‘What is ViniYoga?’
I teach a particular method of Yoga known as ViniYoga.
This word has been taken from the philosophical text, the Yoga Sutras – it means “the special application of Yoga”. In context, what this is referring to is Yoga as a process.
In order for the practices Yoga to be effective how it is practiced is important so and a variety of factors need to be considered. Questions need to be asked, such as; What are we attempting to do? What practices are going to help us get there? And what order will they need to be placed in? These question provide a structure for the practice.
The 3 main characteristics of a ViniYoga class are:
If there is one thing that ViniYoga is not- it is not fast! Expect to move slowly. How slowly you move depends on how slowly you can breathe without creating stress or strain on the breath or the body.
I would consider ViniYoga to be a modern tradition. ViniYoga has a particular lineage. Very much like a family tree, schools of Yoga have branches that extend in many directions. The sequence of the passage of teaching from one to the next is known as ‘parampara’.
The most well-known teacher of this school was TKV Desikachar who was the son of a great Yogacharya (master of Yoga) Krsnamacharya. Krsnamacharya taught several of the most influential teachers of the last 50 years who in turn created their own branch of the tree. We could consider him to be like the trunk of the family tree of modern Yoga.
[Note: Not everyone within this lineage agrees that ViniYoga is the best name for this method of Yoga – some time ago TKV Desikachar became disillusioned by the circumstances that in choosing a name the school seemed to have become a ‘brand’ and he was said to have discouraged his students from using the name- this however did cause a little confusion out in the wider world. The name had become widely used and it seems to have stuck.]
I have found that the structure of ViniYoga practice is very stabilising. The methodology is essentially a form of embodied mindfulness.
ViniYoga ticks a lot of boxes!
I hope that if you have never been to a class you will take the opportunity to pop in and do just that!