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Level 1/2
45 min

Vinyasa Yoga Tutorial

Vinyasa Flow | By Jason Crandell on Apr 06 2012
Ever wonder: How do you make that whispery sound with your breath--and, why? How do you get your foot all the way between your hands when stepping forward from down-dog? How do you figure out if you’re moving too slow or your teacher is just plain insane for having you move so fast? Yep, you’ve probably had these questions and more. If you want to understand vinyasa yoga more skillfully, here’s your vid!


Ever wonder: How do you make that whispery sound with your breath--and, why? How do you get your foot all the way between your hands when stepping forward from down-dog? How do you figure out if you’re moving too slow or your teacher is just plain insane for having you move so fast? Yep, you’ve probably had these questions and more. If you want to understand vinyasa yoga more skillfully, here’s your vid!


  • Gina Leslie     Jul 26th, 2014
    I find myself drawn to your classes because of your teaching style. This was a great tutorial and it confirms why I was leaning towards Vinyasa as my favorite style. Namaste.
    • Jason Crandell     Jul 26th, 2014
      Thanks Gina!
  • terry levitt     Jul 9th, 2014

    This was a great tutorial! When I do Half moon I have trouble with the hip flexor on the elevated leg. It feels like the hip is coming out of it's socket! Any ideas on how to work to position my elevated leg to prevent this from happening?


    • Jason Crandell     Jul 11th, 2014
      Terry - It's probably not coming out of the socket, but you're definitely describing something unpleasant and it sounds like you should avoid it. Also, it's really tough for me to give you advice b/c I can't see what you're doing. Start by not pulling your top thigh as high or as far back. If you're in the pose and you look toward your navel, make sure you can see your top leg--don't pull it too far behind your body. If this doesn't work, please just avoid the pose.
  • Jo Brennan     Jun 18th, 2014
    Subbing this week for a gentle flow class of beginners. Thank you for all the great info, love the transitions options....
    • Jason Crandell     Jun 18th, 2014
      Glad you found this helpful ;)
  • Lisa Kramer     Apr 21st, 2014
    I really enjoy your classes Jason! You explain things so well! Thank you!!!
    • Jason Crandell     Apr 21st, 2014
      Glad you enjoyed it Lisa, thanks.
  • Ryan Naylor     Mar 22nd, 2014
    Another great lesson. This was especially useful for me for a couple of reasons. As an aspiring teacher, it was really great to see how you approach some basic vinyasa flow techniques. And also, after having done yoga for a few years now but still 'struggling' with tight hips ans hamstrings it was really encouraging to realise how far my practice has developed from its early days. It reminded me of the times I had to grab my leg to bring it forward into the low lunge, or swing my legs round when doing a vinyasa. This is my first post so apologies if it's a little long, but you are such an inspiring teacher and I'm so exciting about travelling to London in August to study with you and thank you in person for the HUGE improvements your classes have made to my own practice . Namaste. Ryan from Paris :o)
    • Jason Crandell     Mar 25th, 2014
      Ryan - I completely understand and identify with everything you're writing about. I'm stoked you'll be joining me in London! I'm looking forward to working with you!
  • Pascale Bransolle     Mar 17th, 2014
    Thank you Jason for this class, it helps to slow down and be able to teach the transitions, sometimes it's not easy, so I have your way and this is good!! Pascale from France
    • Jason Crandell     Mar 17th, 2014
      Thanks Pascale!
  • Anne Jackson     Dec 5th, 2013
    Really nice having it broken down like that. It's just what I needed. Thanks
  • Sharon Jones     Nov 5th, 2013
    I've been doing yoga for a few years and am still struggling with a lot of the transitional moves. Your constant reminder to go slow and not be afraid to stand out really struck a cord with me. I guess I've been skipping a lot of the basics to keep up. Thank you for making me stop and think and for such clear instructions. Namaste.
    • Jason Crandell     Nov 6th, 2013
      Great Sharon. Thanks!
  • Larry Watson     Oct 27th, 2013
    Two years been trying to gracefully move foot from down dog/plank to runners lunge. This really helps. Thnx . Namaste.
    • Jason Crandell     Oct 27th, 2013
      Glad it helped Larry. Thanks.
  • Cameron Mizell     Sep 25th, 2013
    Thank you Jason, I enjoyed this. I was unclear on many of the transitional details--this class/tutorial really helped me understand the movements much better.
    • Jason Crandell     Sep 30th, 2013
      Glad to hear it. Thanks Cameron.
  • Jay Wehmeier     Sep 1st, 2013
    Thank you Jason, I have my first vinyasa coming up. I am old so I will go slow naturally and now I won't care about it.
    • Jason Crandell     Sep 2nd, 2013
      ;) glad you enjoyed it. Thanks Jay.
  • Roberta Driscoll     Aug 12th, 2013
    This is incredibly helpful information! I'm a real beginner, and was struggling with some of the transitions but these modifications are excellent! Namaste!
    • Jason Crandell     Aug 12th, 2013
      Glad you found it useful Roberta. Thanks for practicing.
  • Jennifer LaFleur     Jul 31st, 2013
    it's hard to maintain my ujjayi metronome when confronted with 'over-cooked asparagus pose'! :) thanks for another thoughtful practice. I've been looking to fine-tune the basics as I'm getting stronger. this was lovely. namaste!
    • Jason Crandell     Jul 31st, 2013
      Ha! Thanks Jennifer
  • Cathy Carmack     Jun 19th, 2013
    Jason, thank you so much for taking the time to create this tutorial/practice. I've only been practicing for about six months now and the focus on slowing down was beneficial. Plus learning how to make the transitions more graceful really makes sense. I love vinyasa yoga and yogaglo!
    • Jason Crandell     Jun 20th, 2013
      Cathy, I'm happy that you enjoyed this and found it helpful.
  • Katie Garnett     May 29th, 2013
    Another awesome video, thank you Jason. I’m looking forward to integrating your ideas into my classes. I would love a more detailed tutorial on the last section of your class (transitioning from seated to plank/dog and vice versa) for my own practice. Thank you :)
  • Erin Graves     May 2nd, 2013
    Jason, thank you for this awesome class. I've been taking your "Give Your Wrists a Break" class following a wrist/elbow injury and I'm finally getting back to Vinyasa flow. This class was a great reminder on breathing and how my body should be aligned throughout Sun Salutations. Filled with gratitude for this practice, namaste!
    • Jason Crandell     May 2nd, 2013
      Thanks Erin! Namaste
  • Po Chu Mak     Apr 23rd, 2013
    Jason, thank you very much and it is a great tutorial. My inhale is much shorter than exhale. Is it normal? And how can I make the inhale longer?
  • Keelin Kuipers     Apr 7th, 2013
    Hi Jason- I've been an Iyengar practitioner for 10 years, but am new to vinyasa. Thank you- this really helped me! I have a fairly significant case of scoliosis, so your tips on how to incorporate blocks into vinyasa were especially helpful. I would love any other tips (or even a tutorial) on how to adjust my vinyasa practice to accommodate my scoliosis.

    Thank you!
    • Jason Crandell     Apr 15th, 2013
      Keelin - So sorry for the delay. And, welcome to vinyasa--I'm glad that this was helpful for you. The most basic advice I can give you is to emphasize spinal elongation in all postures. You probably know this, but its an important reminder. There's a teacher named Elise Browning Miller who is an Iyengar teacher who specializes in adapting yoga for scoliosis. She has books that may help you. You can simply translate the information into your vinyasa practice.
  • Sarah Hon     Mar 26th, 2013
    So great for my teaching. Thanks Jason.
    • Jason Crandell     Mar 27th, 2013
      Thanks Sarah
  • Denise Nobile     Mar 14th, 2013
    Great tutorial, Jason. Thanks, for the reminder of slowing down!!
    • Jason Crandell     Mar 16th, 2013
      Hi Denise, my pleasure! Thanks for practicing.
  • Sally Love     Mar 10th, 2013
    Wonderful Jason, thank you. This helped a lot and I thoroughly enjoyed it too. I will definitely look up your other tutorials. With smiles :-D
    • Jason Crandell     Mar 10th, 2013
      Glad you found this helpful!! Thanks Sally
  • Julie Skinner     Jan 30th, 2013
    Wise words form a wise & gifted teacher. Infused with a gentle humour, what a great mix! Enjoyed dipping back into a vinyasa practice. Thank you Jason, looking forward to checking our your other 'tutorials'.
    • Jason Crandell     Jan 30th, 2013
      You're kind Julie. Thank you very much!
  • debbi murphy     Jan 24th, 2013
    I've been teaching vinyasa for 20 years and found this very helpful. I'll definitely recommend it to my teachers-in-training! Love your language, pace, clarity.
    • Jason Crandell     Jan 24th, 2013
      Thanks Debbie.
  • Guy Duncan     Jan 12th, 2013
    I am new to Vinyasa and and found this wonderfully clear, concise, and very insightful. The continued emphasis on breath and connecting it to the flow of movement was wonderfully explained. The lesson, that you must go slow in order to go faster is so true! We forget this so often and what a wonderful thought for moving in this world. Thank you, I will come back to this and continue to build my practice. You are much appreciated.
    • Jason Crandell     Jan 12th, 2013
      Hi Guy. Welcome to the world of vinyasa practice. Glad this was clear and helpful. Thanks for the comment.
  • Kim Kim     Dec 25th, 2012
    Love this "tutorial!" A must-do for everyone, new and seasoned yogis. I've been practicing for three years, and still learned a lot, including the great tip for half-way lift. Thank you Jason!!
    • Jason Crandell     Dec 26th, 2012
      Glad you found this valuable Kim! thanks
  • Jackie Wells     Nov 19th, 2012
    Good grief, why on earth haven't I done that one sooner? Marvellous! All was well until the floppy asparagus comment though! Lost the plot for a minute laughing, wasn't expecting that! The simplicity of moving your hand out of the way to bring your leg forward. DUH! Obvious when you think about it, "mushed on through" for ages until today. Thanks a million Jason. Jackie
    • Jason Crandell     Nov 20th, 2012
      Jackie, I'm glad this got you laughing and that you found it helpful. thanks for the feedback!
  • Laure Stern     Nov 18th, 2012
    Not only was this practice perfect for rounding out the transitions that have eluded me between poses - it proved to me why I love Vinyasa. Thanks again Jason for the words of wisdom and encouragement.
    • Jason Crandell     Nov 19th, 2012
      Laure, Great! I'm thrilled this shed some light on elusive transitions.
  • Jackie Bailey     Nov 6th, 2012
    Hi Jason,

    I am pretty new to yoga but am starting to love it. Can you please tell me why this type of breathing is so important? What function does it play?

    thank you.

    • Jason Crandell     Nov 6th, 2012
      Jackie - Great questions. This way of breathing has several purposes. First, breathing in this way helps create a specific meter, or rhythm. This meter sets the pace for all of the movements in the vinyasa practice. Sustaining a rhythmic breath also has a soothing effect on the nervous system and helps focus the mind. The breath also produces a sound. We use this sound to help focus our awareness.
  • Jason Crandell     Aug 16th, 2012
    Jessie - happy you enjoyed it, thanks!
  • Jason Crandell     Jul 19th, 2012
    Louise- I can relate to how you were put off by the speedy pace vinyasa can have. Happy that my pace and tone work well for you!
  • Louise Sprake     Jul 19th, 2012
    Jason, I loved this video! I'm new to Vinyasa and I feel so encouraged now. I was always put off slightly by the speed of classes but I love your words of advice to go slow and not worry about keeping up. I shall be repeating this class lots! Thanks.
  • Carrie Wenzel     Jun 13th, 2012
    Hi Jason-I just wanted to share with you that I took your comment about plank pose not being cooked asparagus pose, translated it into German and cracked my whole class up! I really appreciate how you teach and get so much out of your tutorials both as a student and a teacher! Thanks! Carrie
  • Jason Crandell     Jun 9th, 2012
    Julie - My pleasure. Those small tweaks can make a great difference, right? Glad this got you feeling grounded. Best
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 27th, 2012
    Anita - thank you for practicing!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 27th, 2012
    Sheila - it would be a pleasure to meet you in person! I'm happy that the 'finding your stride' discussion was helpful. thanks for all!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 27th, 2012
    Alison - thanks for sharing this style of yoga with your region!! I'm glad to hear that this tutorial helps you to nurture your practice, and eventually, your students'. best, J
  • Anita Olanick     Apr 27th, 2012
    Nice. Simple and clear.
  • Alison Robertson     Apr 27th, 2012
    Dear Jason, thank you so much for this excellent tutorial. I'm a new teacher trying to introduce vinyasa flow yoga to a part of rural France, to students who have never previously even heard of this style of yoga (and in many cases have never done yoga before/seen yoga done before). This has helped me enormously. Namaste and thank you for all your wonderful classes and inspiration, Alison
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 26th, 2012
    Marie- great! Thank you so much.
  • Marie Michele Baril-Dionne     Apr 26th, 2012
    Dear Jason, this was such a great tutorial. It already helped me to find ways to explain the great array of mouvements and breath to students. I will definitly pass it forward quoting you with gratitude! Namast
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 19th, 2012
    Hanna - it's always nice to hear feedback like this, thank you! thanks for practicing with me.
  • Hanna Riley     Apr 19th, 2012
    Dear Jason, I am truly so, so grateful for your teachings through this website. You inspire me as a practitioner and as a teacher. Thank you for your precision, kindness, humor, dedication and generous sharing of your tools and wisdom!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 16th, 2012
    Wenlan- great! Thank you for passing it on.
  • Wenlan Ng     Apr 16th, 2012
    Thank you for breaking it down. It will really help my teaching.
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 11th, 2012
    Abby- uppy downy is a great way to put it! I'm not very fond of that 'rushed' feeling either. Glad you enjoyed this, specifically the pace.
  • Abby Takarabe     Apr 10th, 2012
    Namaste Jason. Another great presentation. I thoroughly appreciated working slowly through this vinyasa practice. I can sometimes feel like it's too "upy downy" in a vinyasa practice and therefore don't really get to enjoy it. As always, I loved your class. Thank you!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 10th, 2012
    Linda - glad you found Yogaglo and tried my class. Yes, I like how that sounds; slow is the go.
  • Linda Celestino     Apr 10th, 2012
    I loved this tutorial Jason! As a new yoga teacher , living in the Middle East without much inspiration around me, yogaglo has been amazing discovery. Your tutorial demystified some of the most fundamental postures and transitions - loved it! Slow is the go! Thank you. Namaste x
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 10th, 2012
    Katharina: This is a great idea. I'll definitely film this next time in L.A. (it will be a while till it's posted, but I'll certainly create it)
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 9th, 2012
    Kirsten - thank you!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 9th, 2012
    Diane- welcome to the world of teaching! I'm glad you found this helpful as a teacher and student.
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 9th, 2012
    Kelly - thank you!
  • Kelly Feenan     Apr 8th, 2012
    A great class! The 'mysteries' revealed! Thanks so much for this. Kelly
  • Katharina      Apr 7th, 2012
    Hi Jason. A huge Thanks for another great class! I' ve been practicing for a while now and feel comfortable in most of the poses that are shown in level 1/2 classes. So now I am wondering... when is the right time to move up a level? Maybe you could do something like an "interim summary" class? Focusing on things to know and do so I will not break my neck in the level above...
  • dar carman     Apr 7th, 2012
    you fav your teaching has made a lovely difference in mine. Thank you
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 7th, 2012
    Dar - you're so welcome! thanks for your consistency.
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 7th, 2012
    Lorna- thank you! isn't moving slowly great?
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 7th, 2012
    Amanda - I'm glad this tutorial gave you tools to make your more stable. Hope those tools will make you feel cohesive and safe as your reorient yourself back into your practice!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 7th, 2012
    Paul - why thank you!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 7th, 2012
    M - what a succinct compliment. thank you!
  • Kirsten Hermstad     Apr 7th, 2012
    Thanks- just what I needed this morning. Have been doing exactly that- rushing and not being deliberate about my poses. Sending Jason the awesome energy that I cultivated during this practice.
  • Diane Pereira     Apr 7th, 2012
    This is perfect for all students and teachers...experienced or need this tutorial! I am new to teaching and this was SO helpful to me...thank you!!!!
  • Amanda Fagan     Apr 6th, 2012
    Thank you so much for this, Jason! You answered my prayer today...after not being able to put any weight on my arms for 2 months I was scared to even start with a downdog. You gave so many tools and techniques I never knew I didn't know. (IE, never thought to use a block in child's pose!) I wish I'd known long ago. Thank you, this class is a blessing.
  • M Courae     Apr 6th, 2012
    We need more Jason please!
  • Paul Rhoades     Apr 6th, 2012
    As usual, great tips, intelligently expressed and demonstrated. Who could not feel better about their efforts after this?
  • yogagal      Apr 6th, 2012
    MORE in this vein introducing additional poses with emphasis on ujjayi throughout. Loved your description, some vinyasa teachers instruct at the beginning a 5 count breath....then it's thrown out the window your moving to a 2 count breath just so they can "get it all in" in their sequence plan. THANKS...more...please
  • dar carman     Apr 6th, 2012
    thank you
  • Lorna Booker     Apr 6th, 2012
    Thank you; a nice reminder that moving slower is ok.