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Eight Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga


a group of vinyasa yoga students laying down on their back

Are you curious about the benefits of yoga as a form of exercise? Despite what many beginners may think, yoga practice can take many forms. Many positions can be modified, so people of any fitness level, flexibility, and strength can practice yoga. Vinyasa, or “flow yoga,” is a common form of yoga taught in many studios and community gyms.


If you’re interested in a yoga class, you may find many benefits in this type of yoga, from improved flexibility to reduced stress levels. But don’t just take our word for it. The benefits of Vinyasa yoga are backed by science.


What Is Vinyasa Yoga?

This style of yoga moves at a fast pace compared to other forms of yoga. Unlike Hatha yoga, which focuses on holding static poses and breathing, flow yoga sessions use focused breathing to move fluidly through the yoga poses, such as sun salutations sequences. During class, the yoga teacher announces each pose, so students use their breath to flow from pose to pose.


If you’re completely new to yoga, hearing things like “chair pose,” “warrior,” or “downward facing dog” may be confusing, leaving you wondering where to stand and what to do. If you have never practiced yoga before, you may benefit from a one-on-one session to learn how to do some of the more common poses and familiarize yourself with what you need to do as the yoga instructor dictates the flow.


Each yoga pose can be modified, so if you aren’t very flexible or have a limited range of motion or shaky balance, there are easy adjustments and chair-assisted modifications that can help you reap the benefits of yoga without injury.


Some of these benefits include:


Increase Your Range of Motion


Yoga emphasizes stretching and reaching and can help you improve the range of motion for your joints. This improved flexibility can help reduce muscle stiffness and tightness and make you more comfortable throughout the day. Tight, unstretched muscles, especially in the hips, back, and neck, are one of the causes of chronic headaches and neck and back pain. Improving your flexibility and motion can help ease the tension and soreness.


Improve Balance


Falls are one of the most dangerous health concerns for older adults. Improving your balance while you’re younger can help prevent falls when you’re a senior and your bones are more delicate. This is especially important for women, who are more prone to osteoporosis than men. Better balance may also help you improve your yoga practice or aid in your progress for weightlifting or other strength training.


Low-Impact Cardio Workout


You may not realize how much of a sweat you work up in Vinyasa yoga, even if you’re not in a “hot yoga” class. Moving from standing to lying down to standing to squatting over and over again can give you the benefits of cardio exercise without the impact running, jumping rope, or even walking has on your joints. This makes yoga an excellent cardio workout for people with joint aches or problems or those who are overweight and may damage their joints with more traditional cardio, like aerobics or jogging.


Reduce Stress


“Just breathe” when you’re angry, upset, or stressed, right? Yoga’s focus on deep breathing and concentrating on the relationship between breath, body, and emotions can help you de-stress, and not just during your practice. You can use some of the yoga breathing techniques taught in your class, like “box breathing,” to help you stay calm in your daily life.


Boost Core Stability


Getting six-pack abs may take a little work, but the improvement in your core strength and stability can start within just a few weeks of consistent flow yoga practice. Many yoga poses focus on using your core and abs to form the pose correctly. Even if the pose itself isn’t focusing on the core, you use a lot of the smaller stabilizing muscles around your core to flow from pose to pose or hold your balance. Tree pose, for example, involves balancing on one leg, but holding it steady involves engaging your core and back muscles to remain upright. Better core stability improves your posture, too, which can reduce backaches or shoulder tightness.


Increases Lung Capacity


The deep, focused breathing required for proper Vinyasa yoga (which, translated, literally means “breath-synchronized movement”) increases your lung capacity and strengthens your diaphragm. This builds your ability for deeper breaths in your daily life and can help improve the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. Furthermore, with deeper breathing and better lung capacity, even when you’re not practicing yoga, you can deliver more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and organs, boosting your health and overall function.


Naturally Improves Your Mood


a group of smiling women in a vinyasa yoga class in boulder colorado

You may notice that as you lie in Savasana, or the corpse pose, at the end of your yoga session, you feel more relaxed and less stressed out. Yoga can deliver a valuable moment of Zen and relaxation and decrease your overall stress levels even after you leave the studio. Chronic stress (which many people suffer) deteriorates your cardiovascular health and can increase the storage of visceral fat around the organs, which is incredibly unhealthy. Reducing your stress and cortisol levels can improve your heart health.


Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss


The average calories burned in a one-hour Vinyasa yoga class run from about 264 to 326, depending on your age, sex, and body weight. That’s as much as a three-mile, one-hour walk. Best of all, yoga can be done indoors, so inclement weather or a big snowstorm won’t keep you from getting your sweat on. Combined with a healthy diet, regular flow yoga practice can help you sustainably lose weight without the poor health effects of a crash diet.


Looking for a Boulder Yoga Class Near You?


Are you ready to start your yoga practice? This form of physical activity is beneficial for everyone, from beginner to expert. At MUV Chiro & Yoga, we offer standard Vinyasa and intermediate Vinyasa classes, exclusively for our members. To join our community and gain access to these classes, we invite you to book a new patient initial evaluation exam. This will not only introduce you to our supportive environment but also allow you to master the poses and improve your technique through one-on-one personalized sessions. Call our Boulder, CO, clinic at (303) 500-8903 or visit us online to begin your membership journey and get started with yoga. Until then, namaste.

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chiropractor boulder co
"I’m so grateful for my experience at Muv Chiropractic. I came to them with lower back pain and frustration around my reoccurring shin splints. Not only did they solve my problem, they taught me practical solutions to implement in my life long term.
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