Vinyasa flow or Vinyasa Yoga as it is sometimes referred to as is a contemporary style of yoga which has become very popular over the years. The word flow is used because of the smooth way the poses are done. It is a branch of Yoga which is very broad in nature and includes asanas from other branches of yoga such as Ashtanga and Power yoga.
The basic difference between Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa flow is that Hatha Yoga focuses on one asana at a time with rest in between. Ashtanga and Vinyasa flow are more similar in nature with the only difference being that Ashtanga asanas series are not changed whereas in Vinyasa Yoga the asanas series can be varied according to the discretion of the Yoga teacher or the practitioner.
The movement of breath is what Vinyasa flow is based on similar to Pranayama. The movements of body parts are based on the inhalation and exhalation of breath. Vinyasa in the language of Sanskrit is translated as connection. The connection being between the body parts and the breath or the different asanas of Yoga. Many popular yoga styles come under the classification of Vinyasa flow such as Jivamukti, Core Power, Baptiste Power, Vinyasa and Modo.
The most salient feature of Vinyasa is diversity as the flow of movements can be varied according to the needs and creativity of the user thereby resulting in increased strength and growth.