree women practicing yoga

Top 10 tips for beginner yogis!

The practice of yoga is intriguing to people all across the world, but most don’t know how to go about starting a yoga practice. Many may abandon the idea of starting a practice, simply because they don’t know what to expect. The beauty of yoga is that you don’t have to be a yogi to reap the benefits. Whether you are young or old, overweight or fit, yoga has the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body. 

Beginner yogis practicing vinyasa karma at Yoga Roots
Vinyasa Yoga class at Yoga Roots

However, it can be challenging and a bit scary to be beginner yogis. To help you feel a little more comfortable before you say your first “om” or “namaste”, here are 10 tips to help make the experience “love at first breath.”

1. Begin where you are

We start from where we are – right now. There’s no where else to begin! No matter your level of fitness, or experience with yoga or similar practices – you can find a class that feels right for you. Ideally, start in a class specifically designed for beginners—where you’ll learn foundation poses, alignment, and breathing fundamentals.

At Yoga Roots, all of our classes are open for all-levels. Meaning, you can join any class that suits your schedule, and during class listen to your body and your own pace of practice (see tip no. 9 below). If you are still hesitant to jump into a class, we have courses just for beginners about once a quarter.

If you’d like a tip in the right direction for a beginner friendly weekday class, a vinyasa or yin yoga class is a good place to start. You can also join any of the aerial yoga classes as a brand new beginner too! The teachers will adapt the class to be accessible for anyone. In these classes you have the opportunity to explore the postures and fundamental principles of yoga. 

2. Arrive early

When you are going to a new studio for the first time, give yourself about 15 minutes before the class starts. This will give you time to get settled, locate the changing room and bathroom, acclimate to the energy of the space and also meet your teacher. You can ask them questions or express any hesitations you may have as a new student. This is also the perfect time to let the teacher know of any injuries you may have, so that they can properly cue you to avoid any further strain.

3. Take your time

Yoga is not a race—your yoga practice is YOUR time to slow down, breathe, move into your body, and connect. 

It’s ironic, really. We spend all day rushing around from place to place, moving through tasks at what feels like a whirlwind pace, only to get in the car (or on your bike or on the train) and zoom to yoga class. Then we change our clothes, roll out our mat, and move right into our practice. Phew! This is where we need to practice that mindfulness thing, right? Take a few deep breaths, don’t worry so much about keeping up with the rest of the class. Let yourself flow into your practice at your own pace, and most importantly, enjoy it!

Beginner yogis sitting by the water and practicing yoga
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4. Don’t force yourself into a pose

I know, it’s so easy to look around the studio and see someone else in a totally fabulous Eagle pose or sitting serenely in a Lotus pose with both feet tucked up nicely. You start to think, my body should be able to do that! And then you try to force your poor arms and legs into a pose that they’re just not ready for.

Working your way into some of those advanced poses takes months or years or practice. Remember what I said before about taking your time? Take your time yogis. Enjoy your practice. Let yourself feel good in every pose, no matter where you are. Forcing yourself into a pose is a prescription for injury.

5. Don’t be afraid to use props

Avoiding injury is paramount for beginner yogis. An injury can set you back weeks, months, or make you give up yoga altogether. Using yoga props is one of the best ways to avoid injury and learn the poses of yoga. Yoga props like blocks, straps, blankets, and hammocks give our bodies much-needed support as we’re building strength and developing flexibility. 

Yoga props
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6. Wear comfortable clothes

Wear something stretchy and comfortable. For women, leggings, a sports bra, and a t-shirt is a great option for many. For men, athletic pants, leggings or lined shorts, paired with a breathable t-shirt are perfect options to stay comfortable in class. Make sure your clothes allow for free movement. Also, you’ll likely remove your socks and shoes for the practice. Bare feet help you connect to the ground and balance and help prevent slipping. In colder weather don’t forget warm socks and a sweater for shavasana!

7. Look into online classes

If starting your practice at the studio is a bit too intimidating, online classes are a great option. Online streaming platforms have grown immensely over the past few years. So you’ll have a wealth of options to choose from. Why not check out the free online classes that Yoga Roots offer! Or get unlimited access to their digital platform of over 50 classes for just 295 sek.

Tips for beginner yogis - Woman doing online yoga at home infront of her TV.
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8. Set an intention

One of the most challenging aspects for beginner yogis is quieting the mind and focusing on the present moment. It is easy for our minds to wander and to be only practicing in a physical sense, rather than connecting the mind and body to the practice. 

To help center in on your practice, come to your mat with an intention in mind. Often the teacher will share an intention they have for the class—you can choose to follow this if it speaks to you, or to use your own. Intentions are personal and can be just about anything that works for you. For example, you may decide to focus on breathing deeply throughout the class, or to practice not judging yourself or others. Offering gratitude for the opportunity to use yoga to care for your body is another way to ground your practice. Whatever your intention, call it to mind anytime you need some inspiration or could simply use a reminder of your reason for coming to yoga class.

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9. Listen to your body

Let the teacher be your guide, but only you know what your body truly needs. If a pose has become too tiring for you, take a moment to rest in Child’s Pose. If you move into a pose and it doesn’t feel right, move out of it and ask the teacher to offer you an alternative. Remember that most yoga poses have different versions. In the meantime, just remember that yoga shouldn’t hurt. If something makes you feel a sharp pain, don’t do it. 

Listen to your body, calm down your ambition and stay in the first variation if that’s where your breath is steady. Do whatever is necessary to take care of your body and listen to any signals it’s giving you throughout the practice.

10. Be patient

It is easy to get frustrated and feel like your practice isn’t progressing as quickly as it should be. Many beginner yogis want to immediately jump into fun and challenging poses. However, it takes time and dedication to build up the strength and balance to perform more advanced postures. Trust that you are exactly where you need to be in your process of learning yoga. Be patient with yourself as you explore new poses and build up both your physical and mental strength. Over time, you’ll begin to see just how much your yoga practice has grown and evolved. You just need to put in the time to get there.

Four people laying in hammocks at Yoga Roots.
Aerial Yoga Class at Yoga Roots

Remember that every beginner yogis have their challenges. If something doesn’t work out, try it later. And while yoga can be intimidating at first, you should be having fun while exploring and learning about the practice. 

Make sure to manage your motivation smartly, and don’t listen to anybody but your inner voice. Yoga is a very rewarding and worthwhile practice. It surely is worth your time and effort. And if you want some more tips, check out this page.

Have fun yogis! 

Pregnant women laying on her side

Prenatal yoga – the do’s and the don’ts


Hey yogis! Welcome back for another week of fun reading! So far we have explored the many wonderful benefits of yoga, some of the most important aspects of yoga, and also how to properly fuel the body to get the most out of your practice. This week I thought it could be interesting to touch upon prenatal yoga

Well, first off CONGRATULATIONS! If you’re reading this it’s probably because you recently peed on a stick and your life changed. I’m guessing, you had a moment (or twelve) of sheer panic and you also felt – excited, scared, happy, and overwhelmed – all at the same time. After this, you started to manically google what you can and can’t do now that you have a baby on the way. Then you googled “exercise when pregnant” and got thoroughly confused by the jungle of do’s and don’ts on various internet sites.

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There’s a very long list of technical do’s and don’ts for practising yoga when you are pregnant. But one thing is for certain, yoga is a safe and effective exercise for pregnant women. It can even provide relief during pregnancy and help prepare your body for labor and delivery.  

Why is prenatal yoga important during pregnancy?

Prenatal yoga is uniquely designed for pregnant women. It’s intended to help you prepare for childbirth by relaxing the body and focusing on safe techniques and poses in all stages of pregnancy. While the breath and gentle movements give you the opportunity to feel and connect to your body, the poses are meant to help build strength and stamina, improve circulation, regulate breathing and open energy channels. All skills you will need in X months when your bun is cooked and ready to enter the world.

While all this sounds great, it’s useful to understand how you can practice yoga in a safe way and what you will get out of it. Here are some helpful tips and your prenatal yoga do’s:

The do’s

  • Use props – As your body is changing, you’ll notice that certain poses won’t feel as comfortable or attainable as they did before. Use props to adapt your practice as necessary.
  • Take your time – You don’t have to rush through vinyasas, Sun Salutations, or any other transitions. Follow the pace at which your body is ready to go. Take any breaks you need, and don’t hesitate to step outside if you don’t feel well.
  • Modify poses when needed – Even if you’re not using props, adopt modifications whenever you need it. With every single day, your body will be slightly different. As a result, your practice will need to evolve, as well.
  • Be careful with inversions – If you practiced them before, you should be fine to practice inversions during pregnancy. You may however want to practice with a wall behind you. Stop if you aren’t feeling well or safe.
  • Take deep breaths – While opinions on this differ, it’s best not to run out of breath when practicing yoga or any other exercise during pregnancy. Instead, make sure you take long deep breaths. It will be safer for the baby and prevent exhaustion. Deep breathing is also vital in delivery. It will help you manage pain better and keep your stress levels in check. So, use your yoga practice as preparation for that.
  • Do what feels right – Pregnancy is not the time for hardcore practice and pushing towards new goals. Instead, take the time to really pay attention to your body. Always listen to your body and only do what feels good. If you are nauseous or dizzy or don’t feel comfortable or safe, skip the pose. Feel free to rest in child’s pose or take a break whenever you need it.
Pregnant women doing yoga
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Now that we’ve looked at the pregnancy yoga do’s, let’s check out the don’ts.

The don’ts 

  • Deep twists – Deep twists can put pressure on the growing belly and restrict blood flow to the uterus. Instead, try open twists, they can relieve tension in the back and upper body. 
  • Deep back bending – Some backbends can make you feel uncomfortable and overextend your abdominals, and increase the risk of diastasis recti. Instead, try poses like supported bridge pose. Upward dog should also be fine as long as you don’t feel too much pressure on your belly or lower back.  
  • Laying on your belly – Baby needs space to grow big and strong. Instead of doing back bending on your belly in classes, try standing on your knees and doing camel pose, for example, as a similar stretch.
  • Laying on your back for extended periods of time –  Generally, lying flat on the back is not for pregnant women after 18 weeks. As your belly gets bigger, avoid laying on your back for savasana, or for any other poses that have you on your back for more than a few breaths. Instead, try sitting up in meditation or laying on your left side with props.
  • Intense ab work – Avoid any yoga poses that involve crunching or cause your belly to pop out into a triangle. This puts too much strain on the connective tissues and can result in diastasis recti. A good rule of thumb are no crunches or planks during pregnancy.
Pregnant women sleeping
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Your journey through pregnancy is an exciting one! Use your yoga practice to enhance the feelings and emotions you are having and to make your body more comfortable and prepared for labor, delivery and motherhood. Have fun experimenting with what works for you and for your baby.

Most importantly – stay safe, enjoy yoga and your pregnancy!

Happy practicing, mamas!

Sources:

https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-019-2564-4 https://yogabykarina.com/diastasis-recti-what-is-it-and-what-you-can-do/

Healthy food

How to prepare for your yoga practice: Food as Fuel.

To eat or not to eat before and after yoga, that is the question. One thing that many yogis have in common, whether they’re a newbie, a seasoned vet, or anywhere in between, they wonder, “Should I eat food before yoga?” 

The short answer is, absolutely, but the types of food you eat and when you eat them are key. After all, many of us have experienced that awkward, audible moment during down-ward facing dog. So, listen up yogis everywhere, here’s what you need to know! You want to fuel your body both before and after class. While the yoga room is great for loosening up muscles, all that activity can take a toll on your body’s hydration and electrolyte balance. So, before you step on your mat, prepare to properly prime your tank before and after your yoga class. 

Though, the ideal is to practice yoga early in the morning on an empty stomach, considering today’s hectic lifestyle, people have to squeeze in their yoga practice whenever they find the time. Eating the right food and when to eat before and after yoga is key to feeling our best. 

Yoga in the morning
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What to eat before?

A healthy and balanced diet is preferable to get the best out of your yoga practice. In general, you want to eat each of the three macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrate. With that being said, try not to eat any heavy or large meals, and as a general rule, stop eating two hours before class. 

If your yoga practice is 1 – 2  hours after waking up it’s advisable to have easy to digest food like fresh fruits (bananas are a great source of potassium), or juice at least 45 minutes before the class. However, if you’re attending a later yoga class try eating a light meal or a small snack at least 1 hour before. This gives your digestive tract enough time to do some work to get the food out of your tummy. It’s also important to stay well hydrated before your practice, but don’t overdo it. Instead, try to take small sips throughout the hours before your class.

Here are some good options:

  • Apple slices dipped in peanut butter, or a banana
  • Healthy granola bars and energy bites
  • A handful of almonds and fresh fruit, like blueberries
  • Smoothies or protein shakes
  • A hard-boiled egg and some carrot sticks 
  • Toast with avocado

Snack suggestions before yoga
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As you become more acclimated to how your body responds to your eating schedule during yoga, you can modify your routine. For example, if you’re pregnant, or prone to get dizzy when practicing aerial yoga, be sure to eat a snack about 30 minutes before class. Do what feels best for your body so that you feel light and comfortable throughout the duration of class!

What to eat after?

Now let’s talk about what you can eat after a yoga class. The first thing you want to do after a yoga session is to drink water – keep yourself hydrated! After the class it’s time to refuel with a meal or snack that has a 3-to-1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, which can help repair muscle tissues and restore energy levels. Preferably wait 30 minutes after your practice before eating so that your body can re-acclimate itself and won’t risk going into food coma 

Here are some other great options to eat after your yoga practice:

  • Turkey wrapped around cream cheese and asparagus spears
  • Chicken breast with some avocado and sweet potatoes
  • Greek yoghurt with fruits, nuts, and granola
  • Quinoa bowl with veggies, tofu, or legumes
  • Smoothie with frozen berries, banana and greek yoghurt

Balanced diet after yoga
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These are just suggestions. Remember the most important thing here is to experiment and listen to your body. You know your body best and can determine what works for you. One thing is for certain, you must come to yoga prepared, rested, nourished and in the right frame of mind. Yoga is an extremely rewarding practice but at the same time can be challenging.

Finally, after a day of yoga and healthy eating, a little dark chocolate is in order. Dark chocolate is loaded with potassium and some vitamin E, both of which are antioxidant. 

Dark chocolate after yoga
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Okay yogis, now you know what to eat before and after and also when to eat, so get in there and nama-slay!

Benefits of Yoga Inversions

Hello yogis! I hope you’ve been able to incorporate the three aspects from last week’s blog – breathing, focus and alignment – in your yoga practice and in your everyday life. For this week we are diving into learning about the benefits of inversions. If you’ve been considering joining an upcoming headstand or handstand workshop, read on to learn more about inversions! 

Let’s start with defining inversion. What does it even mean? In yoga, inversion refers to poses in which the yogi’s heart is at a higher level than the head. Thus “inverting” your body from its normal upright position. However, not all inversion poses require that one is completely upside down. There are milder poses that you can practice to overcome the fear associated with going upside down, like shoulder stand, child’s pose and down-ward facing dog pose.  

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Now that we have established what inversion is we can explore the benefits of it! Have you ever heard of the expression “turn that frown upside down”? Well, what it basically means is to be happy instead of sad. When doing an inversion pose your blood circulation and your lymphatic drainage improves which helps deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and release a rush of endorphins. This in turn helps the brain to regulate mood swings and reduce anxiety or depression – it’s a natural mood booster! But the benefits don’t stop there!

Enhances muscular strength 

Yoga inversions target specific muscle groups and help to build strength to hold the body in a stretched position which increases muscular strength, flexibility and endurance. And in time improves better limb flexibility and range of motion. 

Improves focus 

When practicing inversions we may face different challenges, such as fear of falling, and we are often forced to tune inwards and become very focused on the pose. But as you begin to feel more comfortable in the pose you will also begin to find a strong sense of calmness. Your overall focus and concentration increases as this pose helps the central nervous system to relax and balances out our fight or flight response and forces you to tune inwards. 

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Boosts immune system

The entire lymphatic system plays a huge part in our physical health. As lymph moves through your body it picks up toxins and waste that your body needs to get rid of and helps maintain fluid balance. When we turn upside down we stimulate our lymphatic system, increasing the flow of white blood cells and lymph throughout the body and strengthening the immune system. And it also may reduce pain and swelling in the lower limbs. 

Increases confidence and patience

Practicing inversions are often something we consider as pretty difficult or advanced. It takes time and practice to perform them properly, but once you’ve mastered the art of getting upside down you will feel more confident and proud. All of your hard work paid off! The confidence, patience and strength that you slowly build will translate into all aspects of your daily life. And you will embrace new challenges and obstacles with a “I can do it” attitude. 

It’s fun!

Yoga does not always have to be serious. Your practice is a wonderful time to invite fun into your yoga mat and life. Getting upside down encourages a sense of childish playfulness in your practice! So smile and open your heart to having fun on your mat! 

Lina Lindahl in handstand

Inversions can bring with them many benefits and are such a fun part of yoga practice. However, it’s always important to honor and listen to your body. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel good or is painful. It’s also important to keep in mind that inversion yoga involves advanced moves. If you’re not sure or feel uncomfortable doing it by yourself, perform them under the supervision of an expert to avoid any injuries. If you’re interested in trying out, or just want to improve your inversions, Yoga Roots have a few great inversion workshops in November that you can attend! 

Be safe, have fun and treat your body well dear yogis! Until next time. 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3425136/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4475706/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691728/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4278136/

yoga mats

What are the three most important aspects of yoga?

Hey yogis! Welcome back for another fun and informative reading! Last week we learned a little about the history and benefits of Vinyasa yoga, how our teacher Lina W. Walldén found yoga, and also a bit about myself, Shirin! This week we will dive into the three most important aspects of yoga: breathing, focus, and alignment. Regardless of what your level of practice is, these three aspects are essential in every yoga style. 

Breathing  

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So why is breathing so important? Breathing is the most vital thing we do every single day, and yet most of us give it very little thought. But, when it comes to a productive yoga routine, settling your mind, relaxing, and centering yourself, breathing is one of the most important steps to master. 

When we turn inward and focus on each breath our minds begin to quiet. And as we focus on our breaths, other thoughts are less likely to occur. Concentrating on breathing takes the focus off other areas of the body where we may be holding tension and stress. As soon as we begin to breathe, we loosen and release tense parts of our body. 

In yoga, uneven breathing is often the product of a troubled mind. Our goal is to find the point in our mind-body balance where we can breathe with ease and in sync with the flow of our body’s movement in the different yoga postures.

There are different types of breathing that will come up in various yoga practices. 

Malin Bergström, one of our Yoga Roots teachers, fell in love with this ancient practice during one special yoga class that left her feeling grateful and amazing. I spoke to her and asked, “what’s the best way to breathe?” 

“Find a comfortable sitting position, sit upright with your back and relax your shoulders and face. Count to a suitable number when you breathe in and out. I usually count inhalation 1-2-3-4 and exhalation 4-3-2-1. In through the nose, out through the nose”. 

Malin Bergström

Yogis, let’s try to find our breath together now before we move on – close your eyes, take a deep breath in and out, and again twice more. 

Focus

Focus, or Drishti, is the Sanskrit word that loosely translates to ”gaze”, “view” or “point of focus”. It is a specific point to lock your eyes on and it is used most commonly during meditation or while holding a balancing or difficult yoga posture. 

We have all been unfocused or distracted during moments of our yoga practice and have felt our eyes wandering around the room. When the eyes are fixed on a single point the mind ceases from being stimulated by all other external objects. The first thing that drishti offers in yoga practice is balance. We find a place where we place our gaze and attention, it can be a fixed point on the wall or the tip of the nose, whatever you prefer. When the gaze is fixed on a single point, our awareness draws inwards and the mind remains undisturbed by external stimuli. The use of a drishti allows the mind to focus and move into a deep state of concentration and balance. Basically, so that when we are in a challenging posture we don’t fall face first to the floor. 

Next time you’re in one of our Yoga Roots classes and you find it hard to focus, try to find your drishti and in turn your balance and power.

Alignment

“My biggest job when I lead a class is not to have the most fun, creative and interesting class (even though that’s a bonus), it is for me to make sure you are safe, to look at your alignment and help you to find what works for your body!”. 

Lina Lindahl

Having good alignment keeps your joints in their proper positions, allows us to obtain the most benefits from our practice and also helps us to find that point where we can be comfortable. Misalignment on the other hand, will cause discomfort in your yoga poses. It may be difficult at first to accept that your body can’t go directly where you might want it to, but over time the body builds strength and elasticity needed to extend your reach and progress in asana practice.

Lina in plank pose

Proper alignment produces optimal muscle performance which translates to power. 

In addition, it helps prevent your spine, joints, and muscles from getting into awkward angles and positions. But how can you find good alignment? I asked the “queen of alignment” Lina Lindahl about some alignment tips:

“The tricky part with alignment for me as a teacher is that I have to speak to the class as a whole. All bodies are different and I can only give cues that are true for “most people”. For you as a student it’s important to check in what works for your body. Sometimes your body shouts, but sometimes it whispers. At times yoga can be uncomfortable and that’s ok, however anything that hurts is an indication to take a step back or make a change. Many times, as described above, alignment isn’t just how something looks but more so how it feels”. 

Thus, we must learn to go slowly and to practice each modification or variation of a posture that best fits our level.

That’s it for this week folks. Next week’s blog is inspired by the inversion style of workshops that are coming up in November and will be all about the benefits of inversions – you don’t want to miss that! And remember yogis to take care of these three important aspects, whether in yoga or everyday life. Breathe, focus and align – Namaste.

history of yoga

A newbies journey to yoga

What is vinyasa yoga?

I often thought about how it would feel like mastering the art of yoga. To be able to move from one pose to another with ease and grace and not have my arms and legs trembling with each move. As a person who knows very little about yoga and very much about crossfit, I decided to broaden my knowledge and dive into the “yoga world”, starting with vinyasa yoga. 

One of the first things I discovered on my yoga quest was the many different types of yoga. And as a newbie to Yoga Roots I noticed the many Vinyasa classes on the schedule. So I set out to find out more on what makes this type of yoga so special. Therefore, this week we will dive into Vinyasa yoga, which comes from the Sanskrit root words meaning “to place in a special way”.

It is not a surprise that yoga has many benefits. This bendy ancient practice has health benefits that extend beyond the physical. However, there are many different types of yoga and it can be a little hard to know which style is best suitable for your needs and wants. Vinyasa is an approach to yoga in which you move from one pose directly into the next with the movement of your breath. The classes are often rhythmic, with a focus on transitions and movements, and connecting the body movements with the rhythm of the breath.

The history of Vinyasa yoga

Shaiva ascetics performing tapas via British Museum Source: British Museum.
Shaiva ascetics performing tapas via British Museum

Vinyasa yoga is a modern style of yoga, born out of the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga tradition. The Ashtanga school was developed by a yogi named Sri Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya taught that the movements between each asana should be considered just as important as the postures themselves. His idea behind this was to deepen concentration and body consciousness throughout the entire practice. Rather than focusing on “getting into the posture” and then breathing, the aim is to keep the deep breathing and body consciousness consistent throughout all movements during the practice.

The benefits

So what are the benefits of Vinyasa yoga? For starters, it improves your energy levels while simultaneously promoting relaxation and lowering stress levels. It also offers several other benefits, including:

  • Endurance and strength training. Because the challenging poses are done in quick succession, Vinyasa yoga helps build muscle strength while improving your fitness.
  • Stability and balance. While improved balance is a benefit of yoga in general, a 2015 study in the journal PLoS One found that for people with low vision, a course of Ashtanga-based yoga significantly improved their sense of balance and reduced their fall risk.
  • Cardio workout. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, the fast-paced movements and physical challenge of Vinyasa yoga make it an ideal light-intensity cardiovascular workout. 
  • Lower stress, less anxiety. In a 2012 study of women going through cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to quit smoking, researchers found that practicing Vinyasa yoga helped lower stress and anxiety levels. It also helped the participants quit smoking.

What do you love about Vinyasa?

Lina W. Walldén is one of the Vinyasa teachers at Yoga Roots. So, I sat down with her to get to the “root” of what makes Vinyasa yoga so special to her. Lina discovered yoga when she was 13 years old, thanks to her mother. Since then she has practiced many different types of yoga, but the Vinyasa is what she really is passionate about. In 2020 she decided to take her passion for yoga to the next step and began her Vinyasa teachers training.

Lina W. Walldén enjoying the nature
Lina W. Walldén enjoying the nature

“My favourite thing about Vinyasa yoga is the feeling of being totally connected to your body…

– Lina W. Walldén

When asked what she loves about Vinyasa, Lina replied:

“My favourite thing about Vinyasa yoga is the feeling of being totally connected to your body and not being able to think about anything else at that moment. I also love the playfulness and the creativity in the sequencing, and the fact that a Vinyasa class gives a good workout for both body and mind. This is what I aim to pass on in my teaching, combined with a feeling of calmness and stability.”

Practice with Lina weekly at Yoga Roots on Tuesdays and Sundays!

Who am I?

My name is Shirin and I’m a happy and energetic student who’s studying “communication and social media” at Medieinstitutet. I’m originally from Stockholm but have lived in Malmö for about 5 years now and I have no plans on leaving this wonderful city, which I call home. As part of my education program each semester has an internship period which stretches for 10 weeks. This semester I was lucky enough to get an internship at Yoga Roots. I knew immediately that this internship would be packed with fun and amazing experiences as I read the first sentence of Bethany’s reply to my internship request. And sure enough, it’s already week 4 and I’ve had a blast! 

So yogis, I really hope you enjoyed this week’s reading about Vinyasa yoga, Lina’s story and also appreciate getting to know a bit about me. Each week I will touch upon a yoga related subject and next week the blog is about “the 3 most important aspects of yoga”, which you don’t want to miss!

Shirin Bakhti
Me being happy, as usual 🙂