Vinyasa Yoga Sequence & the 13 Muscles that it Tones - Sweatbox

Flow with the breath — enhance strength and flexibility.

Vinyasa yoga, often dubbed “flow” yoga due to the sheer fluidity with which the poses flow together, is among the most popular contemporary yoga styles. It is a creative type of yoga in which movements are brought together in a flowing rhythm with breathing.

There is no specific sequence with vinyasa yoga practice as the style and pace vary depending on the class or yoga teacher. The vinyasa sequence can be rapid, focusing on strong poses or a slower tempo, concentrating on spine and hip mobility and flexibility. The Vinyasa poses target a specific muscle vital throughout the yoga practice regardless of the pace.

What Is Vinyasa Yoga?

Every movement in Vinyasa yoga is coordinated to a breath. The breath takes precedence, serving as a grounding anchor as you transition from one pose to another. The word “Vinyasa” pertains to the linking of breath and movement in Vinyasa yoga classes, which include but are not confined to Ashtanga, Flow, and Power Yoga.

Hatha is in contrast to Vinyasa flow. Each of Hatha classes concentrates on a single posture at a time, with breaks in between.

There are no breaks between poses in a Vinyasa class since all movements are synchronised with breathing. Each sequence in a Vinyasa class draws on the preceding one, gradually progressing to deeper, more complex poses as the practice progresses.

Vinyasa Yoga Class And Its Benefits

  • Improve Core Stability. To lessen the chance of injury in any yoga poses, you must engage the core. Strengthening the core with the Vinyasa sequence leads to improved balance and stability.
  • Building Strength and Stamina. Vinyasa yoga helps improve muscle strength while boosting fitness since the complex poses are done in rapid sequence.
  • Alternative to Cardio Workout. As Vinyasa classes are more strenuous for their rapid pace, it is an excellent substitute for low-intensity cardiovascular exercise.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety. Since it focuses on utilising the breath as a guide, Vinyasa delivers several stress-relieving advantages of restorative yoga at a higher pace.

13 Vinyasa Yoga Poses: Which Muscles Does It Target?

The Vinyasa flow is more than busting a sweat or increasing flexibility. Although linking every dynamic movement with breathing may not be for everyone, individuals tired of the traditional practice may find this approach a suitable vinyasa yoga workout.

Here are a few standard poses of Vinyasa sequences, along with the areas they stimulate and tone:
1. Check-in


Every vinyasa flow begins with a two- to three-minute relaxation in which you can rest your back on the mat comfortably in a seated position. This pose stretches the legs, back, and muscles around the pelvis. This aids in the control of breathing and the ability to concentrate. Depending on your choice, some warm-ups, such as sun salutations, last about 15 minutes.

 2. Cow Pose


PHOTO: PEXELS/GETTY IMAGES

Begin by putting yourself in a “tabletop position” or getting down on your hands and knees. On an inhale, arch your back by lowering your belly button and bringing your chest forward in between your arms. Press down through your hands and drag your navel in on the next exhale. This pose focuses on the abdomen and chest while improving spine and shoulder mobility.

3. Downward Facing Dog Pose


Lift your hips and turn over your toes on an exhale, putting your feet soles on the floor. As you extend your spine, ground down with your hands and feet. Downward Dog stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves while also working the arms and legs.

4. Chair Pose


PHOTO: PEXELS/GETTY IMAGES

With your feet little broader than hip­width apart and arms at your sides, stand tall and straight. Inhale and stretch your arms straight next to your ears. Exhale as you bend your knees while maintaining parallel thighs and knees. Hold for 30 seconds up to 1 minute while leaning your torso forward to make a straight angle with the tops of your thighs. It is primarily a standing yoga pose that tones the entire body, especially the thighs, and is excellent for the pelvic floor.

5. Plank Pose


Inhale as you form a high push-up with your hands below your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. To engage your core and stabilise your back, take a dominant position with your body, bringing your navel forward toward your spine. It strengthens the abdomen, back, core, and leg muscles while raising internal heat, tied with optimal vinyasa flow.

6. Low Plank Pose


PHOTO: PEXELS/GETTY IMAGES

Exhale and gradually drop your body to the ground, bending your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Maintain a tight grip on the body with your elbows. Halfway through, take a breath and hold the stance for a beat. It tones the body and trains you for inversions and balance.

7. Cobra Pose


While inhaling, lift your chest and maintain your hands beneath your shoulders. Extend your legs down the floor, untucking your feet. Pull your shoulders back and slightly elevate your chest. Maintain a flat position on the floor with your lower ribs. It strengthens the body and relieves tension while stretching the shoulders, abs, and chest.

8. Low Lunge Pose


Inhale and straighten your right leg back. Exhale and bring your right knee up to your chest and step your right foot forward in between your hands. Slide your left knee back a few inches so that it is inclined and not squarely beneath your hip. The hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin are all stretched during this exercise. Reducing stiffness in the hip flexors and psoas muscles also aids relieve anxiety.

9. Hamstring Stretch Pose


PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Bring your hips back into your left heel and straighten your right leg on the exhale. Maintain the length of your spine by keeping your hands on the blocks if necessary. To increase the stretch, extend your right foot toes toward your face. Inhale as you do so, then switch to the opposite side. The hamstring stretch increases hip flexion and lengthens the spine.

10. Child’s Pose


PHOTO: PEXELS/GETTY IMAGES

Exhale as you return to tabletop position and proceed into Child’s Pose. Spread your knees as far apart as your mat allows. Lower your torso to the floor and glide your hips into your heels by bringing your big toes together. This yoga stance is the most calming of them all, as it stretches the hips, thighs, ankles, and back.

11. Figure 4 Stretch Pose


PHOTO: PEXELS/GETTY IMAGES

Starting with your legs bent and your feet grounded, cross your right knee across your left thigh like a figure four. To keep your leg in position, bring your left knee inward to your chest and reach for the back of your left thigh. Holding it for 60 to 90 seconds on each side will ease lower back pain and enhance hip and glute mobility.

12. Supine Single Leg Twist


PHOTO: PEXELS/GETTY IMAGES

It is the final pose to end the flow. Pull your right knee inward to your chest while lying on your back. Maintain a straight left leg, then cross the right knee to the left side. Breathe and switch legs after opening your right arm to the right. Among supine poses, this pose relaxes and balances the nervous system while opening the chest and stretching the muscles of the spine, ribs, and hips.

13. Rest


PHOTO: PEXELS/GETTY IMAGES

After the sequence, lie down for at least five minutes on your back and yield to meditation. It helps restore balance to the body and mind by lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, increasing energy, relieving anxiety, and enhancing focus.

Vinyasa Yoga Pose

The Corresponding Muscles It Tones

  1. Check-in

Legs, back, and muscles around the pelvis

  1. Cow Pose

Abdomen, chest, spine, and shoulder

  1. Downward Facing Dog Pose

Spine, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arms, and legs

  1. Chair Pose

Tones the entire body, particularly the thighs and is good for the pelvic floor

  1. Plank Pose

Abdomen, back, core, and leg muscles

  1. Low Plank Pose

Tones the body from head to toe, especially the abdomen and lower back

  1. Cobra Pose

Shoulders, abs, and chest

  1. Low Lunge Pose

Hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin, as well as hip flexors and psoas muscles

  1. Hamstring Stretch Pose

Hip flexors and spine

  1. Child’s Pose

Hips, thighs, ankles, and back

  1. Figure 4 Stretch Pose

Lower back, hips, and glutes

  1. Supine Single Leg Twist

Spine, ribs, and hips

  1. Rest

Relax the entire body

 

Find the Right Vinyasa Classes At Sweatbox Yoga

Discover the Vinyasa flow, which will keep you energetic and renewed. Get a yoga experience like no other with Sweatbox Yoga, one of the premier yoga studios Singapore. Find your flow with us!

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.