When you think of yoga, you might first think of postures that emphasize self-awareness and flexibility. However, you can link asanas into a chain called yoga vinyasas. In these vinyas, asanas are performed in a streamlined sequence that adds to the overall yoga experience. While your yoga teacher is trained to create vinyas for you, there are also some sequences out there that you can do on your own once you know what they involve. Two particularly popular in the West are the Salute to the Sun and the Warrior II.
I salute the sun
One of the more popular sequences is known as Greeting the Sun. It’s a unique flow of 12 different yoga poses. With each one, you must inhale to accompany your stretching and exhale as you contract or fold your body. This particular vinyas is designed to develop your strength and increase your overall flexibility. As with most vinyas, you can find variations based on the style of yoga you use, but there are some basic poses and a somewhat consistent flow between the differences.
To greet the sun, go through the flow twice to complete one round. Do this once for the right side of the body and once for the left. If you have a short time, try to do at least one. Even this half of the sequence will help you feel alive.
The greeting to the sun begins with the mountain. From there, you go with your hands raised, head to your knees, and then you jump, wave and hit. Without stopping the flow, you go to the upward dog and the downward dog and set off. Finally, the sequence ends with a head for the knees, hands up, and a mountain climb again. As you can see, sun salutations are naturally circular, just like many other yoga chains.
The second warrior
There is another common sequence of yogis in the West called the Triangle, or Warrior II. This special pheneas emphasizes your breathing. Although it is generally recommended to try this movement between situations with your breathing rhythm, you can experiment with different breathing patterns to see what works best for you and how each affects you. In fact, it was this ability to experiment freely that made these vinyas so popular.
The Warrior II sequence operates in four modes. You’ll use the Mountain, Triangle, Warrior II, and Yoga Mudra stand up. When moving in this order, you will be flowing through the sequence at the same time as your breath. This specific sequence will tend to de-stress and help you with flexibility. Make sure, as with all yoga, that you pay close attention to your breathing patterns and focus on yourself.
Once you start learning the different yoga poses, you can start trying vinyas on your own or with a teacher. Not only does it allow you to work inside asanas, but also to maintain physical and mental flow when practicing daily yoga. Also, you can find other yoga sequences that suit your skill level, needs, and yoga style. In general, vinyas are a part of yoga that can help you see and feel results faster and more consistently.