You’ve seen classes advertised as Vinyasa, Iyengar, Yin, Kundalini, Astanga, and many more that are labelled according to a lineage or specific style. Any of these mentioned can be classified with very specific rules, sequences or concepts that define them as that particular style of yoga.
But what is Flow Yoga and why is each Flow Yoga class so different?
Yoga Flow can generally be defined as a yoga class that incorporates energetic movement through a series of asanas (yoga postures), by which the student experiences a sense of fluid physical motion. Movement through these postures is matched with the breath, creating an even greater sense of flow, strength, ease and tension release.
Because the Flow in Yoga Flow is not confined to any lineage or style, the background of an individual teacher will give each class a specific structure and feel. For instance, if a teacher has a background in Iyengar, the flow sequence may have static breaks where the teacher focuses on an individual pose to fine-tune alignment. You can see, then, that teachers who are interested in many different styles can teach a class that is a unique collage of their personal interests in yoga and movement.
Additionally, a teacher who is teaching flow will have complete authority of the sequence of postures. Unless a teacher is specifically working from the sequence of a particular style, he or she can have a great deal of creative influence in their sequencing.
So, whenever you see the words “Flow” or Flow Yoga to describe a yoga class, know that you will get a nice mixture of relaxation, breathwork, and energising movement; but you will also get whatever the teacher has planned for that day. This is another reason why getting to know your teacher can be very helpful. When you know your teacher’s personality and the pace they tend to take the class, you’ll know more or less what to expect.
Take the time to ask your Flow teacher what their background is. You might notice from their background why they teach their classes the way they do. And always remember to have fun in your classes and enjoy the flow!