In the third part of this series on ViPR and yoga, Pontus Wärnestål looks at loaded transitional movement ...

Challenge the mind

In the previous post: How yoga and ViPR can keep you out of trouble: Part 2 we explored some ways to use ViPR as an assistance tool when entering and exiting unloaded yoga poses. Once a person can enter and exit the poses safely and with sufficient movement quality, you might decide it is time to add load to further increase the challenge and let your client reap even greater benefits.

In the video below, we add load to the four basic yoga poses and movement patterns that we explored in the previous post. I have also added some transitional variations on two of the moves to explore the 3D movement potential with ViPR. And this is only the beginning. Exploring transitional loaded movement using ViPR is a great way to add the necessary variety that our practice requires.


However, there is an additional beneficial layer to exploring transitional movement: the exploration and variation of movement, which are key aspects to both yoga and ViPR training, can in themselves bestow mental benefits on practitioners, such as a calmer and more relaxed mind. It has also been shown that gray matter in the brain – brain cells – in certain areas is formed to a larger extent among yoga practitioners compared to control subjects (1). In one study (2), yogis were found in general to have a larger brain volume in the somatosensory cortex and the superior parietal cortex; areas that contain our mental map of the body and body awareness, as well as governing direction of attention. The hippocampus, which helps reduce stress, was also enlarged among yogis. See this previous post on stress and flow here for more on this topic.

Varied, full-body movement is thus not only beneficial for our physical well-being, but it can also have positive mental effects. As a ViPR instructor, you now have a range of tools at your disposal: this blog series has introduced two ways to work with yoga and ViPR. Furthermore, the six-step programming model that is taught in ViPR certifications is the framework for creating varied movement. As a final bonus tool, check out the free Movement Generator tool for triggering design of new ViPR movements for you or your clients! 


·         Except for the physical benefits of practicing Loaded Movement Training (e.g., positional strength, endurance,       efficient hydration of tissues, neurological onset, etc.), transitional movement such as yoga can bestow                 mental benefits (e.g., a sense of a more relaxed and calm mind).

·         Sedentary lifestyle needs to be addressed, and we need to lower the thresholds for people to start moving.

·         ViPR can assist you when getting started in yoga.

·         Yoga and mobility is great for hydration, which is also a problem in our ‘sitting culture’.

·         ViPR can also challenge you by adding load to dynamic yoga flow sequences.

·         Increasing body awareness and dampening stress is linked to yoga movements.


Have fun and don't limit yourself to just the movement patterns shown here. There are hundreds of yoga poses and movements and, by applying load with ViPR, I'm sure you can come up with an effective and enjoyable movement practice for yourself and your clients. Make sure you have a purpose with your movements, and add load with caution. I personally view yoga as a collection of mobility drills that can be used to strengthen and protect my body. Yoga should not be an end in itself. Be your own guru, and use your critical judgment as a professional.


1. Sutherland S (2014), How Yoga Changes the Brain,, accessed on 22 May 2015.

2. Villemure C, Ceko M, Cotton VA, Bushnell C (2013), Insular cortex mediates increased pain tolerance in yoga practitioners, Cereb Cortex, 24(10): 2,732-40.