Like beads on a string…

malaFlow: Thinking about the journey

What does the term flow mean, in relation to yoga? Vinyasa is often translated from the Sanskrit to mean ‘place in a special way’, but when used to describe a style of yoga, it’s more than that, it’s using the breath to link the movements, linking the poses like beads on a string of steady, rhythmic breath: inhalations, exhalations and the spaces between.

In yoga, as in life, the journey or the transition into the posture, is as important as the final asana, the destination. The thread as well as the beads. It’s all part of the practice and a way to keep the stillness you find from holding a pose as you move into the next.

Bringing this sense of stillness and focus as you transition between postures will help you to develop not just an easier sense of balance, but will help you to practice safely too.

Rushing into a pose, whether it’s an inversion or a standing balance, could result in you going beyond your point of balance and toppling over. Instead, moving with awareness and deep, steady breath will help you to move into a pose gracefully, up to the point of balance but not beyond it.

Moving consciously with your breath also allows you to practise safely. Swinging quickly into a posture, such as a deep backbend, forward bend or any other kind of stretch could result in you moving too far, too fast and risk over-stretching or tearing something. Moving steadily and with awareness will allow you to find your edge and play with it, gently deepening the posture safely.

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