Choosing which type of yoga to practice can be hard. There are so many different ways to practice yoga, and all of them offer physical and mental benefits. Vinyasa yoga is the perfect way to start for beginners. For advanced yoga practitioners, it is a great habit to keep. The focus on the breath and the repeated visits to sun salutations give a special meaning and rhythm to the practice. Vinyasa yoga offers many great benefits. Below are all the reasons why you should add vinyasa yoga to your fitness routine.

You Burn Calories

First of all, by repeating postures and movements, you accumulate the 60 minutes of exercise recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. Practicing Vinyasa also helps you burn calories. In 45 minutes of vinyasa, a 150-pound woman burns 415 calories. This is more than the 334 calories burned in 45 minutes of jogging. Keep in mind that to burn 415 calories, you should be actively flowing the whole time without resting in child’s pose. When it’s about burning calories, Vinyasa is better than other slower forms of yoga.

You Strengthen Your Muscles

Movements like sun salutations, which include push-up-like motions, build strength in the muscles, especially in the upper body. Combining sun salutations with Warrior I, Warrior II, and lunges can help your muscles get stronger. It is crucial to do these postures properly to get the all the benefits. A teacher can help adjust your body. For example, when you do Warrior II, the leg that you bend should be in line with the shoulders. You should put strength in the leg that stays in the back. Otherwise, this posture will not be beneficial.

vinyasa yoga woman learn to breatheYou Get Cardiovascular Benefits

A 2004 study shows that just two months of yoga training can have cardiovascular benefits. Keep in mind that the cardiovascular benefits of Vinyasa yoga are lower than running a marathon. But, this practice can certainly improve your health and well-being. Another study published in the International Journal of Yoga showed that after 11 months of sun-salutations (a key movement of vinyasa yoga practice), participants had significant improvements in their cardiovascular health.

You Learn to Breathe

One of the pillars of Vinyasa yoga is the focus on the breath. You slowly become fully aware of how you breathe with each movement. Vinyasa yoga adopts the Ujjayi breathing method to help you use your lungs to their full potential. By doing so, you remove toxins and fill the lungs with plenty of oxygen. Learning how to breathe calms your mind and heals your organs. It can regulate your metabolism and reduce the risk of many heart diseases, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

You Learn to Train Your Mind

Vinyasa yoga helps you to train the mind. When you are in the flow, you are not worried about the past or the future. Instead, you focus entirely on the present moment, breath, and postures. Vinyasa yoga is a great way to deal with stress and anxiety because it is a moving meditation. A study published in a 2011 issue of the International Journal of Yoga concluded that regular yoga practice calms the mind, improves sleep, and reduces stress. Vinyasa yoga also teaches you how to handle negative emotions. By refocusing time and time again on the breath, you learn how to look at your emotions from the outside finding detachment.

You Quit Bad Habits

Vinyasa yoga can also be helpful when you have an addiction. A study published in 2012 in the Journal of Women’s Health found that women smokers who practiced vinyasa yoga were more likely to stop smoking at the end of the experiment compared to non-yoga-practicing women. As you become more familiar with the practice and experience an empty mind, you are able to recognize what triggers your addictions. And so, you learn how to control the instinct of grabbing a cigarette, or a bottle of wine.

young woman on beach vinyasa yoga swimsuitYou Learn to Love Yourself

Vinyasa yoga teaches you how to love yourself. Essentially, it teaches you how to be more compassionate towards yourself. By practicing vinyasa yoga, you can tap into memories and emotion, and process them in a healthy way. You can finally release the sense of guilt and judgment. Vinyasa yoga is part of the path towards becoming a true yogi. It means engaging in the process of physical, mental, and emotional healing. You learn how to accept yourself for who you are.

Have you tried vinyasa yoga? Tell us your experience with with yoga practice.

Feature photo: Bady qb / Unsplash