What is Viniyoga?

What is Viniyoga?

Viniyoga based on the model in which an experienced teacher works in a one on one setting with students and creates an individualized yoga practices taking into account any past or current injuries, illnesses, lifestyle, stress level, and more. When you attend your average group yoga class, there tends to be a one-size-fits-all approach where you may be expected to make your body fit the poses even though the poses don’t always fit your body. Viniyoga, however, emphasizes function over form and works to adapt the āsana (postures) to meet each student’s needs. For example, two students could have low back pain for entirely different reasons. A Viniyoga teacher would develop specific practices tailored to the root cause of each student’s individual issue. Viniyoga is intended to be adaptable to any person, regardless of physical ability and/or experience. It is a holistic practice that addresses the entire person (body, breath, mind, behaviors, emotions, & spirit) in an interconnected way.

Viniyoga comes from the teachings of T. Kriṣṇamācārya and was carried forward through is son, TKV Deśikācar. Gary Kraftsow, long time student of both Deśikācar’s and Kriṣṇamācārya’s, founded the American Viniyoga Institute in 1999, and is a renowned educator in the lineage of Viniyoga teaching and therapy. AVI defines Viniyoga as:

Appropriate application of the tools of yoga

Viniyoga is a comprehensive and authentic transmission of the teachings of yoga including āsanaprāṇāyāmabandha, sound, chanting, meditation, personal ritual and study of texts. Viniyoga (prefixes vi and ni plus yoga) is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiationadaptation, and appropriate application.

The American Viniyoga Institute uses the term Viniyoga to refer to an approach to yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of each individual – giving each practitioner the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation.

The practices of yoga provide the means to bring out the best in each practitioner. This requires an understanding of a person’s present condition, personal potential, appropriate goals and the means available. Just as every person is different, these aspects will vary with each individual.

To learn more about individualized Viniyoga sessions with me, click here.