The term “vinyasa” derives from the Sanskrit words “nyasa” (to place) and “vi” (in a special way), meaning “to place something in a particular manner/way”. During practice, this translates to a series of positions (asana) into which we get by synchronizing movement and breathing, while maintaining conscious transitions.
Unlike more “static” yoga classes where the point is to experience the asana per se, in a vinyasa yoga class the transitions between the asana are just equally important and demanding in concentration. The more dynamic and quickly paced yoga classes are usually considered “vinyasa” classes. A vinyasa class yoga increases the body temperature and adds an aerobic element that we don’t usually encounter in traditional hatha yoga classes. It’s a class where all kind of positions (sitting, standing, balances, etc.) are incorporated, and its form and intensity change constantly. This diversity keeps the practitioners’ interest high and the constant flow of movement “forces” them to remain conscious and “present” at all times. Finally, it affords them the opportunity to better comprehend the mechanics and the way their body works by exploring different perspectives each time.
This is a milder version of a Hatha vinyasa yoga class. Again, the purpose of Gentle flow is the synchronization of breathing and movement in a constant flow but less intense class compared to a classic hatha vinyasa one.