5 Reasons to try Slow Flow Yoga

Slow Flow Yoga Benefits, Sequence, Do's and Don'ts

Slow Flow Yoga

Allow the gentle and stabilizing practice of Slow Flow yoga to bring greater equanimity to all areas of your life.

Introduction

Yoga, like life is a practice of balance. Just as a holistic diet nourishes our bodies and wide exposure to different perspectives enriches our minds, practicing both yin and yang styles of yoga allows us to be more flexible in all areas of our lives.

While the faster-paced classes help you build strength more quickly, the slower classes develop your concentration, mental equanimity, and patience.

They allow the muscles and connective tissues to relax, lengthen and open up areas such as the hips and lower back that may be more difficult to access with a yang practice alone.  

What is Slow Flow Yoga?

Slow Flow yoga can be described as a combination of Vinyasa flow and Hatha yoga. Vinyasa flow is a vigorous, fast-paced practice, emphasizing the synchronization of breath, movement, and poses as a whole.

It is sometimes referred to as Flow yoga since there are smooth, flowing transitions between the various poses.

Hatha Yoga, meanwhile is practiced at a slower pace, with a focus on controlled movements, mindful stretching, and proper alignment.

Incorporating fewer transitions than Vinyasa and more flow than Hatha Yoga, Slow Flow Yoga allows you to find meditative pauses between poses, while maintaining the harmonious flow of a Vinyasa class.

Slow Flow yoga somewhat moves fast enough to feel like a real workout, but the progressions are slow enough to allow you to relax and focus on the breath.

This balanced approach allows you to attune to your own natural rhythm and adjust your movements as necessary.

Slow Flow Yoga Benefits

1. Integrates Mind and Body

By giving you ample time to develop an awareness of your body and breath, this yoga style allows you to harmonize your body and mind. It supports you in applying mental strength to overcome your physical edges.

2. Teaches Patience and Increases Attention Span

In our rapid-paced world, new yoga practitioners tend to think that faster is always better. Slow Flow yoga shows us that a slower execution of movements and a focus on the energetic underpinnings of your practice can be far more therapeutic.

Slow Flow yoga gives you ample time to observe the impact of impatience on your mind and body.

As you watch the egoistic mind’s urge to push, hurry and strive, you witness how it only creates more stress in your system.

By giving you ample time to practice non-judgmental awareness of your inner state, Slow Flow yoga allows you to release impatience, cultivate focus, and return more fully to the present moment.

3. Increases Mental Well-Being

The slower movements and intentional breathing of a Slow Flow yoga practice activate the parasympathetic nervous system, helping to reduce stress and calm the mind.

As you slow down your breathing and movements, you also reduce the frequency of mental chatter, creating more space for creative inspiration, intuitive development and a more expanded perspective on your life.

4. Enhances Emotional Well-Being

By attuning your mind to your body, this yoga practice also connects you with your emotions. As you notice the emotional impact of various thoughts and beliefs, it becomes easier to let go of the ones that do not serve you and in turn cultivate those that do.

You also grow to listen to your emotions and respond to the deeper needs that they represent.

5. Increases Flexibility and Strength

Like other forms of yoga, Slow Flow improves strength and flexibility but does so in a low-impact and gentle manner. The sequences are designed to gradually warm up the muscles, without putting any undue pressure on your joints.

In a Slow Flow class, you’ll have ample time to listen to your body and adjust your alignment as needed.  With regular practice, your range of motion, athletic performance and balance will also increase.

Thus Slow Flow yoga is suitable for all ages and levels and is particularly recommended for seniors, pregnant women, and anyone with an injury or health concern.

In fact it is often taught in hospitals and rehabilitation centers as a soothing and revitalizing form of physical therapy.

A Slow Flow Yoga Sequence

This restorative 60-minute sequence is designed to open up the heart and release emotional grief. Combining longer holds with a gentle-flow sequence, it allows the mind and body to come into natural harmony and cultivate greater patience and acceptance.

60-Mins Slow Flow Yoga Sequence

  1. 3 to 5 min Pranayama and Meditation.
  2. 5 to 10 min Reclining Bound Angle Pose.
  3. 3 to 5 min Cat and Cow.
  4. 3 to 5 min Child Pose.
  5. 3 to 5 min Heart Melting Pose.
  6. 5 to 10 min Sun Salutations (3 rounds).
  7. 3 to 5 min Sphinx and Seal Pose.
  8. 3 to 5 Abdominal Twist and Variations.                                                         
  9. 3 to 5 min Corpse Pose with Bolster Under the Back.
  10.  3 to 5 min Savasana.

Do’s and Don’ts

1. Do Pay Attention to the Subtleties of Your Practice

By giving you extended time to hold each pose, Slow Flow yoga allows you to study the nuances of your practice.

Do your poses become more or less challenging the longer you hold them? Does your mind grow calmer or more restless as you deepen into the flow of each movement?

By paying attention to the impact of your breathing, awareness and pace, on your mind and body you will develop a greater capacity to meet your mental and emotional needs.

2. Don’t Force Your Progress

While it’s okay to experiment with your physical and mental edges, it’s important to do so in a gentle and incremental manner.

Unlike the more fast-paced forms of yoga, Slow Flow gives you a chance to make changes gradually and at your own pace.

By helping you tune up to the unique needs of your own body, Slow Flow yoga allows you to develop strength, flexibility and balance at a rate that is right for you.

What We Conclude

Slow Flow yoga is more than just a workout. It’s a deep study of the mind-body connection and an opportunity to develop concentration, focus and flow across all areas of your life.

Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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