Yoga Safety Demo: Ardha Vinyasa

In westernized yoga, there are lots of athletic and fitness style yoga classes. One such style, is the vinyasa flow style class where you flow from pose to pose, connecting one breath to one movement. Vinyasa style classes are more fitness oriented because you don’t necessarily move at the pace of your breath; usually, you’ll find that the instructor cues a little faster and perhaps find your heart rate a little elevated. Vinyasa classes also include a transitional sequence called Ardha Vinyasa, where you move from high-to-low plank (chaturanga dandasana), upward facing dog (urdva mukha svanasana), and downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasa).

In the video below, I demo the sequence along with modifications for various levels. For more experienced practitioners, you’ll note that I don’t suggest bending your elbows to 90 degrees. Instead, I recommend bending only as far as you can while keeping your shoulders above your elbows. You can lower to 90 degrees if that works for your body, but for those still building strength, lowering to 90 degrees could cause dipping in the shoulders, which we want to avoid. The key is to only go as low as you can while keeping your shoulders safe.

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