“The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures, but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.”
— T. K. V. Desikachar
Yoga Movement is a carefully crafted Viniyoga-Inspired class that emphasizes breath as the medium of movement in asanas (postures) and recognizes breath as the vehicle on which awareness flows. By slowing movement down, deepening the breath, and linking movement with awareness, we begin to gain the ability to see our present condition, come to a greater understanding of what is happening in the body as asanas are done, learn to adapt postures for their specific function vs form, and start to build a foundation towards ease of movement and wellness. All directions of movement are explored – forward bends, backbends, twists, lateral bends, spinal extension, and balance postures – in standing, kneeling, prone, and supine positions. This class is appropriate for beginning and experienced practitioners.
Yoga Flow is a Viniyoga-inspired Vinyasa class in which postures are logically sequenced to seamlessly flow together and produce maximum functional benefits without creating stress on the body. This is achieved through setting a clear intention, proper preparation, adapting postures for function over form, bringing balance to the body by working through all directions of movement over time, moving progressively from simple and easy postures to more complex and difficult ones, smooth transitions, and adequate bodily compensation. Some classes may also emphasize breath adaptation, pranayama, and include a short meditation. This practice promotes strength, stability, flexibility, skeletal alignment, and mind-body connection through the breath. It is most appropriate for continuing beginners to experienced practitioners.
Viniyoga is a comprehensive and authentic transmission of the teaching of yoga. Viniyoga (prefixes vi and ni plus yoga) is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application. It is an approach to Yoga that adapts practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of individuals and groups – giving practitioners the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation. It is one of humankind’s most sophisticated and useful wellness and personal development modalities.
What distinguishes Viniyoga from other forms of yoga? There are four points that characterize the main difference between the Viniyoga approach and most other forms of asana practice:
- 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.
- Breath and Adaptation – the emphasis on breath as the medium for movement in asana, and the science of adapting the pattern of breathing in asana to produce different effects.
- Repetition and Stay – the use of repetition into and out of the postures, as well as holding the postures.
- Art and Science of Sequencing – the refined art and science of sequencing, which allows teachers to create practices of different orientation, length, and intensity to suit the intention and context of each practice and/or practitioner.
For more information about Viniyoga, please visit the American Viniyoga Institute.