The word Vinyasa, traced back to its Sanskrit roots, can be broken down into two words. Niyasa which means, to place and the prefix Vi which means, in a certain or special way.
The practice of vinyasa flow synchronises movement and breath, in a flowing practice where asana are linked together. You flow from one movement to the next with less resting poses than in a traditional Hatha yoga class. Each class you attend will be different as Vinyasa is more creative and each teacher can put their own spin on to their sequence. Meaning that you may never have two classes the same and you will find each teacher structures and teaches their class slightly differently. They do say variety is the spice of life.
The near constant movement of a vinyasa class means it is often considered to be fast paced when compared to other styles of yoga, making it a great way to create some heat in the body. If you like to work up a sweat in your practice, then this may be the class for you. It can help you build strength and stamina while at the same time helping to stretch and lengthen your muscles, improving flexibility.
Having said that, as with all yoga, this is not just an exercise class. The link between breath and mindful movement helps to quiet the mind allowing us to de-stress and relax, which makes space for us to reconnect with our own body. With so much going on in our lives today the ability to take an hour for yourself where you simply move with intention and breathe is incredibly important. Given time and continued practice Vinyasa can become a beautiful, moving meditation.