I would reckon that Flow is the most popular form of yoga in the United States. Flow consists of several yoga poses done one after the other to create a “flow” of movement. The poses usually are logically derived one from the other, and the moves look like a smoothly choreographed wave. Flow is simple to do, allows room for creativity in what you do and in what order, allows for movement to massage vulnerable parts of your body as needed, and is very restful and conducive to mindfulness because you have to be aware of what you are doing and there is the possibility of customizing the motion as well as the stationary part of the practice.
Flow is popular because a lot of people believe that you have to move in order to have an exercise be effective and since flow involves more motion than some forms of yoga, it is a frequent choice.
An example of flow yoga would be starting in a cat (on hands and knees) position, lowering to face down, Cobra 1 (lifting your upper body off the mat without using your hands), Cobra 2 (using your hands and arms to flex your upper body all the way up), back into cat, then into child’s pose (sitting back on your heels while bowed over and hands out in front of you). Usually, if you start in a standing position, you stay standing; if prone, you stay in some sort of a face down to the mat position. I am sure that someone has discovered a standing to prone to standing flow as well though. Just about every possible combination of poses has been tried!
Flow is flexible, and I have done it in a hot room as well as a regular temperature room. I find that since heat helps to stretch out muscle, hot flow can be a real treat (if you can stand being in a 104° F room for about an hour). However, heat isn’t always good as you will see in another chapter where I report on my evening doing hot yin yoga.
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