Viniyoga

Viniyoga, meaning “application”, refers to a style of Hatha yoga that is adapted, or applied, to each individual’s unique needs. Length and intensity of training is adjusted for a practitioner’s needs. Unlike Iyengar Yoga, Viniyoga places less emphasis on rigorously correct positioning in asana, instead allowing knees or elbows bent in a posture to suit the needs of the individual. The pace is much less rigorous than a Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Power Yoga class. Because of its inherently personal nature, Viniyoga is often taught in private sessions, especially for the rehabilitation of injury. However, it is not simple a yoga for rehab; well-trained athletes can also derive benefit, as Viniyoga can also be adjusted to be more challenging.

Viniyoga is also unique in that in addition to holding a pose for an extended period of time, the pose is also performed repeatedly. Pranayama, breathing exercises, plays an important role in Viniyoga, as does chanting, meditation, and scriptural (Vedic) study. Sequences and series are developed in relation to the needs of the practitioner.

Viniyoga is considered a very relaxed and therupeutic form of yoga. It was first developed by T. Krishnamacharya and then taught by his son T.K.V. Desikachar in the 1970s. His student Gary Kratfsow now leads international education of Viniyoga teachers.