Yoga is a spiritual discipline based on science. It focuses on bringing harmony between your body and your mind. It has been a prevalent practice for ages and has endless physical and mental benefits.
You can always practice Yoga to relieve your day-long stress or keep yourself in perfect shape. More than 36 million people in the US alone practice Yoga on a regular basis.
Throughout the ages, Yoga practices have been introduced to various new postures and poses. It has come up with several new styles, all of which are in some way beneficial to our existence.
At present, there are more than 100 yoga styles. Slow flow is one such popular yoga style that is widely celebrated across the globe. It has benefits for both your physical and mental health. As we start our discussion today, we will learn about slow flow yoga and its benefits. If you are ready, let’s get started.
What is Slow Flow Yoga?
Slow Flow Yoga is one of the most popular yoga styles. It is basically a low-impact workout and quite hard to define. Slow Flow has more prolonged and relaxing postures as opposed to the aerobics-based active version of yoga.
You might find slow Flow Yoga to be a combination of modified Vinyasa flow and Hatha yoga styles. The difference is that slow Flow Yoga has more Flow than Hatha yoga, while less than a classic Vinyasa flow.
Some might consider the classes emphasizing holding postures as Slow Flow classes. But, there is always a difference between classic and modified yoga moves. Slow Flow Yoga is designed to balance and control your movements while warming up your joints and muscles.
The best part about slow Flow Yoga is that anyone from any age group can perform it. With time, you will learn to capture the Slow Flow movements, which will take you to a more intense and dedicated perspective of your surroundings.
In short, modified vinyasa yoga and hatha yoga make up slow flow yoga movements. Now, we will learn how these two yogas contribute to this new yoga style and influence your movement styles.
Slow Flow Yoga: A Combination of Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga
Hatha and Vinyasa- these two yoga types have created the Slow Flow Yoga movements. If you have ever performed both, you would know that the Vinyasa yoga style has transitioning poses, while Hatha yoga simply focuses on breathing, ease, flexibility, and strength. Slow Flow Yoga is a perfect combination of both these types.
The difference here is that, while in classic Vinyasa yoga, the transition of poses from one to another is fast-paced, Slow Flow yoga has slower and more controlled changes. Again, while doing these movements, you will have to focus on your breath as well. Thus, it becomes a combination of Vinyasa and Hatha yoga styles.
So, basically, the aim of Slow Flow Yoga is to breathe, move, and stretch between poses while introspecting those carefully. Slow Flow Yoga’s controlled speed helps your brain sync with the postures and brings the perfect mind-body connection.
However, even though some people think that slow Flow is a very slow yoga style, it’s not entirely true. Slow Flow has enough speed to make it feel like a workout session. You will sweat during your practice. But the catch is that it gives you enough time between postures to relax and complete your full breathing.
Characteristics and Features of Slow Flow Yoga
Yoga has a wide diversity of styles and poses. Each pose and style has its benefits over our mental and physical health. So, there are pretty different goals for yoga practice.
While some are willing to lose weight, others may want to achieve mindfulness. Yoga also helps to decrease your stress level and relieves you from anxiety. Or, you can simply maintain a good figure with the best Yoga exercises.
Whatever you do, you will always get benefits out of it. In Slow Flow Yoga, the main focus is the breathing, movements, and stretch between each pose. It helps you concentrate and learn the poses from within.
It allows the yogis to achieve the freedom of creating the dance attuned to their rhythm. So, in Slow Flow Yoga, the instructions ask you to “find your own pace.”.
Slow Flow Yoga poses are more beneficial than a rapid-fire routine. In this style of yoga, you focus on your postures while maintaining slow breathing. Some poses may increase your heartbeat, and some may even cause you to sweat.
Slow Flow Yoga can get a bit challenging as well. It will challenge your coordination and balance. But, you will find some poses resting and calming too.
Who Should Do Slow Flow Yoga?
Slow Flow Yoga might seem to be an easy deal, but that is not true at all. It certainly has slow movements, but those can be challenging as well. So, don’t underestimate it as a yoga practice for beginners. It can surprise you along the way.
While starting out, most people can easily do slow Flow Yoga. However, as it goes on, it keeps becoming more challenging. If you are a beginner, you should start with a slower class such as Iyengar or Hatha.
Slow Flow Yoga is mainly recommended for pregnant women, seniors, or people with an injury or health issues. It is even taught in rehab centers or hospitals.
Slow Flow Yoga isn’t about rushing all along, but you need to be calm and patient. There should be mind-body coordination. And, you will have to learn yourself inward and outward well and allow the openness to flourish around you.
Benefits of Slow Flow Yoga
Yoga goes as far back as human civilization itself. Researchers have found that Yoga is an over 5000-year-old practice that has now become a global culture. In 2016 alone, there were more than 52,000 registered Yoga teachers in the world.
One of the biggest reasons for its growing popularity is undoubtedly the benefits it offers. You can attain any goal with Yoga that you would like. You can get slim, or build muscles, or even use it for meditation. But, for one thing, Yoga is the safest practice of all.
When you perform slow flow yoga, you open yourself to many physical and mental benefits. These asanas help you stretch your muscles and strengthen them. It also helps control your breathing and focus more on your movements. Thus, Slow Flow Yoga increases your mind-body coordination.
But that’s not it. Slow Flow style can be described as an amalgam of meditative movements and dance-like movements, where you practice breathing as well. Here is a list of some of the most prominent slow flow yoga benefits for you.
1. Improves Body Balance
Slow Flow Yoga helps improve your body balance. When you perform the asanas, you dedicate your time to it and do them all with control. At this point, the same muscles that support us when we are standing work to keep us balanced in the pose.
There is science behind it. Our body has a muscle receptor system called proprioceptive. It detects our body’s alignment and helps us balance whenever we change our pose. In slow Flow yoga, whenever you change your pose slowly, it tells your brain how to align yourself and keep you balanced.
Now, as you hold on to that pose and continue controlled breathing, your brain keeps learning as well. Thus, it helps you acquire balance over time.
2. Improves Joint Performance
Joint pains have become very common recently. There can be a lot of reasons behind it. But most people suffering from such pains vary between middle-age to old-age. Slow Flow Yoga is an excellent exercise for your joints as well.
When you perform these asanas, they help you increase your mobility on several joints, like the shoulder and hip. Thus, enhanced mobility relieves you from joint pains.
Slow Flow Yoga is helpful for the synovial fluid found in our joints as well. It is also exceptionally great for people who have arthritis or any such joint problems.
3. Helps You Develop a Healthy Routine
Yoga has always been associated with a balanced lifestyle. Especially in modern days, when we are busy day to night, it becomes more important to take care of our health.
Yoga, unlike other forms of rapid-fast exercises, is calm and controlled. On the other hand, Slow Flow yoga offers you more benefits because of its perfect amalgam of Vinaya and Hatha yoga styles.
But, without continuity, you won’t achieve anything at all. You need to dedicate time to this. Also, following a balanced diet is another mandatory thing. So, when you immerse yourself in yoga, you have to make it a habit of yours.
You can set a time during the day where you can relax and practice yoga. It is better to plan a schedule beforehand. Thus, when you accept all other things that accompany the practice, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
4. Great for Weight Loss
While a balanced lifestyle is necessary, a balanced weight is mandatory too. Obesity can bring a lot of complications to your life. From diabetes to cardiovascular diseases, obesity promotes life-threatening factors in our bodies. However, slow flow yoga is a great way to get rid of obesity and maintain a perfect weight.
Slow flow yoga improves your basal metabolic rate or BMR. A strong metabolism system improves your body’s overall performance and reduces fat retention.
Also, Slow Flow asanas help you sweat during the session. It feels more like a full-body workout that benefits your heart and lungs as well.
5. Calms Your Brain
Yoga has always been known to calm our brains and improve their functioning. But the slow-paced ones are directly related to soothing effects. When you pause between exercises, you start feeling all your movements. You start noticing the more minor details around you. But most importantly, you develop mindfulness, which calms down your brain.
6. Improves Health of Your Internal Organs
In Slow Flow Yoga, as you keep moving constantly, the major internal organs in your body also get many benefits. It leaves them with a natural pressure with every bend, twist, torsion of the torso and limb. Such pressure works as a natural massage.
It improves the blood flow to your vital organs, which delivers more nutrients to those. Most importantly, yoga helps to flush out the excretory products from our bodies. It has a lot of positive impacts, like improving organ complications, including chronic ones.
Regular Slow Flow yoga also helps to improve conditions like asthma, constipation, or thyroid problems.
7. Stimulates Your Body
Yoga helps to stimulate our bodies. Even if you join the slow classes, it challenges you in many ways. For example, when you try out new and more complex yoga styles, your body will face such challenges.
By the time you understand what is happening, your body will start feeling a bit stressed.
It gets better with practice. As you keep practicing Slow Flow Yoga, you’ll start becoming calmer. At that point, even though you try out different new styles, you can still feel relaxed and processed.
8. Great for Building Strength and Flexibility
Slow Flow yoga is excellent for strength building and flexibility. As you get old, you start facing many physical problems. At the age of forty, most people start losing their bone density, muscle elasticity.
Medical researchers have found that yoga is greatly associated with improving strength and flexibility in muscles and bones.
As your body becomes more flexible, you can perform various exercises more comfortably. More flexibility also means better body balance. Slow flow Yoga also helps with improving your cardiovascular health.
The processed and more controlled breathing delivers the exact required oxygen to your lungs. Thus, the blood in your body gets enough nutrients to support your heart health. A strong heart also increases your body’s overall strength.
9. Great for Stress Relief
Slow Flow yoga improves blood circulation in your body. It helps your body get more oxygen-rich blood, which improves mental health as well. It helps relieve stress by flushing out toxins from our bodies.
10. Helps Insomnia
Slow Flow Yoga is great for patients of insomnia. Since it helps manage stress and other mental issues, it improves your brain’s functionality. Hence, it also improves your overall sleep quality.
11. Fights Depression
As you advance in Slow Flow Yoga asanas, you start acquiring better control of your body and mind. Thus, you can take control over your thoughts as well. Slow Flow yoga is excellent for people suffering from depression. As you learn to control your thoughts, you are less likely to feel depressed or anxious.
On the other hand, Slow Flow Yoga is a more controlled form of Yoga that lets you focus on your movements more. It is not too slow but leaves you with enough time to relax. And while you learn to control your breath as well, it improves your body-mind coordination, leaving you with many physical and mental benefits.
We hope that with this discussion, we were able to give you what you were looking for. We wish you all the very best in your journey of finding “your own pace” and spirituality. Namaste.