About Viniyoga

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What is Viniyoga?

Viniyoga (prefixes vi and ni plus yoga) is a Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application. In this context, it is yoga adapted to your unique condition, as developed by T.Krishnamacharya, his son T.K.V. Desikachar, and their student Gary Kraftsow.

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.

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What makes it unique?

Viniyoga practice can include any or all the tools of yoga, depending on the intention and the student's interest: asana (postures), pranayama (breathing adaptations), chanting, and meditation. There are four points that characterize the main difference between the Viniyoga approach and most other forms of yoga practice:

  1. Function Over Form: The emphasis on function rather than form in asana practice, and the science of adapting the forms of the postures to achieve different results.
  2. Breath & Adaptation: The emphasis on breath as the medium for movement in asana, and the science of adapting the pattern of breathing in asana and pranayama to produce different effects.
  3. Repetition & Stay: The use of repetition into and out of postures in addition to holding postures.
  4. Art & Science of Sequencing: The refined art and science of combination which allows teachers to create sequences of different orientation, length, and intensity to suit the intention and context of each practice.

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The general long-term goals of Yoga Therapy include: 

  • reducing the symptoms of suffering that can be reduced
  • managing the symptoms that cannot be reduced
  • rooting out causes wherever possible
  • improving life function, and
  • shifting attitude and perspective in relationship to life’s challenges.