October 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Yoga Articles

Viniyoga (not to be confused with vinyasa yoga) is all about adaptation. Viniyoga is based on the guru/student model, in which an experienced teacher works individually with each student, making a personalized yoga program for them based on such factors as health, age, and physical condition, including past or current injuries. When you attend a group yoga class, there tends to be a one-size-fits-all approach. A teacher may ask if there are any injuries, but no serious attempt is made to know more about your physical condition. Because two students could have, for instance, back pain, for entirely different reasons, a Viniyoga teacher would offer each student different modifications of the asanas. Viniyoga is intended to be adaptable to any person, regardless of physical ability, so Viniyoga teachers much be highly trained and tend to be experts on anatomy and yoga therapy.

Viniyoga’s Origins

Viniyoga is the legacy of the great guru Krishnamacharya, whose prominent students include Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar, arguably the most prominent figures in yoga’s dissemination to the west beginning in the 1970s. Krishnamacharya’s son T.K.V. Desikachar carries on the guru’s legacy as the world’s foremost Viniyoga authority. Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute, is the most prominent American proponent of Desikachar’s method.

What to Expect From Viniyoga

A viniyoga practice may include asana, pranayama, chanting, and meditation, depending on the students’ needs. Because the practice is so adaptable, it makes yoga available to those with physical limitations, whether through injury, illness, or age. It can be very gentle, but is not exclusively so. If a student is more adept, the practice will be adapted to suit them. There is a strong focus on alignment and poses are held for a consistent number of breaths with rest in between.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Get Adobe Flash player