Vinyasa-style, or “flow” yoga came to the West about 100 years ago. It started as a system of yoga postures and breathing called Ashtanga. The Ashtanga style, still practiced widely today, is a very vigorous system of yoga, with lots of quick, athletic movement that is synchronized with the breath.
Vinyasa, a Sanskrit word that means “to link”, is a more modern style of yoga derived from the Ashtanga tradition. Vinyasa-style classes generally offer quicker movement that is linked to the breath. Sometimes this movement is very athletic and challenging, and sometimes the movement is gentle, depending on the class and the teacher.