Learn about Vinyasa yoga, in which the breath is the thread that smoothly pieces together a series of postures, or asana.
It has been said that yoga is one of India's greatest gifts to the world -- a philosophically based system of exercises designed to keep the body strong and healthy and the mind calm and serene.
In vinyasa yoga, a term that can be translated as "flow," the breath is the thread that smoothly pieces together a series of postures, or asana. A calming and strengthening activity for the mind and body, vinyasa yoga increases both physical and mental flexibility.
The modern vinyasa method can be integrated with other forms of yoga, and the content and sequencing of a class can vary drastically from teacher to teacher. Martha's niece Sophie Herbert, an instructor at East Yoga and the Park Slope Yoga Center, approaches her vinyasa classes with a theme, such as anatomy or balance. She develops the theme throughout the class with preparatory poses, sun salutations, and a series of postures, all working toward one or two advanced positions. Sophie urges those new to yoga to remember to always breathe and explore -- no matter what style of yoga you choose, growth and change will happen slowly through consistent and patient practice.