A lot of times I like to practice asanas one at a time, holding the poses for a while and taking short rests in between, when appropriate. But I also like to practice Salute to the Sun, flowing from one pose to another. Because there are so many different types of flow yoga classes available now, I just wanted to give you a few words of caution, especially if you’re new to the practice of asanas.
When you’re in a class moving quickly through the poses, there’s not a lot of time for the teacher to give detailed instructions or to correct you, so it’s best if you’re already familiar with the poses. If in a class you are taught to jump into a pose that you are not familiar with, be careful, don’t feel obligated to follow or you may end up hurting yourself.
Sometimes teachers offer fairly advanced poses as part of a sequence. If you’re not sure how to do a pose, or if you feel it might be risky, stop and watch, or rest in Baby Pose. In a flow class, you’ll be doing a lot of standing forward bends. If your hamstrings are tight or you have lower back issues, be sure to bend your knees when bending forward. This takes the strain off your lower back while still stretching the backs of your legs. If you find yourself getting exhausted and longing for the floor poses to begin, please rest. You don’t need to keep up with anyone.
Remember, practicing yoga asanas is something you do for yourself, for your own health and well-being. To stay safe, it’s important to listen to the messages your body is sending you. This can be harder to do when you’re moving quickly, so be extra attentive. Then be sure to act on what your body’s telling you—by resting or doing an easier version of the pose. Have fun and stay safe!