vinyasa yoga benefits|yogi surprise

Why Vinyasa Yoga is the One for Me

I tried Bikram yoga first. I liked how I felt after, but hated every second of it during the practice. I knew that exploring other styles was an imperative part of my investigation into the overwhelming world of yoga. Next was Ashtanga yoga. I gave it a go, really tried to fall in love. I fell in like, but we were not meant to be life partners. And then, I walked into my first vinyasa yoga class. Oh my.

Vinyasa yoga is my true love

Every single thing about vinyasa yoga spoke seductive, loving truths. I had a seasoned, dynamic, and creative teacher. That really helps, obviously. She wove a technicolor tapestry of flows that seamlessly connected. Feeling that sense of yoga being a dance with intelligent sequencing and enchanting music that made my breath feel as if it were singing along. The excitement I felt floating out of that class was a thrill I still carry to this day. And I know it will never go away.

Because the lure of variety beckons, I'll stray from vinyasa yoga, but I always come back

Shiny and new is enticing. Watching an advanced Ashtanga practitioner will take your breath away. When seemingly impossible feats of the body are performed inches away from you, it's intoxicating to believe that perhaps one day you too could attempt and achieve such intricately executed postures. I used to joke that I'd feel like I was 'pretty rad' at yoga once I could nap with my legs behind my head. Yeah, that's not happening ever. And since we are always changing, my goals for asana have changed in what I find to be exciting and offer value. Ashtanga offers a set sequence but also includes degrees of variety once you get past the primary series and move on to second and third series where you might just maybe land with your leg comfortably behind your head.

vinyasa yoga advanced poses|yogi approved

Actually, Ashtanga is a form of vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga simply means one posture linked to another via breath. It's a very loose, general definition that allows for so much interpretation and deviation. Definitely my kinda of yoga.

I've even tried Goat Yoga

I'm simply saying I'm an open-minded kind of woman. I'll give almost anything a go. Goat yoga wasn't baaaad (I'm so sorry). No, novelty is nice and being with baby animals of any kind (possibly even baby alligators) is sweet and will pull at your heartstrings. There wasn't a ton of actual vinyasa yoga going on, but no big, we had fun.

I've also practiced Hatha, Vin Yoga, Kundalini, Barkan Method, Baptist Yoga, Iyengar, and Jivamukti. You'll discover some merits and benefits from any established school of yoga. It all depends on what your priorities are. The biggest reason vinyasa yoga is so special to me is its lack of rigidity and focus on variety and creativity.

The trend has been towards hot vinyasa flow classes, which means the temperature will be anywhere from 80-105 degrees. Typically, the name of the class will indicate if it's a heated vinyasa flow class. If not, most likely you'll be enjoying the class at room temperature.

It really boils down to personality

Before finding vinyasa yoga, I had to focus on the gifts each different practice offers. And I still do even though my daily practice is vinyasa flow. Try every style there is. Hell, you might even make up your own one day. Depending on your needs, goals, vibe, and disposition, more likely than not a specific style will speak louder and more clearly to you than any other. You can't know without trying as many schools as possible. Experiment with as open of a mind and heart as you can bring to the practice and let your style emerge with a gentle but very obvious announcement heralding its arrival as the one for you.

 


tantra yoga defined|yogi surprise

Does Tantra Yoga Promote a Healthy Sex Life?

Tantra yoga: does it really have anything to do with sex?

I'd heard of tantric sex before, but never tantra yoga. It confused me because tantric sex has become a relatively known thing. Still knowing very little about it other than apparently the musician Sting digs it, I knew it had some kind of connection to breath work. But I couldn't conceptualize the connection to what kind of yoga practice it is. So I investigated...

Tantra yoga doesn't have a direct relationship to sexuality

The definition of tantra means to be woven, entwined, and to feel true freedom. This practice stems from Vedic texts that encompass every aspect of yoga to experience the truest reality of oneness and to create a bridge to unite our feminine and masculine sides. That connection between Shiva and Shakti (the masculine and feminine deities associated with tantra yoga) may be where there is a thread linking sexual connection to the practice of tantra. The physical practice often utilizes partner poses. Regardless of gender, tantra yoga addresses the feminine and masculine sides of each of us and how to strengthen the support and connection they offer one another.

More about Shakti and Shiva

Shiva, both the creator and destroyer, represents our masculine energy. Considered one of the most powerful deities in Hinduism, Shiva's third eye is believed to have the ability to destroy all of the evil that exists in the world. Shakti is our feminine energy and yields strength through the utilization of creativity and nurture. Tantra yoga is the embodiment of all that is grace, power, and interconnected within ourselves. Shiva and Shakti are intrinsically linked and their intense power can provide an internal fire that creates unlimited potential and desire.

How tantra yoga can indirectly improve our sex lives

When we feel whole and more connected to ourselves, we have a much greater ability to fully unite with others and invite that bridge through the strength of vulnerability and a willingness to be open. We crave truth and desire to know ourselves as completely as we can. We embrace the notion it will be a life-long quest because we will continue to change. By practicing tantra yoga, we slow down in our physical movements and share them by going at our own pace and exploring our feminine and masculine sides with equal fervor and by allowing another being into our practice space and allowing it to be a partnership.

If an improved sex life is a priority in your life, this might be the practice you've been needing and not even known it. Ideally, this is something you and your partner can enjoy together. Practicing breathwork and partner yoga poses can lead to a stronger bond. Inviting physical pleasure by supporting the exploration of your body at your own pace and simultaneously holding space for your partner to do the same in the pursuit of what feels exquisite and not some ideal understanding of what a posture should look like will prime you to believe that pleasure is a priority and that you deserve it.

There are so many types of yoga out there. It's so exciting to continue to learn more about the vast world that is yoga. Investigate as much as you can. It will only add to your knowledge bank and help you stay the course of discovering your very best life and self.