The yoga vinyasa series are a series of flows in yoga where poses move from one to another in a sequence. Several of these poses also have features common to poses from Indian classical dances. While dance movements may include flourishes and elaborate hand gestures or mudras, yogic vinyasa poses are more straightforward with simpler hand gestures that are essentially therapeutic.
Most dance yoga poses are based on existing sequences like the Natrajasana (dancing Shiva series), Virabhadrasana (warrior sequence) and utkatasana series (squats). Not surprisingly, most are also standing poses, incorporating balancers. Several poses from Chandra Namaskar (moon salutation series) are also borrowed in such poses. This way the stimulating aspect of the standing poses is balanced by the cooling aspect of the moon salute series. In yogic parlance, this would be termed the perfect harmony between the surya (sun) and the chandra (moon) nadis (or energy channels).
There are powerful benefits in practicing such yoga flows: they hike metabolism powerfully; they build concentration; they up physical stamina. Holding the poses longer or practicing to the tune of classical music further enhances these benefits because you need to learn to coordinate movement to music, upping the ante further as far physical and mental challenges are concerned. The other advantage is that you can cram several poses within a short time, and do it with complete focus: so yoga dance flows are tailormade for a person who may be short on time.
Shameem Akthar, yogacharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, shows you five poses that can borrowed from such dance yoga series. She also gives you suggestions for sequences in which you may place each pose.
Photographs: Jahnavi Sheriff
Catch more of Shameem's yoga writings and about her upcoming workshops at jaisivananda.blogspot.com
This article only attempts to enthuse readers towards yoga practice and complement your existing practice. Yoga is best learnt under the personal guidance of a teacher.
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