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One of the principles of the ashtanga style of yoga is the vinyasa, or short series of poses that is often repeated between other series of poses during an ashtanga yoga class. For example, moving smoothly to transition from warrior II pose to triangle pose is a vinyasa, as is moving from downward-facing dog to plank pose, chaturanga, upward-facing dog, and back to downward-facing dog. A sun salutation is a vinyasa, too. The purpose of a vinyasa is to help build heat in the body during the ashtanga poses and increase flexibility and endurance. Because the goal is to build heat, some instructors discourage students from drinking water during an ashtanga class. If you tend to overheat easily and you are not looking for a “hot yoga” class, bring a water bottle with you in case you truly feel lightheaded or ill from dehydration, but try to wait until after the ashtanga class when it is important to drink water to restore your fluid balance.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|