Principles of the Yoga Practice - Dynamic Vs Static

During a Vinyasa or Flow style Yoga classes you will find that dynamic poses may be dominant. Dynamic poses are usually one breath per movement. Movements are organic with very little actions and they create heat in the body.

Static poses are held for multiple breaths, they focus intentionally on actions, and they work the connective tissue. You may find an Iyengar or Yin yoga class would use more of the static postures.

Dynamic yoga postures are the moving versions of static yoga postures. We use dynamic yoga postures for a number of reasons:

  • As a preparation for holding static postures
  • For specific remedial application (loosening a joint or set of muscles)
  • Remove stagnant blood
  • Help circulate the lymph through the body
  • Strengthening the lungs and
  • Encouraging movement in the digestive and excretory systems

On the other hand, static yoga postures allow us to go deeper within ourselves and to observe how the body, mind and emotions feel while one is in the posture. There is little or no physical movement of the body and the breath is guided to a specific area of attention. This can do one of two things:

  • It allows for a more meditative and restorative practice where the internal organs and glands are gently massaged e.g. holding a lying twist, (Jathara Parivartanasana).
  • It can build strength and stamina e.g. holding Virabhadrasana II, (Warrior II).

Let’s explore this concept with Jumping from down dog to chair pose.

  • The movement from down dog to jump the feet between the hands is a dynamic expression.
  • Then holding stil in chair pose with hips low is a static expression.

Let’s take this concept off the mat

Sometimes life can seem like there is too much going on, like a whirlwind of too much stuff to do, too many emotions, or too much to take in. And at some point we may be asked stop, be present, ground, pay attention, get it together and speak or parent. Sometimes we need to be dynamic and moving, and sometimes, we just need to find stillness and ground. Where in your life do you need to add a little more of both?

Write it down, #dothework

With love and gratitude,


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