Viniyoga (prefixes vi and ni plus yoga) is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application.
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.
The term Viniyoga refers 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.
This approach to yoga evolved out of the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Madras, India.
Viniyoga methodology uses each aspect of yoga practice, as needed by the individual to foster a sense of good health on multiple levels. These levels can be structural/muscular, physiological, cognitive, psycho-emotional, spiritual, and/or varying combinations of all of them. The more traditional tools for the yoga practitioner include asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), bandhas (seals), sound, chanting, meditation, personal ritual and the study of spiritual texts.
There are four main points that characterize the difference between the Viniyoga approach and most other forms of asana practice.
1. The emphasis on breathing as the main medium for movement in asana, and the science of adapting the pattern of breathing in asana to produce different effects.
2. The emphasis on function rather than form in asana practice, and the science of adapting the forms of the postures to achieve different results.
3. The use of repetition into and out of postures in addition to holding postures.
4. 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.
In conclusion, Viniyoga is the science of appropriate application of yoga practice. This approach is uniquely suited to adapt practices to meet the needs of any individual or group context. Viniyoga methodology provides challenging, multi-layered, developmental practices for the healthiest and most athletic student, as well as gentle therapeutic practices to nourish the most infirm.
For more information, please visit www.Viniyoga.com
American Viniyoga Institute (n.d.). Who We Are. Retrieved from http://www.viniyoga.com/?cn=who_viniyoga
American Viniyoga Institute (n.d.). FAQ. Retrieved from http://www.viniyoga.com/?cn=faq